Noella Cotnam

Cotnam has provided artwork for all of our restaurants. She sculpts and carves figures to live in our spaces – such as our frolicking gophers, a whimsical duck, our big, beloved bear, a lamb, pig, bull, and more – that are welcoming and well known to our guests.

At Founding Farmers King of Prussia, Noella Cotnam crafted a beautiful golden egg that sits in our entrance as a small symbol of the beginning of our time in the sparkling state of Pennsylvania. At Founding Farmers Reston Station, we feature two of her sculptures: a giant beaver and a mockingbird to honor Thomas Jefferson, who loved and collected mockingbirds. At MoCo’s Founding Farmers, she created a pig and ram who watch over our dining room. Founding Farmers DC has our happy lamb who sometimes dresses for the season. Founding Farmers & Distillers DC has our frolicking gophers and mama and baby owls. Cotnam also has work featured at our Farmers Fishers Bakers location where she sculpted a giant watchful bull over our front door and our orange goat in the dining room. After all, doesn’t every restaurant need an orange goat on a trapeze? Doesn’t that add a little levity to your day? We hope so.

Noella Cotnam is multi-talented artist, sculptor, sign designer, illustrator, mural painter, carver, furniture maker, and mechanical draftsman.

“I really love the experience of watching these creatures come to life,” she says. “In some ways, they begin to feel like family when I am making them. It feels important for me to bring them to their new home. It’s also a nice opportunity for me to see how they fit into their new environment.”

Always a personal experience, Cotnam delivers each of her designs in person, driving them down the East Coast from Ontario to establish them in their new home.

A self-proclaimed country girl at heart, Cotnam’s first clients were farmers, and her partnership with Farmers Restaurant Group continues a long-standing connection with the agricultural community. In 1982, she started her sign company, Sign It (and, out of the summer kitchen of a century-old farmhouse north of Williamstown, Ontario. Signs produced by Cotnam can be found the world-over, from Guam and Beirut to Greece, England, and Washington, D.C.

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