We had the good fortune of connecting with Ann Kent and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ann, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I’m a farm-kid-turned dietitian. My experience moving from the farm to graduate school to the professional world opened my eyes to the fact that many people have no idea where or how their food is grown, don’t understand how to properly nourish their bodies, and have lost the art of cooking – especially how to make nutritious food taste good. My goal with Peas and Hoppiness is to unite these three silos of agriculture (sustainability) + food (cooking) + nutrition (health). I do this by writing weekly seasonal menus with tested recipes to give my members practical tools to eat a more sustainable, eco-friendly diet which tastes good enough even picky eaters will enjoy nutritious, balanced meals.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’ve found that in the world of nutrition, I have a unique worldview. There are lots of nutritionists connected to whole foods – but few which understand the farmer’s plight as well. When I talk about sustainability, I come from an ecological, nutritional, AND economic perspective. I’m most excited about taking my experiences and providing a practical way to help busy families not just get dinner on the table, but to do so in a way that’s better for their bodies and for the earth. The journey of creating weekly Meal Guides and recipes has been very, very challenging. The amount of blood, sweat, and tears which go into starting a new business is no joke! Having the support of my husband – who not only enjoys all of the test recipes, but also believes in me more than I do – has been the thing which has kept me going when I wasn’t sure if I could do so. Out of that has been my biggest lesson: find people to have in your corner who will support you when you feel like you can support yourself anymore.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The best thing about Colorado is being outside. We have gorgeous hiking trails practically in our backyard, so I’d find a couple in the right distance and elevation for their fitness level and we’d definitely take a couple of day trips. We might also spend a day exploring the city and – of course – its breweries; there’s hardly anything better than sitting on a patio with an IPA in the warm afternoon sunshine. And of course, we’d enjoy a favorite local restaurant or two – Suehiro for sushi, Himalayan Bistro for the best Indian food I’ve ever had, and perhaps Chimney Park in Windsor if we’re feeling really fancy.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s a little cliche, but honestly my shoutout goes to both of my parents. My mom taught me to cook and is my cheerleader and inspiration in the kitchen. Growing up, she cooked two or three meals every single day – and often for 6+ people. From her I learned how to be flexible if missing an ingredient, how to make quality food using simple staples, and how to put together a tasty meal for lots of eaters. My dad is one of the smartest people I know and a farmer through and through. I’ve learned so much about agriculture from him – from how to take care of the soil to the challenges of marketing grain on a large scale. He and I don’t always see eye to eye, but we both respect each other enough to have healthy discussions and learn from each other.