We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Clement and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what do you want your legacy to be?
The whole reason that I started Farmgirl Foods is because I knew there needed to be a place for people to gather, shop and eat and, feel the love of our local makers, growers and artisans. I want my legacy to be the place I created and to pass my love for food to future generations.
I see the products we offer at the Mercantile as a way to show love to my community. Whether I’m teaching or catering, helping a customer find the perfect ingredient, spoiling their dog, scoring the cutest home decor, or providing much needed pain relief with our CBD products, I want our customers to feel like I’ve just wrapped my arms around them and hugged them tight.
So when you ask “what do I want people to remember about me” is that I loved food, I love what I do, and I loved sharing it with family, friends and our community. Most of all, I want to be remembered as someone with a kind heart whose eyes lit up when I talked about what I do here, and that you could literally FEEL my passion for it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I spent 25 years in Corporate Events & Marketing working for amazing companies like Microsoft where I got to travel all over the world and eat amazing food. This not only gave me the organizational skills that are imperative in running a business, but it allowed me to see other cultures, how they viewed food, and experience a multitude of unique flavors.
About 3.5 years ago I lost my job as an Event Planner and knew that the time had come to finally start the business that I’d been dreaming of….I’d worked on my Business Plan for 15 years so it was time to put it into action.
I’ve learned that being an entrepreneur is the hardest most amazing thing I’ve ever done. No two days are alike, and there are good ones and awful ones, but the key is to focus on the good. One of my favorite quotes is “God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.” That’s how I choose to live my life AND run my business. I constantly remind myself that things I have the strength to overcome any obstacle and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Downtown Castle Rock! We have so many cute shops here. If I had friends coming into town I know exactly where I’d take them. First we’d hit a couple spots for home decor like the Emporium (where I first started my little shop), and The Barn. Then we’d go get girly, trying on clothes at Amazing Lemons and Mod Mountain, a couple of cute little boutiques in town.
After all that shopping we’d need to refuel so we’d hit Union for cocktails, and Garlic & Spice Kitchen for the BEST burger in town (ask for the Fatty!). After lunch it would be time for some pampering at The Skin Company and dinner at Tribe Riverwalk.
We’d cap it off with cocktails at the soon-to-open Provisions and sweet dreams at The Dyer House Inn. Breakfast the next day would HAVE to be at Pegasus to get energized for a hike at one of the great trails in town, and then a hearty lunch at B&B Cafe and then a stop into my shop to grab snacks for the trip home. The best part of Castle Rock is you can WALK almost everywhere
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My inspiration came from Cushman Market in Amherst, MA. I was living there about 15 years ago with my 3 sons, aged from 3-8 at the time, and was having a hard time meeting other mom’s in a setting that was welcoming to kids. Their market opened at the end of my road and as soon as I walked in I knew what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. They had a cute market in front with all locally made food, and a sweet little cafe in the back – with a kids corner! It stayed with me and helped me craft my ideas for what The Mercantile by Farmgirl Foods will grow into.