When you think of your favorite restaurants, you may think of places in big cities or trendy towns. You probably would not think of a spot in a small village like Hamlin, New York; But there is one, and it’s raising the bar in the culinary world.
The Farmers Table on Lake Rd. has been serving farm fresh produce, locally sourced products, and creating recipes using all-natural ingredients.
The owner, Lora Partyka is a fifth-generation farmer. She owns Partyka Farms; a one-thousand-acre fruit and vegetable farm. She also owns Partyka’s, a farmer’s market. She opened the Farmer’s Table seven years ago.
“With having other business’s running and opening up this restaurant, it was exciting, overwhelming. It was a blur for the first year,” said Partyka.
The popularity of chain restaurants and fast food restaurants around the area offers The Farmer’s Table the chance to develop and curate their image and taste.
Partyka says, “I hear it all the time, especially on weekends when it is very very busy. People say that I can taste the difference when I eat here.”
Working in a restaurant like The Farmer’s Table is a whole different experience than working in chain restaurants. Succeeding is a challenge, and Partyka said the key is having people you can trust.
For Partyka that person she can trust is Head Chef, Guy Warren.
“I’ve worked in food service for over forty years and Lora gives me a lot of freedom in the kitchen. I am able to be creative in ways I was never able to before,” Warren said.
Being creative allows for the customers to expect a certain experience when going to the restaurant. Warren gets creative by making different menus for each season of the year.
“When I roll out my summer menu in June, the produce I use in June will be different than the produce I use in August. So, I have to kind-of word my menu the right way and instead of listing specific ingredients, I’ll list the fresh seasonal roasted vegetables. [And] I just use whatever is in season so I can make it fresh,” says Warren.
The experience being created by Warren allows for customers to feel connected with the restaurant. These relationships strengthen the establishment as a whole. Knowing that, the staff knows just how to make them feel right at home.
“We’re a family, if I see someone sitting in the restaurant having breakfast or lunch and I’ve never seen them before and if I have a chance to, I’ll go out and talk to them and try to welcome them into our family.” Said Warren
It is expensive and time-consuming for restaurants to make all their food from scratch, but the staff at The Farmer’s Table steps up and uses fresh produce in all their recipes.
“It is not an easy road to go down. It takes more staff and it takes more time. Because you are not opening up a can or a bag and dumping things in, you are cutting up fresh produce and preparing things from scratch. That makes it hard for new businesses to run.” Says Partyka
Warren is not afraid to speak on his food making process.
“We try to go natural and local and healthy and all that. We do not open a lot of cans. One of the popular items on our breakfast menu is corn beef hash and eggs. We make the corn beef that goes into that hash. We do not open a can of corn beef. Our pulled pork sandwiches and pulled pork mac and cheese is very popular and we make the cheese from scratch. We smoke the pork outside and we make our own barbecue sauce from scratch. Everything back there is as fresh as possible,” says Warren.
Trendy restaurants are not usually found in small towns like Hamlin. But whether it is their friendly customer service or use of fresh, local produce, the people at The Farmer’s Table have something you can’t find just anywhere: authenticity.
Check out the whole interview with Partyka and Warren below!