Award: Entrepreneur of the Year
City: Walla Walla
Chesed Farms is a farmers market vendor out of the Walla Walla who, in the three years they’ve been in business, has grown significantly while supporting the development and growth of other vendors. Their slogan is “Persistent Local Food”, which describes their attitude and mission perfectly.
When Sundown Hazen and Jonathan Garrett started Chesed Farms, they only grew mushrooms. They’ve since expanded their operation significantly, from a 110 square foot operation in a garage to a 4,000 square foot greenhouse. Beginning with the two founders, they now employ 13 people.
In addition to being successful entrepreneurs themselves, Sundown and Jonathan uplift other entrepreneurs. They partner with passionate and talented entrepreneurs ready to bring their products or services to market by providing support, mentorship, and infrastructure for these entrepreneurs to bring their dreams to life.
Chesed Farms’ impact is felt by everyone they touch. They take good care of their people, paying a living wage to their employees. They take good care of our planet, minimizing the travel distance for local, healthy food and focusing on sustainability in all they do. They support other entrepreneurs, both in big ways through their mentorship program and in small ways, when they help other vendors unload every week.
Within their “triple bottom line” approach to their work, Chesed Farms highlights something that will strike a chord for everyone who strives to build community: “We learn the names and life stories of our customers and build meaningful relationships…”
Chesed means loving kindness, and this value infuses every aspect of the work that Sundown, Jonathan, and their whole team do. They’re smart and talented entrepreneurs who believe in expanding responsibly, taking care of their staff and customers lovingly, and bringing love and kindness to everyone they interact with.