All-Vegan Cafe Takes Root in Downtown Amherst

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AMHERST — The Humble Peach, located on the former site of the Henion Bakery on Amherst’s North Pleasant Street, claims the socially conscious city’s first all-vegan establishment. But the owners say their mission is not simply to promote veganism, but rather a more sustainable form of eating and living.

“It’s not as simple as not eating meat,” says Jett Craze, who along with Jenna Gigliotti is co-owner of The Humble Peach. “There are amazing farms here, and I would never tell those people that they shouldn’t raise eggs or chickens or anything. It’s not really about that. It’s about really thinking about where your food comes from.

Opened in Amherst in May, Craze and Gigliotti hope to show customers that sustainable eating doesn’t mean sacrificing tasty food. The Humble Peach serves baked goods, such as pies, cupcakes, and banana bread, in addition to smoothies, coffee, and sandwiches to give the small space a cafe vibe. The establishment also makes its own vegan dog treats made with turmeric, flax, peanut butter, oats, and carrots (and, as the website states, they’re suitable for human consumption).

To ensure that the products sold are sustainable, Craze and Gigliotti have partnered with several farms and growers in Western Massachusetts to source all of their ingredients locally. This includes selling solar-powered maple syrup from Sunrise Farms to Colrain, organic coffee beans from Dean’s Beans to Orange and fruits and vegetables from Astarte Farms to Hadley.

“We’re really lucky in this region that there are so many great farms that have such amazing produce,” says Gigliotti, “especially in the summer, but even in the winter you can get local greens throughout the season. season”.

Residents of Amherst for five years, Craze and Gigliotti aspired to open their own cafe reflecting their sustainable food lifestyle. The name “The Humble Peach” is derived from a peach tree that Craze planted on his property several years ago which in the first year produced only one peach.

“It’s kind of an oxymoron, because a peach is more of a fancy fruit,” Craze said. “To me, that represents an incredible but also humble person.”

When the owners of the former Henion bakery announced they were retiring, Craze and Gigliotti saw their chance to move their business to the property.

The Humble Peach is only open part of the week, Thursday through Sunday. Craze says the remaining days are spent researching other ways to advocate for sustainable living, like trying to get more sustainable food options from local schools and universities, and additional plans to sell. its granola to other retailers.

“What really drives us is the goal of really changing the way people eat,” Craze said. “I want to do something with my life that will have a positive impact on the world, and that’s exactly what we’ve chosen.”

Gigliotti, a former trainer in plant-based cooking, says she also hopes to take that activity back to Amherst to educate people on how to make sustainable food.

“We’re not able to do that in our small commercial kitchen here,” she said. “But it’s definitely something I’d like to do again in the future, if I have access to some sort of community kitchen or even for individuals here.”

Alexander MacDougall can be reached at [email protected]

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