Garden to Fork Initiative Thrives at State Auto Insurance


Chef/Manager Jason Rose

When Chef/Manager Jason Rose joined the team at the Parkview Café serving State Auto Insurance Companies earlier this year, he saw a unique opportunity to support Bon Appétit’s Farm to Fork initiative by growing fresh, quality ingredients on-site.

State Auto, a regional property and casualty insurer in Columbus, OH, already had a small garden on the back patio of its café. Though growing herbs onsite and using them to prepare delicious and seasonal foods was a great start, Jason dreamed of something bigger.

He worked to expand the herb garden to a community garden, one that is maintained solely by the café staff outside of business hours. Jason and his team are so committed to the passion and vision that they’re willing to stay late after a busy day. Sous Chef Jason Willis played a big role in the expansion of the garden, and he volunteers his time to help maintain it, claiming that his reward is harvesting and using the variety of produce — including four kinds of peppers and three types of tomatoes—for savory creations.

The Parkview team is grateful to State Auto for the physical space and philosophical support. The guests also seem pleased with the produce. There’s a definite “wow factor” to eating a burger whose tomato was grown on the same patio where you’re sitting!

Submitted by Jason Rose, Chef/Manager