The Braless Gourmet & Locavore: The Story of a Match Made in Heaven

Experts on romance say for a happy marriage there has to be more than a passionate love. For a lasting union, they say, there must be a genuine liking for each other. Which in my book, is a good definition for friendship. — Marilyn Monroe

During an eleven-month stretch between 2016 and 2017, I experienced a storm of personal crises and losses. In May 2016, following several dramatic years of cognitive decline, I lost my 89-year-old father to Alzheimer’s disease. Three months later, at 48 years of age and in otherwise perfectly good health, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In February 2017, just after I finished chemo, my 87-year-old mother’s health began a very rapid descent. After a series of small strokes, she succumbed to a fatal intracranial hemorrhage and passed away in March 2017. Meanwhile, during the summer of 2017, I began thinking about how to reinvent myself in a new career—ideally one that combined my passions for writing, good food, sustainable agriculture, and Geneva living, and that would allow for Tahlia and I to work together and form a business. We settled on the idea of The Braless Gourmet blog as a way to test how to draw together these interests.

Unbeknownst to us, another Geneva couple was also busily hatching a new business idea. Stomping Grounds owners Bethany and James Haswell had plans for a culinary boutique called Locavore that was to feature locally-produced edibles, a wide selection of kitchen items for the home cook, and space for talks and tastings hosted by local chefs and beer- and wine-makers. They also envisioned an interactive blog and web presence for the store, but felt unsure about taking on responsibility for a second store by themselves. They received a grant from the City of Geneva to open the new shop, but put their plans on hold while figuring out what to do. Finally, some mutual friends, with the wisdom to perceive a perfect marriage between our ideas together, put us into contact, and voila, The Braless Gourmet and Locavore joined together!

Locavore will open on Exchange Street in the fall of 2018, and The Braless Gourmet will herald its opening, its merchandise, and its values, which centrally champion Geneva and Finger Lakes-produced foods and beverages, as well as the ethics of sustainable and locally-produced goods.

We invite you to join us on our celebration of the good life, friendship, and our local community. Cheers!

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