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Solfeggio Makes Pemberton Food Resonate

Solfeggio Makes Pemberton Food Resonate

Solfeggio's mission to bring harmony and healing to the food they serve resonates across every action they take. From serving only organic foods, to providing a complete farm-to-table-to-farm experience, there is a strong mission behind Solfeggio. And Pembertonians have noticed.

Solfeggio: A Love Story

Kristi Richards, owner of Solfeggio, starts off telling her story: how it opened its doors on July 29th, 2013. The dream behind the reality. "I fell in love with the idea of opening my own restaurant after working in the industry at small winery bistros in the Okanagan. These were my summer jobs to pay for my Olympic skiing goals." When it came time to settle in Pemberton, she and her fiancée, Mark Abma teamed up with chefs Erica Fisher and Richard Stewart, both of whom are long time Pemberton residents. Everyone involved in Solfeggio understands the importance of serving organically grown food, and the chefs especially are well connected with the local farmers in Pemberton.

Inspiration runs deep.

 As Kristi says, "My family is my true inspiration. My dad is also a long-time farmer, through and through.  He has always farmed with ethical, sustainable, organic and ingenious practices, even before 'organic' farming was a serious movement." And it was family health concerns that motivated Kristi to begin the process of becoming a holistic nutritionist, which adds yet another layer to the offerings at Solfeggio. It's not every restaurateur who is also a soon-to-be-certified nutritionist.

Having a team of people around her is hugely inspirational as well. Kristi credits her fiancée and co-owner Mark, Nada from beNatural and Preet from OrganicLives with encouraging her and pushing her to go for this dream.

Another source of inspiration are her clients. The people who eat her food. "I love the excitement and appreciation that they express when they try the food here." She goes on,

"I love that there are more and more people walking in the door that are educated and aware about their food choices, and that they come in with true appreciation and support for what we are doing. This is what tells me that I am doing the right thing, and keeps me motivated every day to continue to provide this kind of restaurant and business in the community."  

Being the Change

Showcasing the "amazing organic farms in Pemberton" is the motivation behind starting Solfeggio which gives both locals and tourists a place to experience the food they create.

Pemberton is, in many ways, a small agricultural oasis. Only 20 minutes from the ski resort Whistler, as you drive in to Pemberton the land opens up and you are presented with acres of farmland. The local Pemberton Farmer's Institute  has 22 members, many of whom are certified organic farms, or local businesses who support organic farming. The long tradition of local farms and ranches is one the many Pembertonians are rightly proud of, and work hard to keep alive. Kristi Richards and Mark Abma are definitely a part of this tradition.

Deeply influenced by Ghandi's statement that we should "be the change we wish to see in the world," Kristi and Mark want to support organic and sustainable farming practices,  as they believe these are the embodiment of this message.

Pemberton helps make that change happen.

And being in Pemberton is a huge part of making this happen. As Kristi says "Pemberton is a unique little gem…The farmers are what make Solfeggio so special.  The food is grown here in our soil, with ethical and sustainable farming practices that enhance our community and our environment.  The soil here is very nutrient rich, and when we eat the food grown from this land it becomes a part of us and connects us to it on a deep level."

Not to put too fine a point on it, Kristi goes on: "I chose to open Solfeggio here in Pemberton to be as close as I could to the actual farms." 

Solfeggio is not only a "farm-to-table" restaurant, but also a "table-to-farm" business.  Food comes directly from local farms, with as little fuel as possible used in transporting the food. Then, Solfeggio gives the farmers the scraps to feed to the livestock, which are then served at the restaurant. Full circle. That relationship with the farmers is integral to the success of Solfeggio. As Kristi says, "I absolutely love that we can text our farmers to see if they have some kale growing, and that they can just stop by in their muddy farm boots and drop it off." This literally happens at Solfeggio, arguably adding immensely to the ambiance and atmosphere in the dining room.

Recently, Solfeggio had the chance to show off a bit by taking part in Cornucopia in Whistler where they hosted Farmer's Lunch Workshop for Nourish. As Kristi says, "it was a great way for us, as a young business, to get our name and our concept out there; to explain the importance of choosing organic food and to showcase the ingredients that we can source locally."

Add in Some {Organic} Passion

Kristi and Mark believe that food can and should heal and bring harmony to our bodies, just as the ancient Solfeggio scale has been said to do. The scale dates back to ancient Gregorian chants, and has a long and extremely interesting history and (in some ways) a mythology behind it. This lovely idea, of providing food that literally resonates in our bodies, making the diner a better person, healthier and more harmonious, is something Kristi is passionate about. Food that is healthy, yes, but beyond that, food that helps us thrive and heal ourselves.

Since Solfeggio is a restaurant that is conscious about the food that they serve, they make certain choices about what they offer. Serving raw foods is one of these choices.Though only a small part of the menu, the fact is that the way Solfeggio serves raw food is truly magnificent. A couple of the dishes they serve raw include a raw pizza and raw lasagna, which includes a kale walnut pesto, sunflower béchamel, layered zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes.  They also, as mentioned before, use only organic ingredients, which not only have huge health benefits, but it is a healthy choice for our environment too.  Along this same vein, they are conscious of their clients' different food needs, and make an effort to make sure and include allergy friendly and diet specific options for everyone. You can find gluten free, soy free, nut free, dairy free and GMO free food here.

And that mission to be conscious of their food choices flows into their ethics as well. The chicken they use is from Sweetwater Lane Poultry, locally and organically raised here in Pemberton.  Be the change.

Passion and purpose flows through the entire Solfeggio experience

Kristi's health and the health of the planet influence the values that permeate the food choices at Solfeggio. It is these same values that underlie each and every dish served there.

The food is based on the quality of ingredients first, and the meals are nutritionally well balanced. (What else can you expect from a holistic nutritionist/restaurateur?)  Food presentation is always important, but in the case of meals at Solfeggio, "the vibrant colours of organic food really speaks for itself."

But it's not just the food that is important. The entire experience at Solfeggio, well, resonates with the diners.  "I want people to feel good when they walk in, and fell even better when they walk out," Kristi says. The atmosphere is influenced by the land that the food comes from, almost as an homage to this place that hosts them. As Kristi says of the people who visit Solfeggio, who live in Pemberton: "The people in Pemberton are very genuine and real.  People are conscious about the environment and their own health. There are so many young families here, which give the town such a vibrant feel." That vibrancy also speaks to the town's love of nature, "an epic playground from ski touring to hiking to kayaking to mountain biking." Feeling better when you walk out. Indeed.

The rustic decor tells a nostalgic story, the music is uplifting and interesting, and the lighting soft and subtle. All of this comes together for an experience that's more than a bit special. An evening out. A date night. If you'd like to experience a virtual taste of Solfeggio, their Facebook page is happening. If you're in town and would like to visit them in person, they are open Mon - Sat: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm and are located at 7433 Frontier Street. In Pemberton, of course.

Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013

Whistler Alternative

When visiting Whistler, consider staying at Pemberton Valley Lodge. We offer several advantages over Whistler hotels…

 1  Only 20 minutes

You can get to the Village faster from our Lodge than you can from some parts of Whistler Resort.

 2  Save money

Whistler hotels typically charge for parking. We don't. And you get bigger rooms for your dollar.

 3  Great Perks

Get complimentary super fast WiFi, complimentary bike rentals, and optional keyless room entry!

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