Heeman's: A Community Hub

Friday, September 8, 2017

Heeman’s is a family owned and operated farm, filled with berries, flowers and smiling faces. What started as a small strawberry stand quickly grew into a thriving agribusiness that owes much of its success to the support of the community. At Heeman’s you can easily see the care and love that goes into their work.  When you step onto the property you will most likely be greeted by a member of the family, or if you’re lucky by their dog! 

As one of our amazing sponsors, Heeman’s has made great contributions to our work at Growing Chefs! and to the community as a whole. They regularly host charity BBQs, donate to school breakfast programs and help with community and pollinator gardens.  The family also donates much of its produce to those in need. This strawberry season at the Heeman’s farm was the best in the last decade and they were quick to share their bounty with the community. Since the start of the strawberry season The London Food bank has been receiving fresh berries daily. Over 12000 lbs of strawberries this year! Heeman’s helps to supplement the food bank’s stock of non-perishable items with fresh and nutritious fruit. Their good-will isn’t limited to London either, it extends into Ingersoll, St Thomas and other surrounding areas. Will Heeman, Chief Daymaker at Heeman’s, describes their relationship with the community as symbiotic; “people ask, and we do.” Heeman’s aims to use food to collaborate and bring together local partners. “Shaking the hand that feeds you” is the community first approach they take at Heeman’s.

The partnership with Growing Chefs! aligns perfectly with the Heeman family beliefs. Food education and local youth endeavours are causes that are important to Heeman’s. They believe food education is missing from traditional school curriculum and want to see a change. By supporting Growing Chefs! they are helping to bridge the gap in a child’s education. Having Heeman’s as a sponsor has allowed Growing Chefs! to reach more students in the School Food Education Project. Their donation was used to purchase valuable resources and tools that encourages children to learn about healthy eating and get excited about it.

Undoubtedly, Heeman’s is a fixture in the London community and will continue to be. Heeman’s is a farm, a family, community supporter, a cafe, a greenhouse and so much more. They see the farm becoming a community hub, a role it has organically been filling. They understand that a community is strengthened by goodwill and cooperative actions. Most recently the family has been teaming up with local restaurants, food trucks and even a brewery . At Heeman’s, it is all about collaboration,“you don’t have to do it all yourself, but you can work with others to create epic things” as Will Heeman would say. Growing Chefs! Is pleased and proud to have Heeman’s as a sponsor so that we can continue to create epic things!

Article written by Sharlaine Murga and Lena Gahwi
Photos by Phoebe Say



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