Coon Rock Farm team purchases Bella Bean Organics
Farmer Grown, Farmer Owned: From Our Farm to Your Table
[May 16, 2012, Hillsborough, NC –] Farmers and Food Entrepreneurs Richard Holcomb and Jamie DeMent, announced today that they have purchased Bella Bean Organics. Holcomb and DeMent are part of the founding team behind other successful area food businesses including Coon Rock Farm in Hillsborough, Zely & Ritz Restaurant in Raleigh and Piedmont Restaurant in Durham.
Bella Bean Organics is the area’s premiere online farmer’s market and home delivery service specializing in locally grown, sustainable and organic produce, meats, eggs and artisan specialty foods.
Richard Holcomb, of Coon Rock Farm, announced the news today saying, “Purchasing Bella Bean was a natural step for us. Bella Bean has been carrying our produce, meats, and eggs for over three years so we know them well and the fastest growing part of Coon Rock Farm’s business is our own recently introduced home delivery service. By purchasing Bella Bean we are able to take advantage of all the expertise they have developed in home delivery of food rather than reinvent the process on our own.”
Holcomb and DeMent plan to expand the geographic delivery footprint for Bella Bean and expand its product offerings. DeMent said, “As local sustainable farmers, we strive to grow as much as possible on the farm for ourselves and for our customers. But we can’t grow everything, so many products like dairy, spices, fish, coffee, and grains we purchase from other local vendors. We have invested years in finding sustainable sources that we trust and we plan to make these same trusted items available through Bella Bean so that health and food conscious consumers in the Triangle-area can have a complete selection of sustainable, organic food delivered fresh to their door.”
DeMent followed up saying, “Home Delivery services have become the fastest growing segment of the local, organic food movement. With our purchase of Bella Bean, we will become the only local home delivery service directly owned by farmers. Our new slogan sums it up perfectly: ‘Farmer Grown, Farmer Owned: From Our Farm to Your Table.’”
Bella Bean Organics, founded by Sarah Houghton in Durham, NC, has operated for over three years and serves hundreds of homes in the Triangle area.
Coon Rock Farm (1021 Dimmocks Mill Road, Hillsborough, NC; www.coonrockfarm.com) began in 2005 as a sustainable family farm providing garden crops and pasture-raised antibiotic and hormone-free chicken, eggs, pigs, lamb and goats. The farm’s 55 acres is nestled along a bend in the Eno River just outside Hillsborough, NC. The farm concentrates on “sustainably taking care of the land while letting it take care of us.” The soil is fertilized by the animals through intense rotational grazing, cover cropping, and composting. No chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides are used. Already a fixture in local kitchens, Coon Rock Farm produce, meat and eggs are known throughout the Triangle thanks to its’ participation in area farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs.
Jamie DeMent was raised in Eastern North Carolina. As she saw family farms disappearing and industrialized farming taking over, she began to search for ways to revive the simplicity of eating healthy, locally grown food. In 2001 she completed her degree in Southern History and African American Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. During her career there she was the Special Projects Chair for the Class of 2001 and the Campaign Advisor for UNC’s Government Elections. Following graduation, she worked in Washington DC at the Capitol as a Legislative Aid for Representative Brad Miller. In 2004 she began work as Director of Special Projects for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences as the liaison to State and Federal governments and worked on fundraising for the Nature Research Center. DeMent left the Museum to work with Richard Holcomb at Coon Rock Farm. Today her days are spent planting, harvesting and selling products from her farm.
Richard Holcomb received a B.S. from the University of South Carolina and an M.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University. He helped start several technology companies including StrikeIron, GadgetSpace, HAHT Commerce and Q+E Software. Richard is an active venture investor and has served on the corporate boards of several public and private technology companies. He has served on several public advisory boards including the NCSU Graduate School Board of Advisors, the North Carolina Electronics and Information Technology Association, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, NCSU Engineering Entrepreneur’s Program Advisory Board, and is a former appointed member of the North Carolina Information Resource Management Commission. During his career, he has won several awards including the 1993 Ernst and Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year for North Carolina and the 1996 Business Leader Top Gun Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2004 Richard purchased Coon Rock Farm in Hillsborough and since then has partnered with Sarig and Nancy Agasi, Jamie DeMent and Marco Shaw to open Zely & Ritz restaurant in Raleigh and Piedmont restaurant in Durham.