Meg Barnhart, The Zen of Slow Cooking
As a busy mom who loved her slow cooker but found the meals to lack, well, flavor, Meg Barnhart founded a company that makes sophisticated spice mixes crafted for the slow cooker. The blends—like Indian dal and Moroccan tagine—are in Whole Foods, and Barnhart just launched meal kits with Peapod. “It’s all real food,” she says of the meal kits. “And we’re pitching them new ideas for the fall.” As for taste, the new Sichuan blend just won a Sofi award, which is a big deal in the food world. And for mission, ZSC uses Planet Access Company, which employs adults with developmental challenges to package the spice blends.
Ellen King, Hewn
As head baker and co-owner of Hewn Bakery in Evanston, Ellen King has explored all things baking—from natural and slow fermentation to searching for ancient (and delicious) strains of wheat. “Three years ago, I met Andy Hazzard (hazzardfreefarm.com) and bought some grain from her,” King says, describing the beginning of a collaboration that led to finding seeds for the near-extinct Marquis wheat and, over the last three years, growing enough to resurrect the heritage grain, which King says has great baking properties and taste. The first year, they handharvested the grain with scissors, but this fall, they’re hoping to harvest 3,000 pounds—enough for lucky bread eaters to start enjoying the fruit of this labor of love.