The firehouse will become a cafe and catering headquarters for Farm to Fork. | File Photo

Catering company Farm to Fork is picking up stakes on Warnock Street and planting itself in the Portland neighborhood.

Farm to Fork will move its catering operations into a former firehouse at 2425 Portland Ave., owner Sherry Hurley announced. It also will open its first cafe there.

The firehouse was originally going to be renovated for Hillbilly Tea, but owner Karter Louis got out of the restaurant business.

Hurley told Insider Louisville that she decided to move the farm-to-table catering company because the building is double the size of her current space, which will allow her to continue to expand.

“We’ve had a lot of growth in the last year, and we are really just bursting at the seams,” Hurley said.

It also will let Farm to Fork contribute to the Portland neighborhood revitalization efforts.

“I wanted to be part of a community,” Hurley said. And “I was intrigued by the things going on in Portland.”

Hurley pointed to efforts to make Portland an artist enclave and to the number of women doing great things in Portland, including Karyn Moskowitz of New Roots, Jessica Pendergrass of Louisville Grows, Colleen Clines of Anchal Project and Laura Rountree, chef at The Table.

“I haven’t been this excited in a while,” Hurley said.

Moskowitz said she and those who participate in New Root’s Fresh Stop Markets are “ecstatic” that Farm to Fork is moving into the neighborhood as the business has been supportive of the local food justice movement.

“Farm to Fork has been supportive of this movement since it’s inception and we can’t wait to see what’s next. Oh, and we can’t wait to eat some of Sherry’s famous local dishes,” Moskowitz said in an email.
Hurley has signed a five-year lease but hopes to buy the building outright before it’s up.

Farm to Fork is moving its offices into the Anchor Building at 2509 Portland Ave. next week, and next month, its catering kitchen will open in a 3,000-square-foot space in the former firehouse. The cafe is expected to open several months later, Hurley said, likely in August.

As part of the move, Hurley will add four employees to her current seven-person staff and plans to hire more people when the cafe opens. Hurley said she is committed to hiring people from the surrounding neighborhood.

Farm to Fork is known for its Southern favorites made from scratch and from regionally sourced ingredients.

Sherry Hurley | Courtesy of Farm to Fork

The cafe will serve breakfast and lunch. The menu is still in the works but likely will include grits, biscuits, soup, salads and sandwiches, Hurley said.

Customers will be able to sit down at the cafe or grab something to go.

Because Portland is a blue-collar neighborhood, “we want to be really cognizant of keeping the price point accessible,” Hurley said, adding that while she wants to keep prices low, the price point still may not work for everyone.

Louisville-based Shine Contracting is renovating the building for Farm to Fork. Workers will replace the existing garage doors with modern eco-friendly garage doors, and reclaimed wood and antique doors will serve as cafe decor.

The firehouse already has been gutted. Further renovations will cost an estimated $150,000, Hurley said.

Farm to Fork also plans to host events at the firehouse throughout the year, such as movie screenings, bourbon pairing dinners and fundraisers.

“It is our goal both to serve our neighbors in Portland and to show off our neighborhood to visitors from other parts of Louisville,” Hurley said.