Jonathan Willis partners with local farms to source as many ingredients as possible for his first restaurant, Farm Fresh Fast, who’s food will be featured at the event. | photo by Will Crooks

A new children’s farm-to-table restaurant, Seedlings, will open early next year on the ground floor of The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (TCMU) at 300 College St.

Restaurant owner and entrepreneur Jonathan Willis, who opened Farm Fresh Fast in Greenville earlier this year, is collaborating with TCMU on Seedlings.

image provided by Farm Fresh Fast

“Working with farmers in the Upstate and with the community to support them through Farm Fresh Fast has been extremely rewarding,” Willis said. “Families love TCMU, and creating a restaurant with educational aspects of local food and farmers is more than a dream come true.”

The new restaurant will follow the interactive and engaging nature of the children’s museum, letting children pick out what they want to eat from available stations, which include information about where the food came from and how it was made, plus a station for parents to help their children scan and pay for their items.

“We wanted to create something new and innovative that teaches children more about local farms and food, and there was no one better to partner with than Jonathan at Farm Fresh Fast,” said Nancy Halverson, president and CEO of TCMU. “With our background as educators of children and his relationships with area farmers, partnering together was a natural fit.”

Seedlings will also host kids cooking classes and demonstrations featuring local farmers as well as an outdoor gardening space.

“Greenville has been making a big name for itself in recent years in the food industry, and Seedlings will add to that recognition, with the even bigger prize of advocating for local farmers and educating families on the vast diversity of healthy food options available,” Willis said. 

The concept for Farm Fresh Fast, which grew out of Willis’ Elev8 Next Level Nutrition meal delivery service, was inspired by his passion for health and fitness with a goal to help nurture and grow a more health-focused community. To help accomplish that, Farm Fresh Fast provides quick meals made with locally sourced grass-fed beef, pastured eggs, and heirloom pork, for instance, to consumers at an affordable cost.

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