The foundation of our firm was built on the work of our co-founder Ted’s solo consulting service. He had been providing meaningful, hands on advising services to small businesses across a number of sectors since 2009. When Jen and Ted met and began working together, they developed and launched Kitchen Table Consultants to serve the needs of the food and farming community. KTC is a collective of entrepreneurs passionate about local food systems and small businesses. We know firsthand what it is like to be kept up a night trying to solve a problem, save a business, stay afloat. We are guided by the core principle of adding more value to our client’s organization than we cost, it’s that simple. This is what drives us. The KTC team is dedicated to our clients, we take our work very seriously, and know that people place their trust in us and see our work as an investment in their future. That’s what keeps us up at night. But we also don’t take ourselves too seriously, and a part of the joy we take in our work is the relationships we build with clients around their kitchen table, and the well deserved laughter and camaraderie we share after a hard days work.
Co-founder & Principal
Ted LeBow is a serial entrepreneur. His first business venture (in 1980) was a farm in Idaho where he bought his first tractor, signed his first loan with the Production Credit Association and started waking up in the middle of the night worrying about the rain ruining his hay crop.
He graduated in 1989 from Cornell University School of Agriculture with a Business Management Degree. He’s run eleven small businesses, six of which he owned all or part of. Since 2008, he’s grown two small business management consulting firms. As of 2017, JRI Consulting and Kitchen Table Consultants have served over 200 small businesses. Ted is currently focused on building Kitchen Table Consultants (which he co-founded)—a practice that serves sustainable food and farm related companies. He and his team are an Entrepreneur’s Best Nightmare.
Ted’s two passions are financial sustainability and growing entrepreneurs and their teams. He is driven to help entrepreneurs to understand HOW they make a profit, not how much profit they make. He has worked with hundreds of small business owners, all over the country, creating and helping them execute against their financial goals. He regularly presents seminars around cash flow, profitability and how to know if you’re profitable. Ted was the Interim Executive Director for The Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture, a non-profit focused on promoting profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment, has sat on multiple non-profit Boards of Directors, and has helped entrepreneurs and non-profits raise over $60 million in debt, equity, and donations.
He has lived in Bala Cynwyd, just west of Philadelphia, since 1997. In his spare time he shares a fleet of 1950’s era tractors and equipment with Philadelphia urban farms, cuts and mills his own lumber for live-edge furniture, fly fishes, builds bamboo fly rods, and participates along with his wife (as much as possible) in the lives of his three daughters (18, 22, 24).
Co-founder & Principal
Jennifer’s passion for local food and farms began in 1998 with work on a small farm on the craggy coast of Inismore, Ireland. There, farmers grew astonishingly beautiful vegetables, celebrated by the community, in soil made by the hands of settlers, from sand and seaweed dragged from the ocean’s edge. She was hooked. Jennifer brought her new-found passion for hand-grown food back to the Philadelphia area and became The Fair Food Farmstand’s first volunteer.
Jennifer’s expertise in sustainable food developed during 15+ years of hands-on experience on farms and in dynamic retail operations. Her farming career began at the 138 acre Willow Creek Orchards, Montgomery County’s first certified organic farm, as the General Manager of the on-farm market, pick-your-own operation and community engagement.
She then moved on to lead the launch of Terrain at Styers as General Manager. She oversaw the 10-acre plant nursery, home store and award-winning farm-to-table restaurant. She also created innovative public programs and spearheaded the development of their workshops and special events, wedding/catering program and farmers’ market.
In 2010, she stepped into the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer for Greener Partners, and lead the non-profit farm-based organization in a time of tremendous growth. Under her leadership, Greener Partners was awarded the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for the successful revitalization of 130-acre Longview Center for Agriculture as a thriving farm, local food market and hub.
At Kitchen Table Consultants, Jennifer guides our marketing, branding and businesses development strategies. Her client work focuses on on-farm market development, branding, marketing and sales, operations and interim leadership. She has also acted as team leader for KTC’s Special Projects, such as the nationally recognized Philly Farm & Food Fest.
Jennifer and her husband Eric love living in the woods along the banks of the Delaware River in Upper Bucks County, PA, and get to Vermont as often as they can. They can often be found on the water, canoeing down river, or fly fishing the trout streams of the Northeast. Every year she picks more berries and tree fruit than anyone could ever make good use of (that’s where the big freezer comes in), and her favorite crop to grow is garlic.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Rebecca joined forces with KTC in 2014 after making multiple connections with the organization during annual PASA conferences. It was a natural fit as we remained connected through our passion for work in farm viability – helping farms, locally focused food businesses, and nonprofits stay in business and thrive.
Prior to consulting with KTC, Rebecca has been a business owner and a marketing and management professional. She specializes in working with established start-ups in their first or second growth phase, but also enjoys working with nonprofits and more mature businesses.
Her pre-KTC work history highlights include serving as the General Manager of Greensgrow Farms, a nationally recognized, sustainable urban farm and nonprofit, which entailed management of the overall organizational budget and operations including a farm market, garden center, 800 member CSA, low income food access programs, mobile markets, and a community kitchen incubator. Rebecca was also the Marketing & E-Commerce Manager for Philadelphia’s top specialty food retailer and 75 year old brand icon, Di Bruno Bros.; with multiple retail stores, an online store and warehouse facility, catering company, distributor, and café. During that time, she did volunteer marketing and events work with PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture), Fair Food, Chester County Cheese Artisans, and Hazon’s Philadelphia chapter. Rebecca has also served as adjunct faculty with Temple University’s MBA program in the strategic marketing course.
As a former business owner, Rebecca can relate to the pressures of finding time to work ON your business (instead of IN it). She and her husband, Ben, owned and operated Frimmer Family Farms, a hydroponic greens production micro farm in Roxborough, PA from 2012-2014 until closing down to consult full time while her husband pursued his graduate degree. Prior to her career in food, Rebecca was a partner in an event planning and production business from 1997-2002 based in State College, PA.
Rebecca’s practice in business planning, financial analysis, marketing execution plans, sales coaching, and operations management touches on nonprofit and for profit organizations, urban farming, pastured livestock operations, veggie farms, retail stores, CSA, direct marketed farm products, artisan food product manufacturing businesses, E-commerce, event production, and feasibility studies related to potential outcomes for farms or regional food systems planning. She is honored to have been able to share her methods and techniques via presentations at various conferences including PASA Farming for the Future, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, PA Women’s Agricultural Network Symposium, The Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference, and the PA Farmer’s Market Conference.
Rebecca holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development from George Washington University, and an undergraduate degree in Marketing from Penn State University.
In October of 2016, she and her family relocated to San Diego and opened up the KTC West office. When she’s not consulting, Rebecca enjoys playing guitar, hiking, surfing, pruning tomatoes, identifying bugs, and playing with her 1 year old son and 2 cats in the family’s homestead veggie garden.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Ann Karlen co-founded Fair Food Philly to build a sustainable and humane local food economy for the Philadelphia region. Ann was Fair Food’s Executive Director from 2000 – 2017 during which time she opened the Fair Food Farmstand, Philadelphia’s first all-local retail grocery store, in the Reading Terminal Market; launched Philly Farm and Food Fest, the region’s largest one-day food and farming festival; and made hundreds of meaningful business connections between farmers, food producers, chefs, retailers, institutions, and distributors.
From 2010-2016, she served on Philadelphia’s Food Policy Advisory Council. Currently, Ann is Faculty Director of the Food Hub Management Certificate Program at the University of Vermont, along with being an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Kitchen Table Consultants.
Special Projects Manager
Eric has spent his whole life learning how things work. From his college days learning about how the body works in his anatomy and physiology classes, to years spent in the treetops tending and caring for the health of trees, learning which limb to cut, which trim to make. Eric then began a 10+ year career as a bicycle mechanic and ski tuning wiz, tuning for first timers and competitive skiers, and building bikes from kids with training wheels to cyclists in the Race across America. Eric is an avid fly fisherman, occasional Appalachian Trail hiker, devout grass fed beef lover, bread baker and makes a mean enchilada. He and Jen live with Kassie and their flock of laying hens on 7 acres in Worcester, PA.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Noah’s passion for food-based entrepreneurship started in 2006 when he co-founded The Mill Fudge Factory and Ice Cream Café in Bristol, New Hampshire. As general manager, he led the business to profitability and grew the business from 0 to 15 employees. This experience made him appreciate the satisfaction and challenge of transforming ideas into profitable enterprises.
His enthusiasm for the entrepreneurial process led Noah to complete his MBA at Babson College (magna cum laude) in 2014, a program that has been ranked by US News and World Report as the #1 MBA program for entrepreneurship for 24 consecutive years. This program provided him with a robust set of management and financial skills, which, when combined with his decade of small business experience, gives him a valuable perspective on what it takes to start and grow a small business in the food industry.
Over the last few years, Noah has worked collaboratively with dozens of business owners, farmers, and retailers to help them grow their businesses and achieve profitability. Noah has also worked with economic development groups to help with feasibility studies, opportunity assessments, and regional economic development strategy. He specializes in small business strategy, financial management, market research, eCommerce, and digital marketing.
Noah also holds a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Policy from Green Mountain College, worked for five years as a Digital Marketing consultant for the Newfound Lake Region Association, and is Inbound Certified by the Hubspot Academy, a highly reputable digital marketing training organization.
He has circumnavigated South America on a tall ship, lived in India for 8 months where he volunteered on several organic farms, and currently lives on the seacoast of New Hampshire with his wife where he spends his free time traveling, cooking, boating, hiking, and camping.
Rachel deVitry started working on organic vegetable farms after college as an experiment to learn the hands-on side of sustainable agriculture. A native of Lancaster County, PA, she was looking for practical experience to back up her opinions about sustainability and local food. If she hated farming, she figured, it would drive her to graduate school; win-win all around. To her great surprise she fell in love with growing vegetables and has been doing it ever since.
Since 2006, Rachel has grown organic vegetables on farms both large and small throughout the state of Pennsylvania, utilizing mechanized and non-mechanized methods, intensive planting, and year-round growing techniques. This experience has been put to use managing her own small farm, Ornery Ladybug Farm, LLC., and overseeing two urban farms for Urban Tree Connection, based in Philadelphia, PA. Rachel is also a founding board member of Lancaster East Side Market, LLC., a producer-only market serving as a community gathering space and small business incubator. Throughout her farm experience Rachel realized how helpful thorough planning and accurate records can be, and how little time farmers can devote to them. She brought her affection for spreadsheets to her farming commitments, taking on planning, reporting, budgeting, and bookkeeping tasks wherever help was needed.
Business Development + Special Events Director
Elaine has an unreasonable addiction to soil. She fed her addiction for the past 15 years by growing organic produce as a fourth generation farmer on her family’s land.
After years of serving hundreds of CSA customers, restaurants, grocers, and farmers’ markets, Elaine has not only developed skills as a dynamic business owner, but also a deep understanding of the daily challenges farmers face in trying to keep a family’s farm economically sustainable. As the owner and operator of Everblossom Farm, she carried, nursed, and nurtured two children while weeding, watering, planning, stressing about, and celebrating her farm business.
Elaine’s desire to farm began with a goal to do what she loved and was quickly elevated to the purpose of educating her community on why to care about what you eat. She has joined the team at Kitchen Table Consultants with hope and excitement for helping KTC in strengthening local farm and food businesses, so that these businesses – your business – can create statewide, contagious consumer awareness.
Jessica Moore founded Philly CowShare in 2010 after 6 years of organizing her friends to share a purchase of a locally-raised, grass-fed steer. Her family of five eats a Quarter CowShare a year. Each time she needed to restock her freezer, she put the call out “Who wants in on a cow?” The interest was overwhelming so Jessica started Philly CowShare to help other people buy cows from local farmers and experience the pleasure of sharing food with your community. Prior to buying cattle and selling beef, Jessica created a new web-based video product line, Xfinity TV Online, for Comcast. She has a bachelor degree in Computer Science from DePauw University, a masters of science degree in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and–much to her mom’s dismay–is a Ph.D. drop-out from the same school. Isn’t that just standard behavior for entrepreneurial-minded folks?
Both sides of Jennifer’s family are deeply rooted in agriculture and have made significant contributions to farming and cattle in WV and beyond. Family Beef and Dairy operations provided her adolescent education and inspired what she has followed her entire life. From the back of a horse, she has studied and worked on ranches in North and South America, Europe learning about land, grazing, cattle, meat and the culture of that life. This helped develop her understanding of genetic origin, forages, unique qualities and a great zeal for cultural food influences. An education dotted in forestry, geology, pre-veterinary, bovine and equine reproduction, theology, marketing and training as a wilderness guide, she found her heartfelt commitment high on a Utah mountain. She came home and has passed that education forward by supporting and re-developing farming, food and cultural economy “to my people of the Appalachia”.
Jennifer owns and manages Swift Level Farm, Swift Level Land and Cattle, Swift Level Fine Meats, her operating businesses. She is absolutely committed and passionate in her efforts to regenerate fertile soil, lush and abundant forages and to produce healthy, fat steers that finish “all grass”, which she markets by the cut and carcass in many restaurants, markets and homes. Jennifer has been breeding horses for over 40 years, two of which have joined Olympic 3 Day Event teams! She operates Swift Level with her two children, Rece and Everett, both very involved in beef sales, running the diverse seasonal event schedule, farm dinners and tours, educational programs and many fundraising events supporting the local community. “I couldn’t do this with-out them!” And there is a new generation, a beautiful grand-daughter, making for 5 generations on Swift Level land.
Jennifer lives by the philosophy that “A society grows when it’s people plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.”
Swift Level was awarded the Greenbrier District Conservation Farm for 2014 and runner-up 2014 WV State Conservation Farm of the Year.
A proud daughter of Pennsylvania, Catherine hails from Pittsburgh and has made her home in Philadelphia. Throughout her career, she has focused on economic development ranging from the creation of a community owned grocery store in South Philly, securing funding for and managing strategic neighborhood investments for two universities, to traveling the Commonwealth and advising U.S. Senator Bob Casey on statewide initiatives that protect and create jobs.
While in the Senate, Catherine focused on budget, appropriations, economic development, transportation, and small business issues and wrote and helped to enact legislation to promote equity in government contracting. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Villanova University and a M.A. in International Relations from Dublin City University and has pursued continuing education in Culinary Arts and Hospitality from Drexel University.
Catherine first fell in love with food and farming during stints abroad in Italy and Ireland, where she had a cow named Magnus that enjoyed the view of the Irish Sea. She loves to cook, write, and explore Pennsylvania’s abundant state park system.
“Farming is a profession of hope”
– Brian Brett