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 eight small businesses, five of which he owned all or part of. Since 2008, he’s grown two small business management consulting firms. As of 2015 JRI Consulting and Kitchen Table Consultants have served over 150 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 Entrepreneurs Best Nightmare.
Ted’s passion is financial sustainability. 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. He is also a board member of Lundale Farm, a 400 acre Chester County Non-Profit Farm Oasis whose mission is to connect aspiring farmers with land and Vice-Chair of The Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture another non-profit focused on promoting profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment.
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 and participates along with his wife (as much as possible) in the lives of his three daughters (17, 20, 22).
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 madeby 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 10+ 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.
Jennifer currently serves as Vice chairperson of the PA WAgN Steering Committee and Board Member of AgConnect.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Rebecca entered the world of food and farming as a conscious choice 5 years ago. After 10+ years of professional marketing and operations management experience, while owning 4 small businesses myself, and earning an MBA in small business development at George Washington University, she was seeking the industry where she could dedicate her life’s work with no regrets. With a passion for food, applying her MBA skills to farming businesses just clicked.
Growing up in a family business taught her early lessons about the struggles of being a business owner, and the isolation in heavy decision-making that comes along with that responsibility. Working as a General Manager for small companies honed her skills, as she served as a de facto Marketing Director, COO, Growth Strategist, Financial Analyst, Project Manager, and HR Department all-in-one. There is no doubt that she has experience getting her hands dirty and growing businesses – achieving year-over-year top line revenue growth of 250% in the food & beverage industry, and 60% in e-Commerce.
In 1997, Rebecca became a managing partner of her first business; Event Planning & Promotions company Millennium 3 Corp based in State College, PA. Making the transition to local food in 2009, she had the opportunity to lead the E-Commerce website launch at Di Bruno Bros. and as Marketing Manager, oversee strategy for a 70+ year-old brand legacy, dibruno.com, 4 retail locations, a catering division, café, and a wholesale-importing division. While learning about the world of cheese from the experts, she realized that local food – specifically farms and artisans – was where her passion was, and turned focus to work in the local food industry.
Most recently she has spent 2 years serving as the General Manager of Greensgrow Farms, managing finance, marketing and operations for a non-profit organization that has trail-blazed urban farming and sustainability. Greensgrow juggles 14 programs that range from a 1000 member multi-farm CSA that sources produce and proteins from over 75 local farms, a farm stand, garden center, workshop, events destination, and so much more.
In addition to consulting, she serves as an adjunct professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. She works with a team of teachers to lead student teams in the MBA program during their Executive Marketing Course, which is a real world consulting platform in which students work for local clients. She also volunteers as an entrepreneurship coach with Tribe 12, a fellowship program for budding young business/non-profit owners, and volunteer with Penn State Master Gardeners, most recently as an orchard liaison for Philadelphia Orchard Project. She also belongs to AlmaLinks, an international peer review organization for exceptional entrepreneurs, finance professionals, and venture capitalists, and is a member of PASA.
Today, alongside her position as entrepreneur-in-residence, she and her husband operate Frimmer Family Farms, LLC, a company that makes prepared foods and beverages for a balanced life that combines wellness and enjoyment, with a specialty line of Kombucha drinks. In her free time you’ll find her bonding with nature – backpacking PA’s state forests or surfing Jersey’s shores in the summer, skiing in the winter, or enjoying domestic life –cooking up her CSA share, practicing yoga, or playing games with their 2 kittens (Rex and Thor), and of course tending to an intensive vertically farmed backyard veggie garden that contributes produce to Frimmer Family Farms.
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.
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.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Noah’s passion for food entrepreneurship started in 2006 when he co-founded The Mill Fudge Factory and Ice Cream Café in Bristol, New Hampshire. As general manager and CFO (Chief Fudge Officer), he grew the business from 0 to 15 employees and fell in love with the process of transforming a simple idea into a profitable enterprise.
This 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 22 consecutive years. This program provided him with a robust set of qualitative and quantitative skills, which, when combined with his real-world small business experience, gives him with unique perspective on building a small business in the food industry.
With the development of a capable staff team to manage his fudge business, Noah turned his attention towards working with specialty food and small farm businesses to help them overcome challenges and grow their businesses. He specializes in e-commerce, digital marketing, market research, staffing, financial management, and business strategy.
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.
Noah circumnavigated South America on a tall ship at 17 years of age, and lived in India for 8 months where he volunteered on several organic farms. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, cooking, canoeing, hiking, camping, and spending time with friends and family on Newfound Lake in New Hampshire.
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.
Julie Hurst is co-owner/co-farmer of Blue Rooster Farm LLC, a pasture-based livestock farm in southcentral Pennsylvania. Julie and her husband, Roy Brubaker, moved to Blue Rooster Farm in 1998. They began direct marketing grassfed lamb and beef in the early 2000’s and added free-range Berkshire pork in 2009. Julie focuses on marketing meat and establishing partnerships with farmers, customers, and processors. She spends plenty of time in the office punching numbers into Quickbooks or updating the farm’s website and she feeds pigs, moves fence, pulls lambs and calves if necessary, raises the bacon and fries it up in a pan.
Julie spent many summer days as a child on her cousin’s dairy farm and evenings in her father’s large vegetable garden. Agriculture was ubiquitous in her Lancaster County community, yet she never imagined herself as a farmer. Julie’s undergraduate degree is in history and secondary education and her master’s degree is in American studies, yet she has found the variety, creativity, and outdoor physical work of running a farm business suits her. Julie’s enthusiasm for agriculture is rooted in belief that clean water, healthy soil, biodiversity and productive, economically-viable agriculture are not mutually exclusive. She first encountered Kitchen Table Consultants as a client when Blue Rooster Farm LLC hired them to analyze their business model. Working with KTC proved very helpful and when the opportunity to provide other farmer’s and small business owners with a similar service, Julie was eager to join the team.
Julie is a lifetime member of Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture and served as the South Central Regional Coordinator from 2005 to 2008. She served on Pennsylvania Certified Organic’s (PCO) Advisory Board from 2010 – 2015, where she chaired the inaugural governance committee and served as board secretary. Blue Rooster Farm has hosted multiple on-farm field days and educational tours as well as participated several research projects through Penn State and Tufts University. She has found the intersection of agriculture and education an especially energizing place to be.
“Farming is a profession of hope”
– Brian Brett