By Loren Lindler
The farm-to-table initiative has become a seemingly popular movement for many rural Georgians, especially over the last few years. As many Georgians try to source local produce and meats, it may seem like an easy task, but for those in non-rural areas, it hasn't always been that easy until H.E.R.O. came into play.
In an effort to connect the farms to the table, H.E.R.O. (Healing the Environment Regenerating Ourselves) eCooperative was created to bring Georgia farmers and Atlanta restaurants together. Founded in 2019 by two small business owners, Tom Fernandes and Alex Sher, are making that farm-to-table movement a reality.
H.E.R.O. prides itself on providing sustainably raised beef, pork, and chicken. Through their regenerative and organic farming practices, they are able to provide customers across the southeast with meats produced with the environment in mind. Though their business is stationed in Atlanta, they have farms in Wrightsville and Dublin to supply their customers in Georgia and surrounding states.
In addition to connecting the farmer to the table, their team is also working on building the connection between rural Georgia and non-rural areas.
As Fernandes came to Georgia from New York, he quickly realized working in the agricultural industry was very different than life in the big city. But, he and some of his colleagues decided they wanted to own hard assets, and they saw a great opportunity in rural Georgia. Over the last decade, Fernandes has been building a cattle and grazing business, while Sher was taking that beef to sell at restaurants in Atlanta. As their business grew, they created H.E.R.O. to keep up with the high demand. Through their regenerative efforts, they found a market to provide their customers with those sustainably raised meats while connecting the links in the supply chain.
As the business has grown and the team has spent more time in rural Georgia, they have quickly realized the opportunity and draw to living in rural Georgia.
"If you haven't been down here to middle Georgia in the springtime, it really is like heaven on Earth. The other thing is that southern hospitality and chivalry is still alive here in the south, and that's something I really enjoy," said Fernandes.
To learn more about H.E.R.O., check out their website.