The SHED only recently opened in the early spring of 2013, but it has already made its mark in the restaurant-infused town of Healdsburg. One part cafe, one part market, one part gardening shop, SHED is a novel idea in the realm of ‘farm to table’ concepts. It is a spacious glass structure with massive garage doors at the front of the building, kept open throughout the day to demonstrate a natural fusion between nature and food, producers and consumers, gardeners and tools.
Their small menu changes daily based on what is available at local farms, thus it is guaranteed to be fresh and thoughtfully crafted. Shoppers, grazers, and diners alike can stand next to the chefs as they prep ingredients and shovel handmade pizzas into the oven. Once seated in a shady spot on the side patio, I opted for the salmon tartare salad, a perfectly proportioned, perfectly pink helping of the area’s freshest salmon. The large tossed salad is a favorite with its just-picked mixed greens and local, seasonal vegetables, like the crisp radishes seen in the photo below.
Obviously the area is a gourmet connoisseur’s mecca, and Healdsburg itself has over 50 restaurants within 3.78 square miles. SHED is unlike any other, as it is not a sit down restaurant, and it does not feel as awash with tourists as the rest of the square. The staff is young and helpful, and seeing young faces eager to learn about local produce and healthful, sustainable habits is surely a positive sign for generations to come. A self-professed community of learning, the cafe and shop hosts a variety of events and talks dedicated to educating its neighbors on gardening, farming, and sustainable living. SHED is a cheerful, airy space that reminds people how special the small treasures of nature can be if we would only stop to appreciate them more often.