Farm to Table

January 20, 2014 4:15 pm Published by

JBFC’s campus restaurant, Papa’s, was already breaking molds by being one of the only non-profit restaurants in our community. Now, we’re stepping into brand new territory.

For several weeks, Papa’s has been 90% farm-to-table, making it stand out, in yet another way, from other Mwanza restaurants! Our restaurant now features all fresh food straight from our 35-acre farm.

With our farm production booming, I thought it was time to make some changes. While we were able

to provide for much of the produce needed for our previous menu, its rigid nature made it hard to be flexible, when we were out of a certain type of fruit, vegetable, or meat. So, we decided to start shaking things up. Now, every Friday a new menu appears, featuring unique menu items whose produce and meat is from our farm only- not from the grocery store or local market! Not only does this reduce the amount of shopping we have to do for Papa’s, but the new menu has been met with incredible praise from the Mwanza community.

The menu now features a three-course meal, where customers pay one price and receive their choice between two starters, three main dishes (with their choice of sides) and a dessert. Recently, the menu looks something like this…

Starters: Mini Pizzas
Baba Ghanoush

Slow Roasted Lamb
Papaya and Passion Roasted Chicken Breast
Pesto Pasta with Grilled Eggplant

Basil Chips
Fried Okra
Roasted Eggplant in Peanut Sauce

Passion Tart

*Build Your Own Pizza Menu Available. 

Last summer, JBFC volunteers and our residential girls planted dozens of passion fruit vines. Those vines are now bursting with fruit and we’ve turned that into our new featured dessert – a passion tart.

Our signature pizzas are still on the grill, but now, you have to build your own, choosing only the toppings available from our garden that week. As for the steaks, grilled chicken, and other dishes, those are only on the menu when there is enough from our farm to go around! However, the

Burgundy Beef Stew has been a huge success and much preferred by customers over the steak so far.  

It is the little things like this that are allowing JBFC to inch closer and closer to its goal of self-sustainability. Not only are we reducing the operating costs of the restaurant, but we are increasing our appeal to customers by constantly having a new menu with fresh ingredients. And we’re showing our customers, staff, and students the benefits of a productive farm.

In 2014, as we continue to increase farm production, we plan to open a weekend Farmers Market at the Papa’s entrance gate, as well as various take-away options- so customers can enjoy fresh Papa’s meals all week long! Our updated menu is posted to our Papa’s facebook page weekly ( and if you are in Tanzania, you can sign up for our weekly texts, as well!

Blogger Chris Gates, officially, is JBFC’s Founder & Executive Director, but he also fancies himself an executive chef for Papa’s.

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This post was written by Mainsprings