Chester Gardens, in a lot kitty corner from the café, is part farm and part neighborhood improvement project. Since the 1970s, gardening and cooking, united in a dining experience, is increasingly common. Planning the two together is a mainstay of modern cuisine. Cooks have always known that walking through one’s garden in the cool of the evening to harvest what will soon become dinner and then preparing that dinner is an undertaking difficult to equal. Connection to land, to craft, to family & to home come together in one experience.
We can’t duplicate that experience commercially, but we can bring to our customers a garden that they may stroll through to see our produce as it grows. We use that produce in our café in the summer to enhance our salads and as vegetable sides. The cooks love the freshness of it. The customers like knowing where our food comes from.
Our garden manager, Rita Bergstedt, is a veteran of the Duluth food scene. She has been a restaurant owner, gardener, chef and culinary instructor for many years. We feel very lucky to have someone with her talents on our team. Rita does a wonderful job of supervising the varietal choices, organizing the beds and maximizing the aesthetic appeal of our gardens. In addition to the flowers and vegetables in the main garden, she plants a small herb garden exclusively for kitchen use east of the café parking lot. We just could not be luckier than to have Rita and have our garden