By Angela McGill
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Fruits of Labor held their grand opening at their new location in the Alderson Visitor’s Center. The space has been transformed into a place where family, friends, and tourists alike can sit down and enjoy a variety of delicious food.
Fruits of Labor President Tammy Jordan got the idea for the company 20 years ago. She had a strong passion for agriculture, and for four years they have been invested in the farmer’s market. Jordan also assisted her mother in making wedding cakes, floral designs, and has been in the catering business for nine years. She founded Fruits of Labor in 2001 with a mission to not only provide the Greenbrier Valley and beyond with delicious goods, but to use her business as a way to support those going through recovery from addiction.
What makes this company so unique is that mission, as Jordan wants to focus on investing in other people and their well-being. She also gives back to the organization by not accepting a salary or dividends even though she is the president.
Fruits of Labor is faith-based, and she wanted the name to have an essence of their faith.
“I kept dreaming about it, one night it just came up. I dreamt of the name Fruits of Labor, I knew that this was the name, this is the fruit of our labor, this is the fruit of my life. This will be the fruit of our student’s lives, their hands put to work, which creates this environment of moving forward and transformation,” Jordan said.
She wanted people to advance in their addiction recovery with training, education, certification, and employment. They began by working alongside the women’s prison in Alderson and started partnering with the Greenbrier County Drug Force by conducting trainings to help individuals with that employment.
As they progressed, she wanted to continue to grow and help more people.
“I went to visit a lady in Alderson prison, and I saw the need for training when people left the prison. I couldn’t get it out of my heart,” said Jordan.
When Jordan is selecting employees to be on her team, she looks for specific qualities. For students, she wants them to be open to being trained and to be active in recovery, and to be open-minded to learning something different. Core staff has to be passionate about recovery, to come with something in their soul that is deeply rooted in seeing people transform, and know that their part is to be someone to help support others in recovery. Without the passion to help, the patience may not be there.
Jordan also started a program, the Addiction Prevention Program, to assist youth with their recovery efforts. “It’s about the openness of being able to have the space to talk about recovery,” Jordan says.
Jordan and her team are all very excited about being in Alderson and to bring a new variety of food to town while remaining focused on their core vision.
“No matter how strong our mission is, we have to make sure our product has to be just as strong. We have trained talent that is certified through the American Culinary Federation, we are nationally certified, we are the only one in the state of West Virginia with a Certified Quality Program through the American Culinary Federation. It’s our goal to be a culinary training experience, that is unique to our recovery.”
Fruits of Labor chose the location at Alderson Visitor’s center because of technical reasons, but also the charm. “This building was open, and Main Street has been amazing to work with. We have very specific requirements that we look at for in every community that we enter, this is one of three that we’re opening in the next twelve months. It’s wonderful, it has parking for the customers and the building is historic, it brings charm and we kept a lot of the historic touches it has while renovating,” Jordan explained.
If you happen to be looking for an atmosphere that has a historic charm with a genuine feel, and want to come smell the aroma of fresh bread, soups, meats and pastries in the air, come down and visit Fruits of Labor and support their vision.