Christine Ferris serves freshness at Farmhouse Deli and Pantry

Turkey Club artisan sandwich
Turkey Club artisan sandwich, Farmhouse Deli and Pantry, Douglas

By David Hoekman

The Farmhouse Deli and Pantry in Douglas reflects owner Christine Ferris’ philosophy of food and life.

The farm-to-table deli creates and sells simple, healthy foods that are full of flavor.

Paintings by Ferris’ friends line the walls of the small dining area, where soft incandescent lights illumine wooden furniture.

“It’s intentionally old-fashioned,” Ferris said. “I’m trying to get all of our senses to go back to a simpler, more soothing time.”

Ferris graduated from a small culinary school in California in 1985. After 25 years of working as a chef in restaurants in California and Chicago, and establishing and running a catering business in Michigan, she opened Farmhouse in August 2013.

The idea is to use ingredients available locally in the current season and create a balanced menu.

“This really is an extension of me,” Ferris said. “It wasn’t like I came up with this concept of doing this rustic farm-to-table restaurant. It’s who I am. I’ve opened my doors and I’m sharing it with everyone.”

Simple, healthy, tasty food

Ferris and her staff have secured local and organic food suppliers, and verified the labels on every food product for sale in the pantry.

“I think people really appreciate that about this deli,” she said. “They know when they come here they are not going to get any genetically modified organisms, high fructose corn syrup or nasty preservatives.”

Homemade soups, salads, fresh-baked goods and fresh juices can be paired with artisan sandwiches and hot sandwiches at Farmhouse Deli and Pantry.

Spreading the word

In addition to the deli, Ferris still runs her catering company and teaches cooking classes.

“I love teaching cooking classes, first of all, because I want people to enjoy the art of slowing down, preparing your food and mindful eating,“ Ferris said. “It’s really an important part of mental and physical health. Secondly, what is it you are putting in your mouth? Where did it come from? How does it make you feel after you eat it? Pay attention to what you are eating. There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself and one by one, shift over to more healthy eating.”

Coming up

The next big thing for Farmhouse Deli and Pantry? One of Ferris’ dreams is to serve barbecue, made from locally sourced organic meat. Ferris is perfecting the recipe and hopes to have it ready next year. n

Farmhouse Deli and Pantry
100 Blue Star Highway, Douglas

Christine Ferris
Christine Ferris, Farmhouse Deli and Pantry

A lifetime of cooking

Christine Ferris has always loved to cook.

She said her first sentence was, “What’s that spice?”

When she was growing up, her family had a huge organic garden, bought meat from a meatpacking plant and made their own bread.

“I grew up thinking that was how it was,” she said. “I never knew any better. I thought everybody got homemade hot dog buns.”