The Galion entrepreneur has the “recipe” for success

GALION – A farm girl at heart who grew up in County Crawford embraced her roots and pursued her passion for creating pure “farm-to-table” food.

Deborah Mahon is “The Gourmet Farmer”.

Mahon owns the specialty food company called “The Gourmet Farm Girl,” which she started in 2010. Her all-natural chilies, soups, and sauces are sold on Amazon, Kroger, and hundreds of stores and markets around the world. Michigan in the West. Virginia.

“The thing is, I’ve always had a passion for food,” said Mahon, who grew up on his family’s dairy and grain farm – Stump’s Heritage Farm Inc. – southeast of Bucyrus. “Growing up on a dairy farm is in my blood, along with cooking and gardening.”

Its food products — all made from original recipes — include five varieties of vegan chili, with Buckeye Chili the top seller, Mahon said. “It’s just a clever name I came up with. It’s the sweetest of the peppers, very child friendly. It’s a gift, a novelty.

Other specialties include its bean and vegetable soup, its heirloom tomato soup and a tortilla soup entrée, as well as infused balsamic and extra virgin olive oils. She also developed an all-natural hot dog/coney sauce for the meat department of Kroger’s Columbus division, which is available in spicy or original flavors.

Mahon, a graduate of Colonel Crawford High School, said she started her business during the boom of the “farm to fork” social movement. She was living in Delaware, Ohio at the time and started small, peddling seasoning mixes and dry soup mixes at local farmers’ markets.

In the “foodie world,” Mahon said, she had the opportunity to connect with a food scientist who also owned a co-packing facility. In 2014, it partnered with the USDA-approved facility to manufacture, package, and label hundreds of gallons of its products for distribution.

The Kroger Co. clung to its product line at a food show and networking event, Mahon said, as its fresh, gluten-free foods seemed a perfect fit for the chain’s launch of supermarkets in its new “Nature Market” section.

In 2015, Mahon said, his chili — uniquely packaged in 32-ounce glass jars — hit the shelves of more than 150 Kroger stores across the Columbus division, with the coney sauce debuting a year earlier. late. “It was a big deal. I was pretty excited about it.

Mahon said she has perfected many of her recipes over the years, including Farmhouse Chili, which was her mother’s recipe. Other favorites — from starters to entrees and desserts — appear on her website and in a cookbook published in 2012.

Locally, The Gourmet Farm Girl foods are sold at Pickwick Place and Center Street Meat Company in Bucyrus, Buehler’s Fresh Foods and Phil’s Deli in Galleon, Troyer’s Market in Johnstown, and Lehman’s Hardware, Ashery Country Store and other small stores in Amish Country.

Mahon, who recently bought an old Tudor brick in town, also does cooking classes and demonstrations. But more than anything, she’s happy to be back. Close to children, grandchildren and the seven-generation family farm that inspired his culinary creations.

Because “Farm to Table, Table to Soul” has always been his motto. That’s what she was born to do. “I love him. I wouldn’t do anything else.