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Thank you for the generous donations to our go fund me staff campaign during COVID-19 days

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Jeremy Johnston-

Hello my name is Jeremy and I am a foodie. Let me take you back, if you will allow me, to where my passion for food, good food, arose. My first job at age twelve was as a bus boy at the Aspen lodge. Through the years I worked every position in the restaurant, eventually serving as a banquet chef. In my mid twenties I moved to Steamboat, working on trail crew and in a ski shop. I found myself dissolutioned by my consumer choices until I read a couple of books that changed the way I looked at those choices and how they affected the world around me. The first book was The Secret History of the American Empire by John Perkins. This sequel to the bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, professed in no uncertain terms that your only real vote is your consumer dollar, that consumer demand drives all future production, and that the true cost of cheap foreign goods has been externalized so the third world as well as the environment is left holding the bill. The second book was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This story of a year of eating locally inspired my own locavore year. My conclusion was that in good conscience I could no longer support multinational corporations or factory farmed food. In eating only locally (Colorado) and sustainably produced food for an entire year I found that there really wasn’t anyone farming vegetables in my area and that I would have to grow my own. I had kept a small garden in the past but wanted to go bigger. That summer I planted a large storage garden. It was so successful that I thought why not share the bounty and give market gardening a go. In the fall I tilled up about a half an acre. In the spring I erected a tunnel greenhouse, and planted my field with over 30 varieties of vegetables. So began my journey as an organic farmer. For the next decade I worked diligently to provide excellent organic food to the community and facilitate the creation of a more robust local food scene founding the Yampa Valley Local Food Forum, giving lectures at Colorado Mountain College, and educating the community though farm tours and farm to table dinners. In the spring of 2015 I moved back home to Estes working around the valley as a handyman and sawyer.

So you can imagine that when Melissa told me of her plan to open a farm to table restaurant here, I dropped what I was doing and signed up. For me there is not a lot that is more important than local food. Chef Ethan shares this passion with me and it has been inspiring to watch his dedication and hard work support farms and farmers up and down the front range and mountain valleys. I spent my first year at Bird and Jim in the kitchen running the pantry station and have now transitioned to the front of house. I love using my experience and extensive knowledge of the ingredients to create a unique and educational  guest experience.  I am so proud to be a part of this team and its mission! Estes is such an amazing outlet and a restaurant like this has been a long time coming. Melissa, John, and Ethan have created a work environment that is truly special- inclusive, understanding, educational, and feels like family. Beyond that the food, wine, and whiskey are really good.


Restaurants have always been a part of my life.  Some of my earliest memories are of spending time at my grandmothers restaurant when I was a young girl. As I have aged, studied, and traveled the country there has always an opportunity for me to serve my community in the restaurant industry. I have come to love this line of work because it just feels good to take good care of share with them a safe space and a smile.


 I took a position at Bird & Jim upon returning to Estes Park a little over a year ago. To be honest there are not many places this special! There is so much love put into every aspect of the restaurant and it really shows. The nourishing food, our vibrant customers, and passionate staff come together to make this place feel like home. When I returned to Estes I was looking for a job but, I also found a family. I am so thankful for my time at Bird & Jim. I can’t wait to get back to work to share more smiles, laughs, amazing food & drink with you all. 



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