Change Coming to The Farm at South Mountain

Categories: Buchanan, News

The Farm Kitchen shot.jpg
Courtesy of The Farm at South Mountain
If you've wandered the grounds of The Farm at South Mountain, you've probably spotted owner A.Wayne Smith scooting around on his mini tractor. As a landscape architect, he's stayed very involved in the property he bought in 1983 and slowly transformed into a soothing pastoral retreat for frazzled urban dwellers.

As of this week, Smith has sold 10 acres of the property --which includes Quiessence, Morning Glory Cafe, The Farm Kitchen, Maya's Farm, the Artist's Studio and the pecan grove -- to Pat Christofolo (owner of Santa Barbara Catering and The House at Secret Garden), who has operated The Farm Kitchen at the front of the property since 1997.

See also: Carol Steele's Aravaipa Farms is an Arizona Treasure -- and It's For Sale

You may be wondering what the sale means for Quiessence, Morning Glory Cafe and Maya's Farm. Here's what I found out from Smith and Christofolo:

quiessence-restaurant resized.jpg
Courtesy of The Farm at South Mountain
Christofolo says there will be no major changes for the first couple of months. She plans to get the property in great shape (which means grooming the grounds and giving the Farm Kitchen a facelift) before focusing on her larger vision -- culinary and agricultural education.

Down the road, she envisions chef Greg LaPrad (Quiessence, Morning Glory) doing special local dinners in the Artist's Studio which overlooks the garden and teaching cooking classes somewhere on the property. Farmer Maya Dailey, who has been leasing land at The Farm for years now, could offer gardening classes as well. Christofolo also dreams of having a garden-lifestyle store on the farm.

"Wayne did a beautiful job and had an amazing vision," Christofolo says, "and our goal is to continue creating Wayne's vision while still protecting the property."

She maintains that The Farm at South Mountain (which Smith bought when it was in distress) was created without a lot of money by a group of passionate people who acted individually.

Location Info



Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar

6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Morning Glory Cafe

6016 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

The Farm Kitchen

6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Maya's Farm

6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

The House at Secret Garden

2501 E. Baseline Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help

This article is Nikki Buchannan at her finest.

Lots of background, whats going on now, how things got where they are, who the relevant players are, a real pro at work.

We need a permanent home for this Valley gem.

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