This week for our weekly SM Women Who Inspire Us, we are featuring a woman who dissolves the lines of creativity and logic. A New England native, whose heart beats art, while her mind is steady and entrepreneurial. Heather Laganelli, restaurant owner at Locale Farm to Table, artist, and one heck of an inspiring individual is the woman of the hour and we are humbled to share her story.
Surely, we all remember that little girl in the neighborhood, the one always going door to door selling her homemade gifts. The little entrepreneur in the making, we all could see it, but she had no idea. Little Heather, took her artists heart all around the town she grew up, from her handicrafts to orchestrating a community craft fair for children. Growing up Heather took on a number of art oriented jobs, all in which seemed to use her keen eye for precision and creativity.
Graduating from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT with a Fine Arts Degree (DUH, can you imagine anything else) then jumping in a car chasing the sun all the way to California. Making the most of her journey, sightseeing and taking tons of pictures along the way. Heather’s journey eventually landed her with us, in Bakersfield.
Laganelli loves Bakersfield, and was able to learn about it while working at the Bakersfield Californian. However, she was disappointed with the lack of food options. Sure, there are tons of places to eat, but not enough to feed her artists heart. Heather the foodie, obsessed with cooking shows was tired of planning trips away from her home to experience unique food. Seeing the need and lack of creativity in food, Laganelli did something scary and bought a restaurant.
Union Station, the name of the restaurant Laganelli purchased was a great place with fabulous customers, but it still wasn’t quite the food experience she had in mind. With big dreams of merging the Bakersfield farms with art and community all in one establishment, Laganelli tried her first recipe of many to come to the Union Station regulars. Unfortunately, they were a bit weary and discouraging to her attempts of trying to bring the farm-to-table aspect to life. Laganelli would go home discouraged nearly to tears, but determined to keep to her vision.
Soon, Laganelli tossed the Union Station concept out the window. Tired of walking the rope between their identity and hers, she changed the name to, Locale Farm to Table and brought a new menu with her. The foodie, artist with a perfectionist eye choreographed each menu item with every bit of detail in mind. With menu items like my personal fav, Stone Fruit and field greens salad, to my husbands fav, Tri Tip Melt with Sweet Potato fries. Amazing food paired with a unique, welcoming atmosphere leave nothing left to be desired.
Offering a unique menu, artistic surrounding and supporting local farms is just the tip of the iceberg for Heather. If you’re in her restaurant you feel like you’re out of town in some cool LA local hangout. We are so excited to have her downtown in our amazing Bakersfield, not just for her food, but because she cares about the community. Heather brings social gatherings with her arts and crafts nights and supports our local farmers by only using locally sourced ingredients. Bakersfield is really something special and Laganelli is highlighting it with her food experience she brings to us.
Laganelli wants to see Bakersfield grow,”…We have so much to offer still unlike other cities we haven’t reached our potential still. I can’t wait to see a lively artistic community with a walk-able downtown and interesting interactive and diverse activities. I’m hopeful for the day that people hear of Bakersfield and it sparks excitement, intrigue and interest. ” I think we are on the right track with Locale downtown.
Hearing, and then sitting here and eagerly writing Laganellis story was so exciting. I love the idea of creating an area in Bakersfield that is walkable, with lots of shopping and fun places to experience. After all, we all work so hard, at the end of the day we need something special and different. I hope you take Heather’s story and are inspired today to be true to yourself. There is only one version of YOU and what you dream, can not be recreated. Stay true, there will always be naysayers, but they are just dirt on your windshield on the journey of your dreams.