Interview with Rail Trail Café owners: Tara Johannessen & Brian Farmer

Rail Trail Cafe

Perhaps the last thing you’d expect to find while hiking or biking on a wilderness trail is an adorable organic microgreens-growing cafe. But take a trip down the Wallkill Valley rail trail and that’s exactly what you’ll find. We’re thrilled to talk with Tara Johannessen & Brian Farmer, the owners of the renowned Rail Trail Café, to hear all about this hidden gem. And don’t forget to join us on September 24th when our monthly Weekend Wander series takes to the wheels with a group ride from Kingston to the Rail Trail Café and back (We’re gonna earn that slice)!!!

What made you decide to open the Rail Trail Café?
We wanted to be able to work from home. There seemed to be a need when foot and bike traffic increased with the new extended trail via the trestle bridge. We wanted to create a greater sense of community by creating a local economy. And last, but not least we wanted to sell our organic food and produce.

What was your initial vision when you designed the menu?
Simple nutritious, organic, vegetarian. Something for everyone. A place where kids could come from around the neighborhood and be able to buy a goodie for cheap.

Do you grow much of the food yourselves?
We grow maybe 30 or 40% of the produce. All the kale, tomatoes, herbs, microgreens. And we have sourced some of the micro-greens from Big Little Farm as well.

What are your best sellers at the café?
Rosewater lemonade, salads, and pizza.

What are some of the challenges of serving food in the great outdoors?
The greatest challenges are the rain and severe heat.

Do you do special events?
We’ve had weddings, fundraisers and there’s music every weekend.

What’s your favorite trail in Ulster County?
We really love the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail because its flat, shady and crosses both the Rondout and the Wallkill rivers.

What part of the Kingston Greenline are you most excited about?
All of it.

Fave Color: The whole spectrum of colors is magnificent!!
Fave Movie: Magnolia
Fave Song: Chenrezig Mantra Song
Fave Food: Micro-greens
Fave Book: “The Red Book” by Carl Jung

For more info on the Rail Trail Cafe, visit their site and like them on Facebook.

Tara and Brian serving up deliciousness

Tara and Brian serving up deliciousness

Live music plays every weekend.

Live music plays every weekend.

The pizzas... ARE NOT TO BE MISSED!


The Rail Trail Cafe in it's element.

The Rail Trail Café in it’s element.





















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