Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 43
An interview with Martie Samuel
co-owner of The Farmhouse Kitchen in West Reading
artie Samuel has taken a long and winding road
and that journey brought her back to her roots
in Berks County. She grew up in Wyomissing and
graduated from Wyomissing High in '73 and from
Penn State in '76. She never dreamed that at the age
of 60 she would return to her old stomping grounds.
Life has many twists and turns, many of which are never planned or
foreseen. She reflects that it was those events that helped her to grow
stronger and find an inner strength to take the road less traveled.
2013 was the year that brought her back home. As she looks in
her rear-view mirror, she describes a life that was full of stress. Stress
that put her health in a high risk category: high blood pressure, one
hundred pounds of excess weight, high cholesterol, and at the brink
of being classified diabetic. As she exited the Cardiologist's office that
day she thought, "I could choose to live like my mother, who lived a
full and healthy life until the age of 93, (Martie's mother was Helene
McDonough, a longtime resident of Wyomissing) or I could die like
my father who passed away before many of his grandchildren had
the opportunity to know him. I was unhappy with myself physically,
emotionally, and spiritually." Martie put her running shoes back on,
started back on a whole food organic eating program, purchased a
sauna, and made the decision to take control of her own destiny. She
says with great conviction, "We have been given the precious gift of
our bodies and we are charged with the responsibility of caring for
that gift." She continues by saying that every day we are challenged
by outside forces to abandon our dedication to that effort. Sharing
that determination with others was the backbone for her interest in
owning an organic cafe and juice bar.
Martie met Joel Moceri in early 2016 while she was looking for a
cafe location in Lancaster County. Joel was the manager of A Running
Start located in West Reading. They found that they had strong
common bonds concerning health and wellness and both wanted
to share that interest in a community Main Street setting. The entire
year of 2016 was spent on looking at many possible locations. Then
in February of this year, what was formerly known as The Bloomin'
Lotus located at 426 Penn Ave became available.
"we have been given the precious gift of
our bodies and we are charged with the
responsibility of caring for that gift."
Martie and Joel knew it was perfect. It was small, quaint and a
very comfortable space. Her vision to replicate the feeling of her
beloved farmhouse kitchen could be accomplished. She smiles as she
says, "My children say that I took the comfortable feel of our 1795
Farmhouse to West Reading."
From the ground up, Martie was committed to making The Farmhouse
Kitchen a comfortable and healthy space. She was committed to using
local craftsmen for the cafe build out. The tables and all the wooden
shelving were designed and made by a craftsman who lives in West Lawn,
and the lighting was made in Lititz. All the supporting contractors are