Ride The Wave
Chef Michel Nischan brings locally grown food to Connecticut with a new twist, lower prices.
The concept behind Wholesome Wave is simple; to provide accessibility for underprivileged families to buy, grow and learn about locally grown foods. Founded by Chef Michel Nischan, local owner of the restaurant Dressing Room, the idea for Wholesome Wave originated from Nischan’s own upbringing. His mother grew up on a farm in Missouri and shared her love for gardening and cooking homegrown food with Michel and his siblings. It was through his experiences growing and cooking his own food, which gave him a deep appreciation for local and organic foods, and inspired him to become a leader and pioneer in the movement for healthy eating.
Now the CEO and President of Wholesome Wave, Nischan is dedicated to nourishing neighborhoods by bringing markets and kiosks for those living in urban areas to buy raw vegetables and fruits. By partnering with local fresh markets and health associations across the states, the gap between those who are on federal funding, the number currently estimates around 40 million people in the United States, and the ability to buy locally and regionally grown food is closed. The dilemma, as explained by Chef Nischan, stems from urban cities more popularly referred to as “food deserts.” It is in these areas such as Bridgeport and New Britain in Connecticut that citizens only have the option to shop at one supermarket, which is limited to packaged and processed foods. Wholesome Wave solves this problem by setting up weekly markets at convenient locations in each city so that people can come and buy fresh, locally grown produce.
Besides the lack of locations available to urbanites to buy wholesome food, the fact remains that anything labeled “locally grown” instantly becomes more expensive. In an effort to increase awareness and encourage people to buy food from these markets, Wholesome Wave has created a Double Value Coupon Program which allows those who are using food stamps the option to purchase certain fruits and vegetables for half the price. In addition, they have reached out to town administrations such as the Bridgeport Department of Health and St. Vincent's Medial Center to aid in increasing awareness and providing means to buy nourishing food options.
The Wholesome Wave food movement has now reached over 25 states, and works with 50 community based organizations who are responsible for managing 250+ farm to retail venues and impacting over 1,700 participating farms. For more information on Wholesome Wave and how to get involved, visit their website