SaltBox Kitchen and Farm is a true gem of Concord. It’s like one of those gifts you open and continue to find one gift wrapped inside the next…
That’s what we found when we went behind the scenes and learned a little more about Ben Elliott, Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen. Each layer of the story Ben peeled back for us just highlighted more delight and inspiration. The original story for Saltbox Farm is only the beginning. From that foundation that has brought so much joy and culinary delight to us, sprung many astonishing chapters.
Ben Elliott, owner of Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen is a Concord native. Saltbox Farm got it’s name for the saltbox style of the main house on the farm that was built n the 1940s by Ben’s grandparents, Edward and Emilie Thomas. Ben, his wife, their children and adorable Golden Retriever now live at Saltbox Farm and have since 2004. Ben was working in a Boston restaurant as a professional chef but in 2010 decided to shift his attention to restoring and running the farm he loved so much as a child.
We were given a tour of the Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen, take a peak with our Behind the Scenes video
We love the Saltbox Team description & mission:
We are a passionate group of farmers, chefs, brewers, servers, and event planners, who share a dedication to honoring the land, sourcing locally and eating seasonally, and creating incredible dining experiences. From our cozy, neighborhood restaurant with its microbrewery to our cooking school and our catering company, all that we are is rooted in Saltbox Farm and its traditions of sustainable agricultural practices and seasonal cooking. We invite you to learn more about Saltbox.
That first spring when Ben made the transition from full time chef to full time farmer he spent all his time outdoors, mending fences, building a chicken coop and filling it with chicks, creating a small orchard filled with apple, peach, and pear trees, and planting raspberry bushes. A close friend of the family who happened to be a “real” farmer came over to help Ben and till 1.5 acres of land. Ben ordered seeds and soon had an acre of vegetables – a lot of veggies for a small family!- so he joined a farmer’s market and began selling his produce to local restaurants.
From that point, Ben was on his way to realizing his dream and building Saltbox into what it is today. He returned to cooking professionally- at Saltbox- working as a private chef and catering local events before eventually establishing Saltbox Catering. In 2015 Ben opened Saltbox Kitchen, a restaurant and microbrewery, in West Concord, as well as a cooking school at The Little House located here at the farm and began hosting events in the Little Fields overlooking the orchards.
During this time, the farm continued to grow and strengthen, producing fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, lamb, and hops for the restaurant, the brewery, catering, the cooking school, and the seasonal farm stand. The farm has continued its mission, not only to follow sustainable agricultural practices, but to also be a connector in the community, an educational resource via it’s Apprenticeship Program, and the foundation for all that Saltbox’s chefs, brewers, and teachers create and share each season.
When the pandemic hit, Saltbox Kitchen had to close for several months and most of their catering engagements came to a halt. Ben & his team had to figure out how to pivot & shift their attention to other opportunities and safe ways to bring their delicious offerings to the community.
There were all the logistical brain twisters of how to create a Covid-compliant shopping experience. Everything from plexi-glass shields, to traffic flow, to occupancy limits, to how to accept payments all had to be reconsidered and reconfigured.
They rearranged the store to allow customers to move through while practicing safe social distancing. The gourmet grab & go selection is incredible and hard to narrow it down to picking just one meal. The SBK (SaltBox Kitchen) Team has been busy preparing and cooking up scrumptious prepackaged meals, expanded it’s offerings and now offering delivery is an option, too.
Did you know their Saltbox Kitchen Brewery is Concord’s only craft brewery? Their beer offerings change each season and feature hops and flavorings that are organically-grown right here in Concord on Saltbox Farm. Beer can be pre-ordered and delivered in and around Concord.
Some other new additions are Cocktail kits (try the grape, lemon juice & vodka – made with their own grapes!) & wine to go. They recently just added delivery to offerings surrounding towns so tell your friends in neighboring towns. The assortment of specialty packaged foods has expanded as well – be sure to pop by the shop to take a look at the selection.
A small farm stand shop is located in the shop now, too. In the summer and fall, you would have seen a table piled high with a colorful gorgeous selection of fresh vegetables from Salt Box Farm which is just a few miles away from the shop.
We know one of the greatest joys of this holiday season is exploring our local treasures to find the perfect gift for loved ones and dearest friends. While the current climate is not conducive to such leisurely exploits, happily for us, SaltBox Kitchen has you covered. This beloved local favorite has a bevvy of options for all kinds of gift giving. Choose one of their lovingly curated theme gift baskets or place an order for a luscious handcrafted meal (available for pick-up or delivery). For those who miss the pleasure of in-person shopping, this beautiful light & airy space, filled with the most wonderful treats (adhering to the most recent stringent health guidelines) gives plenty of space to peruse all their wonderful offerings
Take a look at some of the Saltbox Kitchen Gift Baskets – the descriptions are guaranteed to make your mouth water!
Their Christmas Menu will surely lure Santa to your home and may never want to leave! Whether you are looking for festive appetizers or entrees or sides, Saltbox will make your holiday feel like a feast.
There is something about Saltbox that is very special. The love and attention Ben and his team bring to everything they grow, make and create makes us feel so lucky have SaltBox right here in Concord. SaltBox Kitchen is the perfect marriage of small New England town charm with big city sophistication.
Fuel up for a day of window shopping with one of their too-die-for egg sandwiches and grab some gifts for neighbors and girlfriends while in the shop. Pop by their shop and visit their website or shop today!
Saltbox Kitchen is currently open Wednesdays – Saturdays from 9am – 6pm. Stop in to pick up fresh veggies, eggs, honey and more from our Saltbox Farm “farm stand”, prepared meals, sides, soups, and salads, and Saltbox Brewery beer, bottles of wine, tea and coffee. We also offer a lunch take out menu from 11am-2pm and Catering To-Go which is perfect for gatherings of 10 or more.