Principal Farmer & Owner
Farm owner, operator, and manager since Tomato Mountain started in 1993, Chris has worked relentlessly for almost twenty years to bring fresh produce to Southern Wisconsin and North Eastern Illinois. Inspired by Yvon Chouinard's business practices at Patagonia and supported by the work of countless friends and coworkers, Chris continues to bring sustainable business practices and conscientious stewardship to Tomato Mountain Farm.
Chicago Area Marketing Coordinator
The face of Tomato Mountain in Chicago, Robin continues to set the mark for how much we can achieve as a farm. After joining us in Spring of 2009, Robin has greatly amplified our presence in Chicago farmers' markets and helped spearhead our renewed CSA program to serve over 500 shareholders in 2013. Our customer base continues to expand in new and exciting ways due to her diligent efforts.
In a past life, Robin has been an attorney, a church secretary, a winter farmers market coordinator, an admin for a small executive search firm, and a graphic designer (pre-computer); in her current life she still fancies herself an activist on many fronts...when her more-than-full-time job with Tomato Mountain permits.
Chicago Area Sales Assistant
Sean is the cheery face behind many of our market stands (and, as pictured, behind a couple gallons of home-made kimchi), but he also does yeoman service year-round doing whatever the farm needs… from making late-night CSA deliveries, serving up samples at in-store demos, schlepping cases from one place to another, stacking pallets of salsa. He gets even less time off during his fourth full season--as he's undertaken coordination of our farmers market presence--but when he does, his passion for cooking up vegan feasts and posting them on Tumblr coincides nicely with his work with Tomato Mountain.
Chicago Area Sales Assistant
Sheila Essig is the "better half" of Rob Gardner; together with their two daughters, they make up The Local Family featured on The Local Beet. For several years, they've made an effort to eat locally year-round; any success they've managed has been due in large part to Sheila's frequent and creative cooking for her family. You might have met Sheila at a farmers market (Oak Park, Riverside, Independence Park, Portage Park, and more) selling for Tomato Mountain, where she often makes suggestions for incorporating our jarred products into your cooking. In her fourth season with the farm, we'll tap her for tips and recipes on this site and in our newsletters in between farmers markets.
In a past life Sheila was a public interest lawyer. She has since settled into a strong passion for issues of homelessness and hunger relief, having served on the board of West Suburban PADS, a group that works on the homelessness in her community.