Who Are We?
As the principals of Graze, Allen Freund, Julianna Doherty and Aaron Harris came together because of their shared passion for sustainable local agriculture. Coming together from diverse backgrounds they have a shared vision to re-engage families with farmers and create a relationship where people can truely feel comfortable knowing the origin of their food. Julianna is a mother of 4 busy children, Allen has spent 30-years promoting and distributing local agriculture and is the current President of Vermont Fresh Network, and Aaron was raised in Middlebury, spent many years away and is now back to raise his kids on Monument Farms Chocolate milk.
Founder Julianna Doherty's passion for food started with her Italian-American grandparents (Nonnie and Boom). She would spend afternoons after school rolling fresh pasta, making ravioli and pasta fagioli. Julianna a was raised outside Boston and after graduating from college worked for Acceture as a process consultant on projects in North America and Europe. After getting married she and her husband moved to Brasil where they had 3 of their 4 children over 5 years. When her family moved back from Brasil they moved to Bristol, Vermont, where they chose to raise their children. When Julianna was pregnant with her 4th child, friends from Connecticut came to Vermont to visit and returned home with full coolers of meat, cheese and dairy. Julianna's wheels started turning....why couldn't we deliver these farm fresh products that are simple staples here in Vermont to people who love them in Connecticut and Boston. Graze was born; on a simple mission to deliver farm-fresh-food direct-to-consumers. After a short time, it became apparent that customers not only wanted fresh produce, meats and dairy, but they wanted it to be easy to use; chopped, prepared, and delivered with sauce and recipes to make farm fresh cooking easy and convenient for real life.
After providing customers with solutions for meal-time, Julianna began to receive many requests from current Graze customer for help with kid’s lunch-time solutions. After gaining a better understanding of the existing market in lunch kits, Julianna determined that the current options do not meet the demands of many parents to provide their children with a healthy, convenient lunch option. Bundles were born and share the Graze mission to provide real food to power healthy kids. As a working mother of 4 children under 10-years-old, the mission to provide convenient, healthy solutions is very personal.
Aaron Harris (CEO): Ever since he left Vermont to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, Aaron has travelled and invested in dynamic companies around the world. Mr. Harris now helps drive Graze's mission and passion which is to promote Vermont Food Companies and Farmers. Mr. Harris was raised drinking Monument Farms Milk and eating Maple Meadow Farm Eggs and is glad to be passing along this tradition to his children.
Allen Freund (COO) owned and operated Squash Valley Produce from 1980 until 2009. As a successful distributor of local produce, artisan cheeses and value added regional products, Squash Valley became an integral part of the support system for Vermont’s agricultural community. In 2002, Squash Valley opened a retail outlet in Waterbury offering a diverse range of local products to the residents of Central Vermont. Squash Valley provided logistical support for area farmers and food processors transporting their goods from nearby Quebec and Vermont to destinations throughout New England. In 2012, Allen was appointed president of the Board of the Vermont Fresh Network. Allen along with family members own and operate a vineyard in Castleton, Vermont. He is a passionate supporter of local sustainable agricultural initiatives and remains immersed in the regional food distribution network.