When I worked in the Berry Hill community of Nashville, there was this magical pie shop within walking distance of my studio. Even the name was magical. The Loving Pie Company. It quickly became my go-to place when I had even five spare moments for a coffee break. Those moments began to stretch out into leisurely lunches and dinners as I befriended the owner, Suzanne, and her lovable staff. I could go to any restaurant in the area and get good customer service, but when I went to Suzanne’s pie shop, I was family. There at those tables, I laughed until my sides hurt surrounded by people I loved. I celebrated happy moments and on occasion, those signature LPC coffee cups caught a few tears when life inevitably knocked me down. I was home. When she closed the business to move on to her next big adventure, I was so happy for her and we remain friends to this day. But when the doors to that magical pie shop closed, there was something missing in my life. I trudged to multiple coffee shops, laptop in tow, but left discouraged, and frankly, sad. Cheers, this was not.

My search continued as I moved back to the Fairview area after being gone for a few years. I had finally given up the search for that place I could go where everyone would know my name when I heard a rumor about a new place slated to open in late spring. Harvest by Labcanna was to be not just a coffeehouse, but a healthy dining experience with a vast menu of vegetarian, gluten free, and even vegan options. And as if that wasn’t enough to intrigue me, the entire menu is hemp infused. Sign me up.

When I walked through the doors of Harvest by Labcanna, I looked around with wide (and bewildered) eyes. Where the hell am I? It looked like a piece of East Nashville had fallen out of the sky and landed right there on Fairview soil. I say this with love as the only other coffee shop in the ‘View is a Dunkin. I was greeted by a vivacious woman with fiery red hair who I would later find out was the lovely Erin Crawford, general manager and one of the masterminds behind Harvest. She told me about the menu and gave some recommendations. I eventually settled on a salad with the vegan ranch dressing and a side of the Rasta Pasta Salad and I knew immediately I would be coming back.

Every time I walked through the doors, there was a distinct feeling of having found a piece of a puzzle I had long since been searching for. As I began bringing my laptop for long, leisurely afternoons pouring over my work, I started to chat with the baristas and Erin and I felt a familiar tug at my heart. A word I hadn’t used in a long time began to dance around in my mind as I found myself amongst friends.

Finally, I sent a message to Erin and told her I wanted to share more about Harvest with my readers and listeners, so we scheduled a meeting. Little did I know, I would find a soul sister sitting across from me. As we got to know each other, I was blown away by her story, her journey to health, and her warrior spirit. (Hear more about Erin and her journey here.) I also found out that our paths had crossed before when I had gone to another local shop, The Herban Market, in search of CBD products. There she helped me find the TenneCBD products I now swear by. (Read more about what I use here.)

She invited me to come spend some time behind the scenes at Harvest touring the farms and hanging out with the wonderfully talented Chef Danny Davis while he prepared some of the restaurant’s masterpieces. I watched mesmerized as he made the most beautiful pastries, pizzas, and peeled no less than a hundred carrots faster than I could peel a single one. Every time I turned around he had yet another delicious creation for me to try; an autumn salad, cheesecake, and homemade vegan ice creams that I’m convinced are made of fairy dust and summer sunsets. His joy was contagious as he told me about his background and his love for food. And the proof really is in the pudding. Or in the magical vegan ice cream, as the case may be.

As I got to know the entire Harvest family, I found a group of some of the sweetest people I’d ever had the privilege of meeting, with the most creative spirits. Each person I came across felt like a kindred spirit. And there it was again; that word. It was in the coffee Ellen brewed. It was in Cinthia and Lisa’s smile as they greeted me. It was sitting at the table with Erin as we talked about life. It was laughing with Chef and the crew in the kitchen. It was in the most delicious coffee cake I’d ever tasted. The place where many more conversations will take place over coffee, where ideas will come alive. A place where healing happens from the inside out. A place greater than the walls that encompass it. It was home.

***To learn more about Harvest by Labcanna, check out the video below! Special thanks Harvest, Labcanna, Erin, Chef Danny, and Ellen for letting me hang out with you guys for a couple days. My deepest gratitude goes out to Producer Eric. Without him and his incredibly talent, none of this would be possible. <3***