“My background in Global Studies at Lesley gave me the inspiration to want to get out there in the world and make a difference,” says Brian Axelrod, owner of The Farmacy Cafe, an organic food café located in Boston’s Seaport District. But after graduating, Brian’s passions soon directed his focus closer to home. “Then I started to think more about Boston as a community and I wanted to be more local than global because I felt more of a draw to this vibrant city that we live in.”
Brian’s passion for health and wellness started at an early age. When he was eight years old, his mother was going through breast cancer treatment and started changing her diet, incorporating more organic foods and fruits and veggies. “When my mom lost her battle with breast cancer, I just kind of followed that lifestyle,” says Brian. “And that’s been a way for me to hold on to my relationship with my mom a little bit, through food.”
Brian continued to pursue this healthy lifestyle, which led him to making juices that he and his partner then sold at farmer’s markets and brought to people’s doors. “That passion started to unfold more and more after the connection that I continued to have with people around food,” he says. “And that grew into a company with about 20 different employees.” They now sell healthy, affordable, organic meals out of a shipping container in the Seaport. And they partner with farms throughout New England in order to provide the freshest ingredients. “By working with these local farmers, we’re able to know exactly where we’re getting our ingredients from, at all different cycles of the year,” says Brian. “It’s bringing us back to that relationship of how it should be done in our country.”
Making an Impact
For Brian and his partners at Jubali Farmacy, it’s not enough to just bring healthy foods to customers; they wanted to provide a service that was also environmentally responsible. They even use bicycles for their catering deliveries in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the company. “Sustainability is really important to me because I think it’s such a core value in our evolution,” says Brian. “It’s something that we’ve gotten so far away from as a culture, but I feel that to be on this planet, we have to replenish it. It isn’t just about not sucking away resources, but also putting back and making sure you’re leaving more for the future.”
This is where their relationship with local farms has become even more mutually beneficial. They reduce waste by saving their food scraps and giving them back to the farmers who then use them to feed some of their livestock, including goats and chickens. It’s with these small actions that they continue to do their part to contribute to a cleaner environment.
A Healthier Community
“I feel inspired every day through the work that I’m doing and I think that’s what’s keeping my energy and my passion high,” says Brian. “At the end of the day it’s playful and it’s fun.” Brian’s goals for the Farmacy is for it to become a beacon for nutrition and a place where people can find foods that help them function at their best. He believes that foods are healing and have a life force that really affects our mood, energy levels, and well-being. And he’s proud to continue to bring healing foods to the people of Boston. “For me it’s not really about the money. It’s more about the way we can make the biggest difference.”
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