Sadie Woller | Thursday Sep. 1st, 2022
It’s no secret that this once small town, now medium-sized city, is a gem known for kindness. It’s what drew restaurant owner Serena Rundberg to Bozeman a number of years ago. Like many residents, she fell in love with the whole Bozeman vibe, from the mountains to the people—an ambiance she shares at Feed Café with customers like Blake Mitchell, who enthuses: “The atmosphere is always great—I love how upbeat it always feels!” No doubt, this friendly environment extends to the offices of Feed Café, where Rundberg works with her business partner, Nick Gabriel, and a small team which overlooks three businesses: Feed Café, The Daily, and Steep Mountain Tea House. It’s also where I was warmly welcomed by Rundberg to talk about Feed Café, located at 1530 W Main Street.
Sadie Woller: How was Feed Café conceptualized?
Serena Rundberg: I founded Nova Café in 2005, and several years into that career, I decided I wanted to do another concept. In 2004 I began writing a business plan, looking into what I wanted to do as a branch off Nova. Not another Nova, but something really different. At that stage of my life, which was when my daughter was born in 2015, I wanted something a little slower paced. I wanted something different, not as bright and colorful. This is me in my forties now. And, like I said, in 2014 I began writing the business plan for Feed Café and Market. And in 2015 we opened our doors.
I built Feed as a casual, themed counter service establishment that would pay homage to the historical farming community and current local food scene in the Gallatin and surrounding valleys. I spent a lot of time looking for just the right place for it and had some trials and tribulations with that. And then the big red barn on Main West Main Street opened up, and I knew that was the home. I’d already named the café Feed. So when we found that barn available, it just made perfect sense. The barn has so much history and it was part of the Kirk homestead a long time ago. It felt like they felt like we were meant to be there, especially with the name picked out and everything.
We offer a breakfast and lunch menu served from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm every day. The heart of our menu is really designed around our bread program. We use local Montana wheat for all our breads, and we bake it all in-house. We also have a full espresso bar and a menu that has some unique, but some classic options as well for breakfast and lunch.
SW: What would you like people to experience when they walk through your doors?
SR: We want people to experience a little of Bozeman’s past, and the creative local flavors that our menu is developed around. We aim to provide legendary service through the meticulous training of our staff. We have developed what we call ‘a sweetheart culture’ at Feed and we hope that the joy resonates with each bite that our customers enjoy. Regulars also keep coming back for our commitment to making our unique community better. Feed does this by supporting local farmers and working with several nonprofits in the Gallatin Valley. And, you know, Bozeman’s known for being friendly. When I came here and visited in 2005 and moved here just a few months later, the mountains and the people that I interacted with were so friendly—that’s kind of why we want to give them the Bozeman experience, the Bozeman vibe. Just friendliness, good service, and good food!
SW: What do regulars keep coming back for?
SR: I think the regulars keep coming back for the smiles, the espresso, the delicious foods, and the unique atmosphere. I think Feed is very different from a lot of other local venues in town, but more specifically, I think they’re coming back for the unique menu items. For example, the twist on the classic Monte Cristo sandwich. Ours is served on the challah bread that we make in-house. It’s served with a homemade strawberry sriracha, gooey cheese, slab bacon, and egg on it, and it’s just a gooey, delicious mess!
SW: What is your personal favorite menu item?
SR: My typical go-to is the Fungi sandwich, with slab bacon added to it. It’s made on our house-made sourdough bread. It has gruyere cheese, truffle oil, egg, local mushrooms, and arugula on it. It’s delicious, and comes with our home fries, which are local potatoes; the fries are really tasty, too!
SW: What would you say makes you unique in the local food scene?
SR: I think one of the unique things we offer is a continued commitment of sustainable business practices. So we don’t only do that through using local foods, we do that with our business, too. It’s shown in our foods, our locally roasted coffee, our locally blended teas, and our commitment to sustainability.
SW: What do you enjoy most about being part of the greater Bozeman community?
SR: Aside from the mountains and the quickest access to getting outdoors and into the wilderness? The people and the vibe. Like I said, I moved here, I fell in love with Bozeman. The people, the mountains, the snow, the heat, everything here. How much people care about the world, like being good stewards of the planet and good stewards to each other, like being friendly, being kind.
SW: Do you have anything coming up that you’d like readers to know about?
SR: We’re going through a menu revamp, so you can look for some new special items coming up on our menu, probably in late fall. It’s kind of our goal. I can’t totally tell what those are yet. We also just put in cinnamon rolls. They’re homemade with our challah bread recipe. They’re delicious and huge.
We try to source as much local produce and meat as possible when we’re featuring specials on our special board, which we have out every day. New specials rotate about once a week, every five to seven days. And then we also do specialty drinks that rotate out lots of special lattes. My favorite latte is the coriander with black lava sea salt. It’s so delicious! I don’t get that every day, but, yeah, it is something on a special occasion that is so good!
If you’re looking to experience the Bozeman vibe, a place to support the locals, or just a friendly place with good service and good food, stop in at Feed Café. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out their market, filled with local products from little antlers for your dog to huckleberry syrup—and to say “hi” to Feed’s mascot, Tony the bull!