The Farmer’s Daughters Cafe & Eatery
Taylor Owens | Wednesday Mar. 1st, 2023
As soon as you walk through the doors at The Farmer’s Daughters Cafe, you’re immediately met with beautiful interiors of pink, gold, and live-edge wood tables around a central fireplace in the dining room. Cookies, muffins, and assorted treats line the coffee bar in glass jars and displays. A pink and plaid painted wall sits directly behind the register, acting as a “features” menu showcasing specials like a cocoa chip unwaffle with a berry compote, an orange maple latte, and a winter salad. Perfect coffee drinks of all varieties are served in aesthetic ceramic mugs, adding to the ambience. Above the espresso machine, you’ll spot a quote by Julia Child: “People who love to eat are the best people.” You instantly feel like you want to stay awhile.
I sat down with one of the owners of the cafe, Hillary Folkvord, over lattes to talk about The Farmer’s Daughters, starting a business in Bozeman, and working alongside her sister.
Taylor: How was The Farmer’s Daughters Cafe conceptualized?
Hillary: My sister and I grew up on a farm. We’re a fourth-generation farming family here in Montana. So we grew up with real whole foods, and we grew up with farm-to-table food. We love just good food. My sister and I are super into health and wellness, and, at the time in Bozeman, there just wasn’t anything like that. There wasn’t anything that was just really good salads, really good sandwiches, very few ingredients used to make dressings, things like that. So we wanted to bring that to Bozeman. We’re four years in, and we are the farmer’s daughters. Our dad is a farmer. So it’s been a really fun experience to bring our childhood into what we’re doing now. And it’s been great.
Taylor: What would you like people to experience when they walk through your doors?
Hillary: One of the other things we saw that was missing in Bozeman was that feeling that was just a place that was comfortable, a place where you want to hang out, a place that is inviting, but also has really good food. We want people to come in and just feel like they can just sit there on their computer or they can meet someone. We want people to feel like they can have a cup of coffee and stay as long as they want. There’s no rush. And to just really enjoy that laid back experience of Montana. We wanted a really pretty space. A space that was really bright and airy, and again, comfortable and warm, but bringing really good food, too. We specialize in our smoothies, our salads, and just really wholesome food for people.
Taylor: Did you do all of your interior design?
Hillary: We had a vision, but we worked with an incredible team, Abby Hetherington at the Architect’s Wife. They’re the best. We gave her a lot of inspiration, and they really made it come to life. This space that we’re sitting in now, it was a living apartment area for the hotel. So this space really came to life with a ton of good windows. We love natural lighting; that was all really important to us.
Taylor: What do regulars keep coming back for?
Hillary: Our number one item is our bone broth. It’s a bison bone broth, and it’s just incredible. It feels nurturing and warming, especially when it’s so frigid on days like today. So that’s probably our number one seller. Our smoothies are really popular. They’re just very simple ingredients. We worked with Megan Ulrichs at glō Luxury Oils. She helped us with our smoothies, and they’re just fantastic. So those are a couple of things that people come back for. And then our signature salad. The Farmers Daughters signature salad is just delicious, and really healthy and hearty.
Taylor: What is your personal favorite menu item?
Hillary: I pretty much eat it every day, it’s the Anniston salad. Jennifer Anniston came up with the salad a while ago. She ate it every day. And we just put our twist on it. We added some more greens into it and our own dairy-free ranch dressing. It’s just fantastic. A few little twists on that. So that’s what I eat pretty much every day. Our soups are amazing. They’re all gluten-free and dairy-free. They’re always rotating. Those are my two everyday favorites. Our coffee is so good. We use a local roaster from up in West Yellowstone and our coffee is delicious. I also love our bone broth and our glowing green smoothie, which is like what started my health food journey. Kimberly Snyder started making this smoothie. I swear it changed my life, so now we serve it here.
Taylor: Do you bake your desserts in-house?
Hillary: We do it actually all on our own. Our team is incredible. We have a bunch of young people who are just eager to learn; they do a great job for us. I actually find recipes online, and I’ll make them at home. And I think they’re simple enough and they taste good, so I know these guys can do it.
Taylor: What would you say makes you unique in the local food scene?
Hillary: I think there are a few things. We try to be as farm-to-table of course, just like everyone in town, but I think the consistency of our food is really something that we’re proud of. We’re proud of the food that we’ve created and the simple menu items, which I hope gets people coming back when they’re looking for something that just makes them feel good. We want feel-good food, and that’s what we talk about a lot. Also fast feel-good food. It’s sometimes hard to find. So we’re hoping we’re bringing that to people.
Taylor: What do you personally enjoy most about being part of the greater Bozeman community?
Hillary: It’s an incredible community, especially when it comes to women entrepreneurs. It’s amazing that everyone works together. It’s more about collaboration over competition, which you don’t see very often. And I think that’s really special. I mean, I really truly believe that businesses are trying to help one another, especially when we first started out. The outpouring of support in this community was amazing. They really have continued to help us grow and get to the next level. We’re so fortunate to be in this world, in this community.
Taylor: How has your experience been working with your sister?
Hillary: Our first business together was a vegetable stand that we started when I think she was five and I was ten. So we’ve been working together for a very long time. Our second business was a wheat bouquet business. We would take wheat out of our parents’ field and strip it down and bundle it. One day, Martha Stewart came in and bought like thirty bundles and that was our claim to fame. We’ve been working together ever since. It’s a really great partnership in terms of how she has her skill set and I have mine and we can bring those together. There are certain things I like to do, and certain things she likes to do. Just having someone who understands the goals and the integrity of what we want to create is incredible.
Taylor: Do you have anything coming up that you would like readers to know about?
Hillary: We do just a ton of pop-ups. We do partner with Vino per Tutti. We do wine tastings there about once a week. We just did a cooking class that was really fun. We’re just getting ready for summer. I encourage any local producers—if they have produce coming up, we would love to purchase that from them and to work with them if they have anything available.
Check out The Farmer’s Daughters Cafe when you’re looking for a place to have a coffee and read a book, meet a friend over breakfast, or get a healthy and sweet treat in Bozeman.