Our Kitchen's Story
How it All Started
Zilke Farm Kitchen is located in Milan, Michigan, and branches out from Zilke Vegetable Farm. Tom and Vicki started Zilke Vegetable Farm in 2009, opening the farmstand on Carpenter Road in 2011.
The idea of opening a second location in town, in a building with running water and heat and a commercial kitchen has been a dream of Vicki’s for several years. With start-up funding from the Michigan Good Food Fund, we acquired the former Schultz Bottled Gas building in 2017 and began renovation. We hired Budd’s General Contracting to assist with licensed work like plumbing, electrical, and heating, but we did as much of the reconstruction as possible, starting with demolition! We laid ceramic tile, insulated, painted, and did nightly clean up behind the professionals.
We selected a new logo for the Kitchen as well. We hired graphic designer Susan Hazel Rich to help us capture the fresh messaging of simple food preparation with healthy ingredients, and kept our name a strong part of the new logo. We are delighted with the whisk, spatula, and spoon, the fresh herbs just separated from the stem, and the strong clean font of Zilke. The colors capture our love of bringing the bounty of the outdoors – blue skies and fresh green growth.
The new Zilke Farm Kitchen is designed to feel like a home kitchen and pantry, stocked with a great selection of healthy, local, tasty ingredients ready to assemble into a quick and delicious meal with skills and equipment we all have. We’re not that interested in award-winning presentations; we really just want to have satisfying and delicious dishes that are simple to create and prepared with love.
The Kitchen allows us to extend our service to our friends and neighbors in our community beyond our short Michigan farmstand summer season, and it provides a new service as well: solving the endless “what’s for dinner tonight?” quandary by offering simple to prepare meal kits as well as ready-made meals, salads, and sides. There are so many good foods grown right here in Michigan all year round, and we really want you to enjoy them!