Ten years ago, a local Templeton woman founded a business for our San Luis Obispo County community that would end up providing thousands of meals and broths to those in critical need or otherwise striving for healing through nutrition. Long before there were bone broth bars lining the streets of big cities, this local kitchen was providing thousands of quarts of this liquid gold. Hundreds have attended their classes and support groups, and countless more have felt the hug-in-a-cup with their famous healing tea. It is with sweet sorrow yet abundant gratitude and joy that founder of The Wellness Kitchen (TWK), Nancy Walker, and the Board of Directors announce they will not be reopening.
“I’m feeling the utmost gratitude to everyone who made this kitchen what is was,” says Walker. “It might have been my vision based on the memory of my father and in honor of my mother, but it was the incredible community of volunteers, benevolent benefactors, farms, patrons, families, and staff that brought life to these walls and love to the food.”
One of these incredible people is Dr. Ganpule whose building across from Twin Cities Hospital housed The Wellness Kitchen for the past eight years. “Dr. Ganpule believed in our mission, which helped us make a difference for so many people,” says Walker. “You felt transformed by this joy-filled place the moment you walked through these doors.”
The mission of TWK was to provide restorative nutrient-rich food, education, and resources to individuals with critical or chronic conditions and those striving for optimal health. Yet an additional mission, not so easily summarized in words, was the life-changing, heart-lifting effect you felt after being greeted by the smiling volunteer at the door. “My experience with you [Nancy] and The Wellness Kitchen has brought me through some pretty hard times,” says one such volunteer, Katie E. “Being able to help others in a capacity that I sooo believe in got me out of myself and into the world again.”
Since reopening after the building fire, the volunteers returned in abundance. “I loved listening to their stories, laughter, and ideas,” says Walker of the kitchen volunteers. “Many of our volunteers found a sanctuary here and experienced a healing of a heart that needed to find a place to belong.”
The Wellness Kitchen will temporarily transform their website, www.TheWKRC.org, into a resource page of local businesses who will carry the torch of helping people heal through nutrition, including Therapeutic Chefs and nutrition educators who have worked with TWK through the years.
“You’ll be excited to see what local business is coming to the space,” says Walker. “Plus, I’m not done cooking yet! Mark and I will spend more time with my mom, who is 86; and I hope to put my therapeutic skills to use with the Cancer Association of Havasu while I’m at it.”