FOWL + FODDER
Fowl and Fodder, through the Eyes of Chef Scott Bowman
A menu seems like a simple thing at first. It’s a list of dishes available in a restaurant. Some exotic, some plain, with usually a little something for everyone. Just like a menu, life is full of these dishes too. And every day we ask: Which one should I choose? Which will be the best, the tastiest, the most fulfilling? What am I craving right now?
Ten years ago, I was working in a corporate restaurant as a general manager. I chose the dish that was safe. The dish that had little flare but would always be there. A steady dish, the same old routine that offered minimal challenge and very little personal fulfillment. I knew something was missing.
I began a brainstorming process with my wonderful wife and closest friends, to come up with the restaurant concept that would eventually become Fowl and Fodder. For the first time in my career, I was going for the mysterious, unknown dish. Something off the menu, something I had never tried before. The excitement of getting out on my own was incredible. I could finally do what I had always wanted to do. Something the corporate world didn’t let people in my position do. It was like a dream I had never thought possible before.
I would get to create something real and unique. My passion for art would come out in my food. I could now use this passion and begin a new adventure designing, developing, and creating my restaurant. I began reaching out to anyone and everyone for advice and help with financing this dream that began to feel so real. I familiarized myself with a crowd-funding website called Kickstarter, and realized that this was it. Not only could I raise funds to get my restaurant open but I could include my future guests in the process. They could be a part of what was meant to be for THEM anyway. It was perfect.
I was able to meet so many wonderful people passionate about local food before I even opened the doors. The community was involved with Fowl and Fodder from the beginning, and about this time I realized I was just a part of something larger. A movement of people, proud of their city, their culture and their food. A movement that needed to be fed. It was time for my next dish.
I was meeting local farmers and producers in our area, and I filled my kitchen with their food. I was ready to begin testing and experimenting with my new products. This time I created the dish in earnest. The dish took several hours of critiquing and experimenting, peeling and slicing, chopping and dicing, this dish was made from scratch with only the finest ingredients our area can offer. Fowl and Fodder was ready to open the doors.
That moment of accomplishment was amazing. Not an I anymore, but an entire group of people from through Toledo. Farmers, dairies, bakeries, restauranteurs and normal every day diners coming together to make something incredible. We had done it. We had opened a restaurant that we could be proud of, something unique and challenging and all together our own.
This was only the beginning. I was in for a long first year. Our name was slowly making its name around but we needed to get more guests in the doors if we were going to survive. We were struggling. We had to keep going. We couldn’t give up. We knew we had something special to offer everyone in Toledo. If the passion, hard work, and drive is there to succeed, the possibilities become endless. We continued to hold on tight. We used social media, radio ads, and door to door advertising to spread awareness about our existence. It was working. People were starting to hear about us. Rumors of our ethically sourced, delicious, scratch made menu were spreading throughout town. Repeat guests were coming in sometimes multiple times a week to eat. They couldn’t get enough and I couldn’t get enough of them either. I was developing real, down to earth friendships with both my team and my guests. And it was working.
I felt beyond grateful. My heart filled as guests began to trust me and flatter me with compliments of their experience and love for my food. My food! That’s the best part of this whole journey. The people. My guests, my farmers, my friends. Who can say they go to work every single day with their best friends? I am beyond blessed to have made the leap and landed on both my feet, surrounded by people who love what we do and believe in our vision. I work with an incredible staff and I engage with incredible guests every single day. These people are all here for me. They care about my success. They believe in my dream. They believe in me and that is why I can write this story today.
PS: Our next dish will be an adventurous one as we begin the journey in expanding and improving Fowl and Fodder while opening our newest location in downtown Toledo. We are so excited to have you as part of this ride. We couldn't do it without you Toledo!
Second Location of Fowl and Fodder Coming to Downtown Toledo
The revolutionary owners of Fowl and Fodder, Scott and Alexis Bowman, have teamed up with local area business consultant, Alicia Wagner (above left), owner of HEELS Coaching, to take Fowl and Fodder to Downtown Toledo. They are excited to announce a second location opening downtown on Adams Street this fall.
The Bowman’s dream to provide scratch made, locally sourced fare became a reality when they opened the original Fowl and Fodder location on Central Avenue in 2014. Due in large part to the success of the first restaurant and incredible support of the local community, a second location will be opening at 614 Adams Street, in the heart of historic downtown Toledo.
The Fowl and Fodder team chose the new location in an effort to continue rebuilding downtown Toledo. “We are extremely excited to support the continual growth of the Warehouse District, while providing local food made with real ingredients to the people who live, work and play in downtown Toledo” said founder and head chef Scott Bowman.
Fowl and Fodder’s mission, to bring scratch-made, local fare to the community, is the only Toledo restaurant of its kind. The farm-to-table restaurant provides a unique menu with fresh, organic and locally sourced ingredients. The menu includes the very best of Northwest Ohio’s produce, meats, and artisan foods. Fowl and Fodder's unapologetic mission to provide ethically sourced eats becomes even more novel to those needing local options for vegan, gluten free, and "clean" conscious catering options.
Fowl and Fodder has been celebrated with multiple Toledo City Paper awards since first opening including:
2014: Best New Restaurant
2015: Best Organic Restaurant, Best Secret Menu Item, Best Restaurateur (Scott Bowman)
2016: Champion of Farm to Table Restaurant, Best Breakfast, Best Gluten Free Menu, Best Secret Menu Item, Best Smoothie
Whether you plan to eat in or on-the-run, Fowl and Fodder makes it easy to do. Patrons can order food through the Fowl and Fodder app or online at fowlandfodder.com.
Our hours are Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 4 PM and Saturday and Sunday, 8 AM to 4 PM. For more information on Fowl and Fodder’s new restaurant location, contact Alicia Wagner at 419-944-5561 or firstname.lastname@example.org.