I was diagnosed with Celiac disease at 12 years old so from a very early age I was reading ingredient labels and becoming deeply connected to the impact that food has on your health and wellbeing. Later I was driven by an interest in environmental work and spent time living abroad in Thailand and Mexico working to promote the protection of endangered species and landscapes. It was during those years spent in incredible food cultures, interacting with small producers, fishermen and ranchers that pushed me to realize my passion was really sustainable food systems.
I completed a Masters degree at the Yale School of the Environment where I pursued an interdisciplinary curriculum in sustainable food and agriculture as well as marketing and communications. Later, I worked for a sustainable seafood business and worked closely with both small-scale fishermen and some of the top chefs and restaurants in New York City. Through my work with the social impact driven consulting firm, Process First, I had the incredible opportunity to work closely with the people who now make up the founding team of 100 Mile Markets. Though we have diverse backgrounds, we came together to explore the important role that local food plays in a better food system.
Rita Higgins has a wide range of experience ranging from forestry, to a professional career in landscape design, to local politics as a member of the Nantucket Select Board, to experience as a small food producer in Ireland and Upstate New York. Rita’s focus has been on the human connection to land through the built environment, a focus she has explored through landscape design for over 15 years. Five years ago, the essential nature of our connection to the land, to each other, our impact on the environment, through food, became a motivating inspiration to become more involved in the world of food, particularly in our access to local food and the opportunity to address the universal issues of small producers. Through an intimate knowledge of the obstacles and massive systemic supply chain issues that can be prohibitive to small, local producer success and also to eating healthfully, seasonally and sustainably, Rita saw the business opportunities on Nantucket and beyond, to make access to local food more attainable and founded both 100 Mile Makers, followed by the Nantucket brick and mortar local food hub, Pip & Anchor.
Rita is a graduate of McGill University where she studied Environment and International Development and has established food and landscape businesses in both Ireland and Nantucket.
Steve is a lover of food, always looking to try a new recipe or restaurant. After meeting Matt, Steve realized he could turn his love of food into a mission to work on important issues including climate, inequality, and animal welfare. Now he directs his passions and skills at helping make sustainabily produced food more accessible.
Previously Steve built a software business from the ground up that grew to over $1 million in annual revenue. He found success using technology to automate away the tedious parts of running an organization, helping many small businesses thrive.
Matt believes that supporting local food is the best way for us all to create healthier communities and ensure that agriculture supports a sustainable environment. He is an entrepreneur who brings his background in mechanical engineering, data analytics and system design to 100 Mile Markets. Matt’s role is focused on data, strategy and partnership development.
Matt loves cooking outside, including beach clambakes and camping dinners. He once traveled 5,000 miles with a meatball sub to provide a friend his favorite food on his wedding day.