BY KENDRA MURRAY
It isn’t hard to find a farm when driving around Southeastern Massachusetts. With over 1,700 farms across Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties and the continual growth of farmers markets, it’s easy to find fresh, local, and delicious ingredients. What about dining out, though? Stumped as to where you can find local lunch and dinner (without having to cook it yourself)?
Look no further than How on Earth, a local eatery and whole food shop situated in the seaside community of Mattapoisett. How on Earth, founded in 2007 by Margie and Michael Baldwin, was originally designed to be a CSA pickup site, where community members could collect shares of local produce. Eight years later How on Earth has evolved to a health and wellness store also offering local lunches and dinner. Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11 am – 3 pm. Dinners are offered on Thursday and Friday evenings through Labor Day and then once monthly during the fall.
Todd and I stopped in for a local lunch and were more than satisfied. At How on Earth, diners can enjoy homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, and more. With vegetarian, as well as meat and seafood offerings, there is something for everyone. How on Earth offers a selection of local beers and wines, as well as Massachusetts made Kombucha on tap. We opted for cucumber soda and root beer. For our meals, Todd had the lobster BLT, piled a mile high with fresh seafood, and crisp, local greens and tomato. The fries on the side were oven roasted, coated with a delicious blend of seasonings. I went for a Cobb salad , made with fresh local greens, Great hill blue cheese, turkey, eggs, bacon, avocado, and cranberries. Both meals were plated wonderfully and were quite filling.
We talked to the current manager of How on Earth, Mary Ann Buckley, and asked a little more about the store and restaurant, as well as our meals. Mary Ann has been working at How on Earth for about two and a half years, just coming into her management position about a year ago. Chef Chris Chapet has also been with How on Earth about two years. The prior chef was from Brooklyn and had many southern style dishes, such as biscuits, macaroni and cheese, and collards. When Chapet came on as chef, the menu was completely revamped.
We asked about our meals and Mary Ann was able to tell us where everything came from, right down to the bread that Todd’s BLT was served on (Hyannis, for those curious). Everything on my salad was local, including the dried cranberries, which are from a bog in Carver. Although the meats were not from Massachusetts, they still came from small, humane farms in New Hampshire and Vermont. “You feel good about what you eat here,” said Mary Ann.
How on Earth serves about fifty people each day for lunch, in peak season, with many folks just visiting the area for summer vacation. A lot of people who come in for lunch do end up becoming regular shoppers at the store, which offers seasonal, local produce (sourcing from about ten local farms within 30 miles of the store), humanely raised meats, local cheeses, jellies, honey, health foods, and sustainable, eco-friendly cleaning and hygiene products. If products cannot be sourced locally, they are organic. All of the artwork in the store is also local! How on Earth also offer full-service catering, partnering with Life’s Ephiphany to take care of composting, as well a community kitchen. Mary Ann told us about how they recently catered a wedding and was surprised when the mother of the bride got up to make a toast and, didn’t toast her daughter, but rather How on Earth. Yeah, it’s that good.