A letter from Jason Smith, Managing Director
Farms Work Wonders Family and Friends,
As we celebrate our 7th year, we wanted to take a moment to share news of our new rebrand, our new website, and our new restaurant! We are overwhelmed with pride as we reflect on the milestones we have achieved together. It is because of your passionate support and our dedicated team that we have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals.
First and foremost, it is with profound sadness that we share the news of the passing of Jonathan D Lewis. Jonathan, our angel investor and the namesake of the Jonathan D + Mark C. Lewis Foundation, played a fundamental role in the development and launch of Farms Work Wonders. Over 10 years ago, on his first visit to Wardensville, Jonathan fell in love with this town and our community, eventually building a home to spend more time here. His unwavering dedication and generous contributions have played an integral role in shaping our organization’s journey. We will forever cherish his legacy and commitment to our cause. You can read more about Jonathan D + Mark C. Lewis in the WV Living Meet the Possibilitarians article.
Jonathan D and Mark C. Lewis in the Lewis Farm high tunnel
Jonathan’s legacy will live on through the continuing work of his foundation, and his husband, Mark, will now become the Board Chair of the foundation. In this time of transition, Paul Yandura, who has been instrumental in his role as President and Executive Director at Farms Work Wonders, will be stepping back from day-to-day operations to focus on his other role as CEO of the Jonathan D + Mark C. Lewis Foundation.
While this moment marks a poignant turning point for our nonprofit, it is also one of great promise. Our mission is to ignite the spark of curiosity in Appalachian youth, so they can see themselves and their futures in new and exciting ways. We achieve this through our businesses, which serve as living classrooms where real-world work, life, and leadership skills are built into every shift.
As our organization has grown and expanded, we recognized an opportunity to better tell our story and are excited to share our redeveloped website and updated business identities. We’re excited to unveil our new Farms Work Wonders logo:
Our new logo combines our love for vibrant colors and bold typography into something timeless. Just like a quilt stitched together from many small pieces creates a beautiful, functional heirloom, our organization strives to bring together diverse groups of young people, life skills, and experiences into one program that will inspire and provide new opportunities for generations to come.
Also, on our new website farmsworkwonders.org, you’ll find information about all of our programs and businesses. Each of our businesses makes unique and substantial contributions to our mission, and we wanted to let each shine and have their own identity. One of the big changes was the naming of our farm and bakery which both fell under the Wardensville Garden Market name when they were launched. Lewis Farm was in the process of being named before the passing of Jonathan, and now we’re even more proud to have a name for the farm to call its own. With the expansion of the culinary department and the relocation to our new kitchen space, we now proudly refer to the bakery as Mack’s Bingo Bakery.
Here’s a look at our updated logos for our family of businesses:
And last but not least, after much waiting and anticipation, we are pleased to announce the opening of our new restaurant Thursday, August 17, 2023:
It’s been years in the making, and we can now confidently say that it was worth the wait. The restaurant was born from an idea of providing a well-rounded hospitality learning experience for youth to complement the opportunities offered in our farm, market, bakery, and glass studio. We also wanted to provide a casual and approachable, yet exceptional experience through food, drink, and hospitality to our community. We firmly believe that the expanded diversity of experiences will serve as a further catalyst for transformative change in the lives of the youth we aim to support.
As we embark on this new chapter with the opening of our restaurant Mack’s Bingo Kitchen, we are confident that our collective dedication will continue to drive us forward. We remain committed to making a positive difference in the lives of Appalachian youth and working tirelessly to achieve our mission.
We look forward to your continued support and encouragement as we strive to create a more equitable and compassionate world. Together, we can build a community where everyone thrives, regardless of their circumstances.
“Don’t be afraid to shake things up,” was a common phrase that Jonathan shared with those around him. I’m optimistic about the future of Wardensville, and I invite you to join us in continuing to shake things up.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Managing Director, Farms Work Wonders
Jonathan D Lewis at Farms Work Wonders in Wardensville, WV