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Forward Thinking

A Napa entrepreneur fuses food, wine, and philanthropy.



Courtesy of Feast it Forward

Katie Hamilton Shaffer is on a mission. “I want people to rethink what they are buying on the shelf, who they are buying from, and who they are giving back to,” says the founder of Feast It Forward. Her venture, a clever play on pay it forward, is a Napa Valley—based brand with a concept much like Newman’s Own food products, where a share of sales goes to charity.

Shaffer collaborated with local chefs and vintners to develop her artisanal foods, which range from gourmet spices sourced from Whole Spice and Kollar chocolates (both Wine Country—based purveyors), to her Feast Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. All products are sold online, and proceeds benefit local charities. Already gaining nationwide momentum, her spices were one of the 2013 food finalists for the Martha Stewart American Made Audience Choice Award.

A longtime Napa Valley resident with her finger on the valley’s pulse, Shaffer and her business strive to highlight and celebrate the great works being done by local vintners and chefs for regional fundraisers. So Wine Country fans can feel even more connected to the feel-good causes, Shaffer hosts online videos, featuring the chefs and vintners at local charity events. In the videos, she interviews them about causes near and dear to their hearts.

Shaffer—who owned a winery in the past—is motivated not only by a passion for food and wine, but also by her desire to help others. She was especially moved by the challenges faced by a mentor whose daughter was diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder. “I realized if I could bring food, wine, and giving together, then this is the path that I am meant to lead,” Shaffer says.

(707) 939-5343, feastitforward.com.

 

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Wine Country Itineraries: Getting to know the towns of Napa and Sonoma counties

You’re in Wine Country, and your performance doesn’t start for a while. You don’t feel like visiting a winery, and you don’t have time for dinner. All of a sudden you realize that you don’t really know Wine Country all that well. Here’s a selection of things to see and do in Petaluma and Yountville.

5 New Wine Country Restaurants

New restaurants to delight your taste buds.

Dine About Town

Whether you are yearning for Yountville or a newbie noshing in Napa, here are four fantastic new finds on the foodie map.

Extending the Olive Branch

Healdsburg Hot Spots

New tasting room and restaurant open their Doors.

A Perfect Pairing

The couple who created the Clif Bar debut a Napa Valley food line.

Apple Heaven

Experience the best in apple culture—from pies to cider—in Sonoma County.

New Eats

As if foodies visiting Wine Country didn’t already have enough eateries to sate every craving, two newcomers serve up home-style fare at prices that are easy to swallow.

Around Town with Robert and Margrit Mondavi

Robert and Margrit Mondavi share their favorite things to see and do around Napa Valley.

Home on the Grange

Healdsburg’s new foodie marketplace stakes its claim

French Toast

Fabulous wines pair with Michelin bites at St. Helena’s Posh new tasting room.

Mobile Morsels

Gourmet grub on the go!