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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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