Kelley D’Angelo, Founder, CEO & President of Lark Ellen Farm struggled with inflammation of her joints for years and when she turned her body into a food experiment discovered that grains and wheat could cause inflammation. She cut them out of her diet. Her digestive system improved and her lifelong chronic pain vanished. But, Kelley missed her morning bowl of cereal. Proving the adage that necessity is the mother of invention, she took to her kitchen, trying grainless recipes and learning about nutrition, such as the benefits of sprouting (sprouting seeds, grains, etc. breaks down the anti-nutrients and makes food easier to digest). Her mom ordered the nuts and seeds, soaked them, dehydrated and dried them, and helped make the bags to hold them to sell at the Ojai Farmer’s Market.
As demand for her snacks grew, she needed a name for her products. Her dad suggested “Lark Ellen Farm,” the name of her modest half-acre garden on Lark Ellen Avenue in the East End of town.
Channeling her inner Nancy Drew, she discovered her street was named after Southern Californian, Ellen Beach Yaw, an opera singer in the late 1800s. She was nicknamed “Lark Ellen” because her singing voice sounded like a songbird. She was also a philanthropist, starting a Lark Ellen School for Boys, and the Lark Ellen League for singers and musicians, who gave concerts in hospitals, homes and jails.
To follow in the original Lark Ellen’s philanthropic footsteps, Kelley started the Grainless Goodness, “good for you” food project. If you click on the Lark Ellen website you can nominate someone you feel deserves recognition for doing a good deed for you or someone else. It could be as simple as walking your dog. Lark Ellen Farm will then send that good person a free bag of grainless goodness, a note of thanks, coupons, and a shout out on social media.
Locally, Lark Ellen snacks are sold at Rainbow Bridge and Westridge markets.
So, as you wander the Taste of Ojai tasting and sipping, remember to stop at Lark Ellen Farm for some crunchie, grainless goodness. Try the lemon/blueberry or cacao cherry snack or, perhaps, the pumpkin fig… it is pumpkin season after all.
By: Ilona Saari
Lark Ellen Farm
420 Bryant Circle
Ojai, CA 93023