For years, almost everyone who has stepped into one of our restaurants has fallen in love with something on the menu, whether it’s the Chicken & Waffles, our awesome donuts, or one of our tasty cocktails with scratch-made mixers and proprietary spirits.

What Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG) – the team behind Founding Farmers, Farmers Fishers Bakers, and Farmers & Distillers – is also trying to offer its customers is an education on what it takes to make such good food and drink, and how they can participate in changing industry standards.

A critical element to our farmer-owned restaurants is our partnership with the North Dakota Farmers Union. We are working to find ways for family farmers to participate in a larger share of the food dollar and increase overall demand for family-farmed products. Through our restaurants and outreach efforts, we are also trying to educate customers on the importance of family farming for the future.

AJ Agrawal with The Huffington Post sat down with Dan Simons to discuss what it means to be farmer-owned, and what FRG is doing to change industry standards and upgrade customer expectations about what makes a delicious, wholesome meal.

“American family farmers live on their land and eat what they grow and raise, so they inherently care about the quality of food and the long term impact it has on their land and their farming methods,” says Simons. “We’re increasing demand for product from producers who are individuals instead of public corporations. The farmers love knowing what we do with the food and because they’re investors in the restaurants, they know exactly what’s going on at all times, and they share in the profits.”

And as for growth plans? Well, the future is definitely bright thanks to the ongoing success and overall mission of our team. “Our goal is not to be a rapidly growing restaurant chain, nor to be a huge company,” says Simons. “We hope to grow at a sensible pace, nurturing the talent needed to run this level of complex, from-scratch, restaurant.”

With the exciting opening of Farmers & Distillers, FRG will continue to have a lot of tasty fare and food wisdom to share, and even more opportunities to pave the way for others within the industry.

Read the rest of Dan Simons interview with The Huffington Post here.