Western Wisconsin. Our family of four (mom, dad and two hungry boys) needed a breakfast that was quick and easy to prepare, but still wholesome and nourishing enough to last us until we came in for lunch. Inspired by the wonderful food native to our part of the world–hearty wild rice, the sweet tang of cranberries and nutty toasted pumpkin seeds, among other ingredients–together we created Simply Native Foods.
We plan to keep growing, from our quick-cooking cereals to other products with many more native foods from North America. Our ingredients will always be gluten-free and non-GMO. We hope you'll enjoy them and share them with your own family and friends.
Our passion for nature and stewardship of the land is the common thread running through everything we do.
Prescott and Juliet met in college and bonded over our mutual love of the outdoors (Juliet grew up on a New Jersey tree farm and Prescott comes from a Minnesota fishing and foraging family). Two sons, one working farm, several businesses, and a non-profit Montessori school later, we've been joining forces ever since!
Colin Tomkins-Bergh: CEO
Colin has enjoyed the outdoors since his childhood growing up on an organic grass-fed beef farm in NW Wisconsin. In recent years his love and passion for finding ways to enjoy nature through activities such as hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and canoeing have grown exponentially. This increased love of nature plus being brought up to be conscious of what he eats has lead Colin to be active outdoors in Madison, Wisconsin where he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and to eat organically and as locally as possible. Since graduation, Colin has worked at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as a research associate exploring entrepreneurship ecosystems across the USA and the agriculture technology sector. Nowadays, Colin enjoys playing around the isthmus while working on sales and marketing for Simply Native Foods.
Juliet Tomkins: Director of Finance
Juliet has had a variety of careers in her life: being a community organizer in minority neighborhoods; providing technical assistance to food cooperatives; representing small family farmers as an attorney; starting and administering a parent-run Montessori school; teaching undergrads about agricultural law and cooperatives; raising and marketing grassfed beef on her family's organic farm for 20 years and being a lifelong partner to Prescott, her husband and mother to two amazing sons: Cameron and Colin. The thread that ran through these positions was her commitment to social justice, education, and environmental protection. Her newest endeavor is being CEO of her family's food company: Simply Native Foods. She feels that this latest position is allowing her to bring together all of her past life experiences to help create and grow a business which is committed to educating people and selling foods to them which are native to North America: "Ancient Foods for Modern Times."
Prescott Bergh: R&D and Procurement
Prescott grew up in a forager family long before this activity had a category name. Learning to love and savor the bounty from the wild gave him an early appreciation for indigenous / native foods which reemerged after decades in the organic and natural food business as a farmer, food developer and cook. Simply Native Foods came as a response to imported superfoods as Prescott realized 'what we need is already here' in the form of indigenous North American superfruits, seeds and grains that humans have shared all over the continent for millennia.
Our farm sits on 107 rolling acres in Western Wisconsin. We spent our newlywed years in the city, while longing for a place in the country to call our own. In 1987 we had the good fortune to find it! Young and full of ideas (but little experience), we started from scratch, envisioning a new life on the land.
Our farm was the first in the township to be settled when a Norwegian immegrant walked 300 miles across the state to claim the land. With its beautiful expanse of rolling native prairie, it was the perfect candidate for a sod house, the land's first dwelling. Over 100 years later, the land is home to our passive solar design house, our family of four, and a new generation of beginning vegetable farmers.
We continue to improve the farm's many diverse habitats. With 60 acres of pastures, 25 acres of woods, marshes and bushy fencerows, 11 acres of untouched native prairie, and two wildlife ponds where ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes flock to eat the wild rice, the farm is home to creatures large and small.