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The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

Business Supports Community

Farm+12s+lights+shine+on+the+outside+portion+of+the+building.+%E2%80%9CThis+was+the+VanLear+bulb+farm%2C+the+whole+valley+used+to+be+bulb+farms.+This+was+bulb+farm+%2312.+And+so+thats+where+Krista+got+the+inspiration+from+the+name+to+be+Farm+12+and+honoring+the+heritage+of+the+bulb+farms+and+the+bulb+growth+in+the+valley%2C+Aaron+Welch+said.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Krista Linden
Farm 12’s lights shine on the outside portion of the building. ““This was the VanLear bulb farm, the whole valley used to be bulb farms. This was bulb farm #12. And so that’s where Krista got the inspiration from the name to be Farm 12 and honoring the heritage of the bulb farms and the bulb growth in the valley,” Aaron Welch said.

Farm 12 is a unique restaurant located in the Puyallup Valley. In addition to providing quality meals to the community of Puyallup, the restaurant is also a hotspot for community gatherings and is a nonprofit for a charity known as Step By Step. 

Step By Step is a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of pregnant people by supporting them throughout their pregnancy and setting them up for success after. The program has been running for over 26 years and helped over 900 people through their program last year alone. 

Brock VanArsdall is the general manager of the restaurant and says Farm 12 has had major impacts on many lives in the community. 

“Farm 12 came about with an idea to be a place where people could work or could gain occupational skills training, whether that be in the restaurant or in the event center or in our coffee shop and bakery. It’s a way to partner with the individuals and mothers who go through the nonprofit and a way to help them grow, whether that’s in resume building, or in learning new skills and traits,” VanArsdall said. 

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The restaurant sets it apart from others in the area in many ways. Aaron Welch, the Food and Beverage Director, takes pride in the staff and menu. 

“We’ve really tasked ourselves with embracing the mission of Step By Step and being different and really helping the community. Coming from a history of corporate restaurants, we treat all of our staff more like family and so we take a different approach on work-life balance. The amenities that we provide to our staff, [we’re] really trying to come alongside our staff and help them in their personal lives as well as their professional life,” Welch said. 

The approach to their menu is another unique element of the establishment. 

“We take an approach to food that we don’t want to be cookie cutter, that it’s not chef-ready, that we really want to take time and care. We do our menu flips twice a year, we’ve never had a food item be on the menu twice. So we’re constantly trying to evolve and grow and bring a fresh perspective of food to the area in the valley,” Welch said. 

The restaurant is located on a former bulb farm, and the staff are well aware of the history of the area. 

“This was the Van Lierop bulb farm, the whole valley used to be bulb farms. This was bulb farm #12. And so that’s where Krista got the inspiration from the name to be Farm 12 and honoring the heritage of the bulb farms and the bulb growth in the valley. And the family house is still on property, [Van Lierop] still lives in the house,” Welch said. 

The restaurant has become a major place for community events and gatherings due to the Event Center on the property and the welcoming atmosphere. 

“I think it’s bigger than just a restaurant… I think that the biggest role that we serve in the community is being a warm, inviting space where you can get together with friends, family, and kind of just enjoy your time. We don’t pressure people for table times or anything like that. It’s a place where you can really come feel at home, hang out and enjoy your time,” Welch said. 

Brooke Riddle, the Event and Marketing Coordinator, enjoys seeing the impact that the restaurant has on staff members.  

“[We see] staff find value in volunteering for Step By Step, participating in different events or different things Step By Step does for the community and they choose to spend their time outside of Farm 12 helping Step By Step,” Riddler said. 

There seems to be a deep connection between the area and the restaurant. 

“I feel like there’s such a link between the history of Puyallup, the bulb farm, the fact that this site was about growth and about what something will become and about the beauty behind those flowers and whatnot. There’s a link there with Step By Step investing in pregnant moms and the baby and the growth and what that beautiful family will become in the future,” VanArsdall said.

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About the Contributor
Ethan Barker, ACE Editor
Ethan Barker is the ACE (Arts, Culture and Entertainment) Editor for the Viking Vanguard student newspaper at Puyallup High School. This year, which will be his second with the Vanguard and his junior year of high school, he hopes to improve his interviewing skills and work with the editorial team to investigate issues facing students. He consistently turns out reviews of blockbuster movies and shows, along with feature stories that focus on unique people and places. In addition to these, he enjoys playing guitar, swimming for PHS and his club team and reading the closest book he can get his hands on.

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