Lupi’s, a locally owned restaurant serving pizza, bread and garden salads, first opened its doors in downtown Chattanooga in 1996. For the past three years, the local chain with five locations sprawled across the Greater Chattanooga Area, has been serving meat and produce grown at their own all-organic 65-acre farm located on Lookout Mountain. The team has been sourcing meat and flowers from the farm for the tables at Lupi’s for the past seven years from their homegrown Flying Turtle Farm.
Meals made from Flying Turtle Farm's bounty – organic zucchinis, cucumbers, basil, green peppers, ground beef, sausage, three different varieties of tomatoes and more – are served at Lupi’s daily during the growing season, while meat continues to come from the farm year-round. The farm-to-table movement is nothing new, but for Lupi’s, the distance between farm and table is shrinking almost to zero. Sourcing much of what they serve from their own land is a labor of love led by the restaurant’s owner, Dorris Shober, said officials.
“This year, Flying Turtle Farm has delivered over 2,000 pounds of vegetables, over 3,000 pounds of beef and sausage and 140 bouquets of flowers to Lupi's,” said Dorris Shober. “Our mission is to provide healthy and sustainable food that benefits us all. We believe investing in our farm, that is adaptable and regenerative and respects the limits of season, will benefit our community and the world around us.”
With patrons everywhere asking for well-grown food, for Lupi’s, it starts with practicing resilient agriculture to provide organic and sustainable fare for the community, said officials. Additionally, to further immerse staff with the company’s culture, employee gatherings are often held at Flying Turtle Farm.
“We believe it's important, as individuals and as a company serving local communities, to cultivate passionate, mindful and truthful connections to the world around us,” said Lupi’s farm manager Tom Maynard. “It was our dream to grow and supply food for Lupi’s, and now years later to be providing organic meat and produce for all five of our locations is really full circle for us. Even our pigs are fed trimmings and pre-consumer food waste from the kitchen absorbing vitamins and nutrients from our farmed vegetables. Flying Turtle Farm empowers us to act, think and grow from a place of respect and compassion.”
Lupi’s still relies on other area farms to fill in the gaps and ensure that as much local food as possible is in the restaurants. Partners include Sequatchie Cove Farm for meat, Signal Mountain Farm for tomatoes and Circle S Farm for basil. The goal is to use local ingredients whenever possible.
To learn more about Lupi’s and Flying Turtle Farm, visit Lupi.com. For regular updates, follow
Lupi’s on Facebook and Instagram.