In 1974 Bill and Lola Zimmerman bought a farm in Fall City, Washington. In the spring, Lola found herself with some extra chives from her garden and set them by the road with an “herb plants for sale sign” and an empty jar. The following day the chives were gone and the jar was full and the earliest iteration of The Herbfarm was born. Over the next few years Bill and Lola grew the farm into large scale nursery with hundreds of varieties of herbs.
In 1986, Bill and Lola’s son Ron and his wife Carrie Van Dyck had the idea to offer educational luncheons on the farm and began remodeling the farm’s garage into a restaurant. Ron was The Herbfarm’s first chef and with Carrie hosting, the first meal was served on May 25, 1986. Over the next 10 years The Herbfarm garnered national recognition for championing local foods and pioneering farm to table cooking.
Tragedy struck in 1997. An electrical fire, sparked in the newly remodeled kitchen, burned the restaurant to the ground. After several nomadic years, popping up in wineries and temporary structures the restaurant set its new roots in Woodinville and reopened on May 25, 2001, 15 years to the day from the original opening.
Following Ron and Carrie’s retirement in 2021, Chris and Jack are carrying The Herbfarm into its third generation.
Both originally from the east coast, Chris Weber and Jack Gingrich met at The Herbfarm in 2010. For the following decade they worked together as Chef and Sous Chef and immersed themselves in the culture and community of the Pacific Northwest building a strong connection to the restaurant.
More information about The Herbfarm is available here