Echo Park restaurant owner plants the idea for an ambitious food program

Echo Park’ new vegan restaurant, Mooi, has teamed up with Community Supported Agriculture California to serve as a distribution point for farm-fresh produce.  Residents will be able to buy and pick up $25 worth of produce on Tuesday afternoons at  Mooi.  But serving as a CSA pick up center is part of a more ambitious plan by Mooi’s owner, Stephen Hauptfuhr, to make it easier for residents to grow and learn the benefits of a plant-based diet by starting a community garden and offering classes.  Two dollars from every order of produce will be earmarked for the garden, according to CSA California. Here’s what Hauptfuhr is working on:

I am putting something together, a proposal if you will, to hopefully get [Councilman] Eric Garcetti’s office and the city council behind re appropriation of land in Echo Park for a community garden.  We have turned the basement of Mooi into a usable lounge area and plan to use it for multiple things, including classes/workshops on gardening and the benefits of growing your own food … We then want to use  as an extension of the class  the community garden to be able to take people from the class environment to the garden and be able to plant, grow and then harvest their produce to take home and make food for themselves. We also have some guest speakers already lined up for September … who are on tours discussing benefits of eating a largely plant based diet.

If the community garden does not materialize, the $2 raised from each order will be redirected to a school garden or nutrition program, said Kali Wnuck with CSA California

Photo by Waldo Jaquith/Flickr


  1. I’m so enthusiastic about this program and would love to participate. But I noticed on the CSA website that pickup times at Mooi are from 3 to 5 pm. Not really workable if you have a full-time job.

  2. Perhaps if Veronica went to Mooi the day before and paid for the produce, they would pick up her bag of produce and hold it for her.

  3. I love meat and cheese.

  4. I’m with Ched. Where is our Community Supported Nacho Toppin’s Center?

  5. I think it’s a pretty good idea! And I think even the most voracious carnivores occasionally like some lettuce and tomato on their double bacon cheeseburgers.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *