We create and perfect new ways to connect food makers and eaters. We teach, we challenge, we encourage.
Ran Goel, Founder
Ran is an activist and founder of Fresh City. He believes city farming can change the world by re-introducing all of us to how real food is made. Some of his formative childhood experiences include his grandmother’s stories about growing up on a Kibbutz, feeling democracy awaken in South Africa where he grew up and his mom’s stuffed peppers. Before founding Fresh City, Ran practiced investment law in New York for several years. He holds a business degree from the Schulich School of Business, York University, a masters in political economy from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the University of Toronto.
Phillip Collins, Co-Founder & Farm Manager
Phil is owner, and principal of HighRes Design and co-founder of Fresh City. He is excited to be raising awareness of the benefits of organic city farming at a community level, and believes that sustainability is an ideal that society needs to embrace as an infinite goal. He holds a bachelor of landscape architecture from The University of Guelph, and is a fully licensed member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
Abra Snider, General Manager
Abra holds a Certificate in Food Security from Ryerson University, with a focus on urban agriculture, and a B.A. from the University of Toronto in architectural design and fine art history. Abra has extensive experience within city farming, having worked on such projects as Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture, and the Metcalf Food Solutions paper “Scaling Up Urban Agriculture in Toronto: Building the Infrastructure.” Her personal mission is to reconnect people to food, field, and farmers.
Chen Goel, Operations Manager
Chen is our operations and logistics specialist and makes sure your order arrives on time. Its his voice you’ll hear answering the Fresh City phone. Chen holds a bachelor of arts from the International Disciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel and has also studied at York University. He really likes carrots.
Mélisanne, Senior Member Farmer & Assistant Farm Manager
Mélisanne has a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from York University. She specializes in environmental education and urban gardening. She is now putting her research into action through U FEED, a collaborative learning program for newcomers to urban farming.
Mélisanne’s involvement in urban agriculture started during her studies in biology in Montreal. She volunteered with The Rooftop Garden project and learnt how to grow organic food in gardening containers. She moved to Toronto to take part in the city’s vibrant urban agriculture movement.
She works at Fresh City as a Senior Member Farmer, Assistant Farm Manager, and Canning Instructor. Gardening and farming are for Mélisanne a social endeavour. She believes in creative, community-driven solutions for improving the environment and living green.
Jessica Gale, Owner Sweet Gale Gardens
Jessica grew up in the Upstate New York countryside. After finishing her Bachelors in Environmental Studies and English Literature, in addition to her Masters of Landscape Architecture, she moved to Toronto. In the past, she worked at Shamrock Hill Farms, Berkshire Botanical Gardens, and various university greenhouses. Her love of all things green and growing brought her to volunteer at Fresh City. This growing season she is taking the plunge and has started Sweet Gale Gardens: a small landscape design company focusing on native plant gardens and a small fresh cut flower farm at Fresh City’s Downsview location. When Jessica is not at the farm, she can be found teaching yoga, hiking, cooking or traveling.
Kim Keitner, Marketing Manager
Kim is Fresh City’s marketing manager. Over several summers spent up in Temagami, Ontario she developed a deep connection with nature and has always had a great love for good food! Before joining Fresh City, Kim studied Journalism in Halifax and worked in the fast-paced world of PR/Social Media in Toronto. She jumped at the chance to merge her passions for Communications, the outdoors and food while helping Fresh City grow and thrive. On any given day you can find Kim up at the packing station, visiting Fresh City member farmers and friends, cooking up a delicious local, organic meal or riding her bike, looking for adventure.
Danielle Cinanni, Warehouse Manager
Danielle joins Fresh City with a variety of experience working for the local food movement. In Campo Ramón, deep within the Argentinean jungle, they call her the “cookie monster.” But at Fresh City, as the warehouse manager, Danielle is responsible for the daily operations of the packing station ensuring that our members’ produce arrives to their homes fresh and delicious. Her passions lie in all things food – food sovereignty, social justice and anything her zias can teach her in the kitchen. As a farmer, she split her time between working the land and bringing food to market where she was a favourite with customers. It’s here that she learned that re-organizing the food chain means building strong bonds between people and what they eat. Danielle holds a PGC in International Development and a BA in International Studies. She also wants to know: “What did you have for lunch today?”
Geri Soulliere, Talent Sprout
When Geri joined Fresh City Farms as a volunteer she said she had 2 brown thumbs, no talent for growing food but wanted to learn. As a long time health-conscious advocate for sustainable, mindful living and inspired by a growing awareness of food security issues and the childhood memories of her Meme’s bountiful garden, she wanted to take the next step in bridging the gap between being an eater and a maker. After a few short, fulfilling months, she joined our team to help develop the Farm Volunteer and Community Education programs.
Geri loves helping people sprout their hidden talents for growing, preparing and connecting with food through fun, interactive learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. She is a voracious reader of anything about healthy diet and conscious lifestyle and also studied business at the University of Windsor and Volunteer Management at George Brown. Her favorite veg is rapini (but anything green will do).