Our Passionate Team
Emily Rankin, Owner
Emily Rankin believes that co-creating an authentic and healthy community can serve as a model to other communities on methods for reaching economic, environmental and social prosperity. She is the founder of the Audubon Park Community Market and the Audubon Park Garden District, as well as co-founded and Directed the Progressive Local Alliance for Community Enrichment (PLACE). She also has fifteen years of experience in the food and beverage industry, with a strong focus on locally grown and produced ingredients. Currently Emily owns Local Roots: Farm to Restaurant Distribution and the Local Roots farm store in the East End Market.
Steve Head, Team Leader
Steve Head came to Orlando in 2005 to attend Rollins College. While studying Urban Planning he became immersed in the concept of "sense of place". He worked with the community development group, Ourlando, on various outreaches and was inspired to make a difference in Orlando. He believes that fortifying the local food economy is a pressing issue for Florida and wants to help you to shop local.
Chris McMullen, Team Leader
Chris McMullen is as enthusiastic about local food as he is about local music. After graduating from UCF 2011, he has been actively involved in the local food and music communities of what he has found to be the "real Orlando," and wants to help show there is more to this city that Disney World. Besides selling locally grown, fresh food and serving local beer and wine at the Local Roots farm store, he enjoys working on his garden, writing and performing music, and cooking on his spare time. He looks forward to staying involved and growing with the store and with the community.
Kyle McBride, Team Leader
A native of Jacksonville, Kyle McBride is passionate about good food and the potential it has to improve the lives of all Floridians. In March of 2014, he accepted a position as research associate with a start-up venture seeking to establish a local food hub in Northeast Florida. Through his research, Kyle learned of the amazing work that Local Roots was already doing in this field and sought the advice of owner Emily Rankin. The result was an experiential learning opportunity as driver with Local Roots. Kyle is also an active member of DIG Local, a Jacksonville-based non-profit dedicated to the idea that access to nutritious food is a human right. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, making music, and refurbishing old cast iron.
Sharon Hammond, Systems Manager
Sharon is a food passionate environmental activist. She believes in the power of food to transform communities. From the environmental impact of sustainable production, responsible distribution, and local sourcing to the joys of sharing delicious organic food, craft brews and artisan treats our food choices have the capacity to improve all of our lives. In addition to her work at Local Roots Sharon is an organizer with the environmentally focused non-profit IDEAS For Us, is continuing her education at UCF and loves to help others grow, cook and enjoy great food!