The Founders1



Nancy Bruns at the Farm, 2013.

Nancy Bruns, Co-Founder

Nancy’s passion for food began at a young age.  Growing up in a large family, her best memories occurred in the kitchen and around the dinner table.  Her parents allowed their children to participate in the kitchen, instilling a lifelong passion for cooking.  After graduating from Bucknell University, Nancy enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont.  She embarked on a career that would explore many facets of cooking.  She owned and operated a small restaurant and catering business in Highlands, North Carolina, allowing her to discover the importance of food sourcing and the connection of family farming to a healthy food system.  She sold her restaurant in 2008, and has since sought to marry her love of food and deep family heritage with a meaningful business.  Reviving her family’s salt enterprise in Malden, West Virginia was the perfect fit.  For her, salt is the most essential cooking ingredient, and she particularly loves to experiment with meat and fish curing. She has 2 children, Lisle and Carter, who both love to cook.



Lewis Payne at the Farm, 2013.

Lewis Payne, Co-Founder

Lewis has a passion for the family farm and its deep history.  Following graduation from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, he worked on a thoroughbred farm in Lexington, Kentucky.  In order to secure a more financially stable career, he pursued another long-standing family tradition — the practice of law.   Following his graduation from Ohio Northern University’s Petit College of Law, he practiced law in Lexington for seven years. He then moved back to his hometown of Charleston, West Virginia to become the Vice President of Operations for several land holding companies, and ultimately help revive the family farm and its salt-making practices.  Food and cooking have become a passion for him, and something he truly enjoys sharing with his children and with his wife Paige Stith Payne.  Paige and Lewis have been married for 24 years and have a son Davis and a daughter Cameron.



WV Food and Farm Coalition

WV SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurs)

Coalfield Development

Patriot Guardens