Welcome board member Pamela Hinckley
Pamela’s career started in the late 1970’s when she discovered her true passion for the food and beverage industry while creating a farmer’s market for Americorps. That experience led her to change career paths from psychology to marketing, and in 1997, Hinckley became Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, Washington. Her 15 years there helped to hone her executive leadership skills and in 2002, Hinckley moved on to establish her own marketing consulting company. One of her greatest success stories was managing the launch of award-winning brand Theo Chocolate, which was ultimately included in Seattle Magazine’s “Best in Seattle” list in 2006. Hinckley’s reputation grew as a visionary in the Seattle food scene, so it came as no surprise when her long-time friend and Seattle restaurateur, Tom Douglas, approached her to join his team in 2009 as CEO/CVO (Chief Vegetable Officer).
Of the many rewarding experiences while at the restaurant company, Pamela considers these most memorable: setting up Made from Scratch cooking classes for kids, helping Tom’s wife Jackie coordinate visits to the company farm, working with Seattle Public Schools on improving school lunch, instituting Meatless Monday for staff meals, building a coconut cream pie float for the Gay Pride parade and raising tons of money for Food Lifeline with an annual croquet tournament.
Her husband, Michael Teer owns the fabulous wineshop, Pike and Western, so they enjoy tasting wine from around the world with vegetable forward meals at their home in Ballard.
What drew you to the issue of farmland conservation?
I find myself reflecting on this in terms of my professional career, and what drew me to my three long-term jobs at Redhook Brewery, Theo Chocolates, and Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen. What knits these three together for me is the ingredients we used and how we told the stories of those ingredients. At Redhook it was all about craft brewing; we talked about where the hops and the barley came from and we educated people about the farms and farmers. At Theo Chocolates, we built the company around the sourcing of the cacao and our relationships with farmers. We moved people’s thinking away from candy and toward thinking about a process that begins with agriculture. It was an easy connection for the restaurants. Tom Douglas, Eric Tanaka, and the entire team is all about finding the best local farmers and fishermen to create engaging menus for customers. Creating Hot Stove Society, Tom Douglas’ cooking school, was a passion project for me. It allowed us to deepen our connection to our customers in a warm, intimate setting. It provided a showcase for the ingredients and farms, and an ideal place for creating community around food. I’ve always been drawn to food and the stories behind it. It’s shaped me. That’s my answer!
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing or working on at the Trust?
I want to learn more from our farmers. I’m really into soil right now – super curious. I am eager to learn more. And, I want to know how we can all help contribute to having more, healthy soil. I’m also reading a new book that has me thinking more about advocacy: Let’s Ask Marion: What You Need to Know about the Politics of Food, Nutrition, and Health by Marion Nestle.
Is there anything else you want our community to know about you?
I really admire the effort of companies like REI, for example, telling people just to get outside. 2020 has made me more aware of how helpful it is to take comfort in nature. Recently, I’ve become really interested in birds – I’m awed by them. I’ve found it healing and I want to encourage others to get outside and enjoy the bounty of our good earth, too!