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Meet the Maker: Regina's Farm Kitchen

  • , by Hannah Lee Leidy

Long before Regina's Farm Kitchen was even a thought, Regina Nekola-Hild developed a love and appreciation of food from her childhood of growing up on her family's small farm. 

Hild's parents dedicated a lot of time to helping their children understand the importance of being well equipped in the kitchen, as well as to understand where their food actually comes from. “If you wanted to eat and have a place at the table, you had to learn to cook,” Hild says about her childhood. 

Specifically, Hild's mother's strawberry farm helped her to fully understand the careful process that goes into growing and harvesting food crops and gave her a unique perspective on food and cooking moving forward. 

With a degree from the University of Central Florida, Hild planned for a career in business and spent many years working for large companies around Atlanta. Eventually, the luster of corporate life wore off, and Hild quickly realized that it was time to do something that brought her more long-term fulfillment. While she wasn't sure exactly what that was yet, she did know that she wanted it to honor her late parents and rely on the food philosophy that they had implemented in her at such a young age. 

With this newfound free time, Hild began cooking for her friends and family more often and realized that she found true joy in it. “Food was always that thing that was simple and needed,” Hild said. “It just felt good to be in the kitchen.” Shortly after, in her early forties, she enrolled in culinary school at Gwinnett Technical College to pursue a new career. 

Regina's Farm Kitchen peach jam on a cheese board

With a culinary degree under her belt, Hild was still trying to figure out what her contribution was going to be to the food world until her friend dropped off multiple brown paper bags filled with a total of 40lbs of what the friend believed to be green peppers, but were actually jalapeños. Daunted by the task of using the 40lbs of peppers, Hild took what she had learned as a child and decided to create a jam using the peppers along with strawberries and blueberries. After seventeen batches, Hild had a product that she was excited about and realized that she could actually scale it to create a business. With that, Regina's Farm Kitchen was officially born. 

Hild began by selling her products at Atlanta farmer’s markets and loved getting to engage with customers to gauge interest and learn their favorite flavors. Using that valuable feedback and insight, Hild has developed the brand into it's current assortment of nine unique fruit spread flavors, ranging from blueberry-meyer lemon to fig-orange-black pepper, and you can use these jams on everything from pancakes to cocktails to charcuterie boards. 

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