Staci Strauss and Craig McCord have been a creative team since 1996. Together they have produced and directed numerous television commercials, music videos, long form promotional videos and short form documentaries.

While working on a documentary in France about a jazz musician from New Orleans they experienced the sights, sounds, and excitement of market day. As they traveled to various villages in Provence to shoot the band’s performances, they met many artisan food producers working in the “small batch, handmade” style.

As luck would have it, the idea of doing stories about food people happened over lunch. After visiting the Wednesday market in St. Remy de Provence, they hit upon the idea of using their film-making skills to create small videos to communicate the benefits of the market-driven, Slow Food approach to eating; and the first incarnation of HandPicked Nation was born as The People Who Feed Us.

As a result of her experiences in the Provençal markets, Staci became an avid shopper of the farmers markets in New York City and the Hudson Valley. Ms. Strauss says:

“I would say that we know the producers of about 80% of what we eat at home in the summer months, the wonderful people who bring their goods to the markets each week. For me, it is very satisfying to personally know the people who feed us. It is my goal to be a mouthpiece for local foods.”

Craig, who grew up eating from fresh produce from his family’s garden, had this to say:

“The purpose of this site is to bring awareness to the choices we make about what we eat. There are folks out there producing really good stuff to eat. We all need to support local, family farmers.”

Staci and Craig live happily in Woodstock, New York with their Norwich terrier, LuLu.