Meet the nofolks
NOFO's visually vibrant, quirky, and unique. It's chockfull of enticing product and really good food. But, it's primary asset may be its wonderful mix of unique and interesting people. In 2018, the readers of the Triangle Downtowner voted NOFO the "Most Friendly and Awesome Staff" and "Best Customer Service"." We also won the honor of "Friendliest Staff" in 2017. Here's a little bit about these award-winning folks.
Our owner, Jean
Jean Poe Martin grew up in Raleigh and has lived happily in the Five Points Neighborhood for over 60 years. She is the proud mother of three daughters and has six rocking grandchildren.
Sissy Ashby, Doug Diesing, and Jean were partners in Simple Pleasures Market & Cafe in the Glenwood Village Shopping Center from the late 70's to the mid 90's. They had the sheer delight of doing business in a simpler world that managed to turn quite nicely without big box stores, really fast food, Tweets, and the internet.
Sissy and Jean remain partners at Glenwood Grill which has fed neighborhood folks for 29 years at its Glenwood Village location.
Always a loyal Piggly Wiggly customer, Jean is happy to have brought life back to the pig through NOFO. She supports all things local and gives thanks every day that she is lucky enough to live in Raleigh, North Carolina and work with the fine folks at NOFO.
NOFO's bookkeeper, building manager, former cafe manager and retail salesperson, Anne's been the glue at NOFO for fifteen years. An avid reader, she enjoys traveling with her husband, baking yeast rolls, and raising their 4 cats. When she's at NOFO, she cannot resist partaking in the filet and making a visit to the truffles in our chocolate case. She is a huge fan of the Carolina Panthers, the TV series Breaking Bad, and cycling.
Fun fact: she has twice ridden in RAGBRAI - a race across Iowa that is the longest and oldest in the world.
As NOFO's cafe manager, Ashlan manages our eclectic team of servers and hosts. She grew up not far from Raleigh - in Wendell - but eventually made her way across I-87 to the City of Oaks. Ashlan says her favorite part of working at NOFO is getting to know all the unique personalities of her coworkers. As she's in the cafe often, she is quite familiar with the range of items on our menu. However, her clear favorite is the pork chop with collard greens and mac & cheese. When she finds time to visit the store upstairs, she's can't resist indulging in some Fire Cider and perusing the jewelry selection. In her spare time, Ashlan enjoys visiting Asheville and spending time with her son Liam.
As NOFO's chef, Dan creates a menu full of Southern favorites, with an emphasis on local, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. He puts his own unique spin on classic Southern dishes - and our diners absolutely love the added flair. When he's not cooking up delectable dishes in the kitchen, he enjoys spending time with Ashlan and her son Liam, traveling, listening to music, and of course eating delicious food. As he is in charge of our menu, it is difficult for Dan to choose a favorite item. When pressed, however, he admits he most enjoys partaking in the fresh seafood. You will most often find Dan in the kitchen, but he does occasionally emerge to enjoy the company of his coworkers and head upstairs to expand his extensive t-shirt collection.
Although he's not on the payroll, 8 year old Liam spends a lot of time at NOFO with Ashlan and Dan. Liam's very clever at turning empty boxes into airplanes or hiding places and advising us on which toys we should purchase. He can be spotted in the cafe every Tuesday night enjoying his favorite menu item, spaghetti. Liam describes himself as a "fun kid," and we agree.
We have kept Lindy really busy for twelve years, which may explain her description of NOFO as "a schizophrenic scavenger hunt". Lindy is NOFO's Market Manager, heads up the toy department, is NOFO's candy expert, and is great at finding the quirky, odd, & unusual. She previously served on the board of the North Carolina Specialty Food Association and currently serves as NOFO's in-house cheerleader for Buy Local.
An avid art collector and retired art gallery owner, Lee's been at NOFO for over ten years as the curator of the Carolina Collection. She's the proud mother of two and loving grandmother of five. Lee grew up in New Jersey, but came to Raleigh for a business her husband started. She's been here ever since, and we're so glad! You'll often see Lee working on hanging the art display in the cafe or setting up displays in the store. She is big fan of Pawley's Island, CNN, and Duke.
Fun fact: Every morning, Lee feeds a family of crows. They return the favor by gifting her with a nice pile of nesting material.
Mary helped open NOFO in 2001. She left the store to open her own advertising agency, but is now back with us seventeen years later as our floor manager. Mary is an avid animal lover, and you may have spotted her walking around The City of Oaks with her dogs. Aside from her love of animals, she also is a lover of baking. You can find some of her delicious, decorative sugar cookies around the Holidays. When not baking or overseeing the store staff, Mary designs much of NOFO's graphics. She truly is a multi-talented woman and we are so happy to have her back as a NOFOLK!
Like Mary, Alice has been a part of the NOFO story since the beginning. She helped open the store before moving to Wilmington. Now, we are so lucky to have her back at NOFO as our coffee & tea curator! As an accomplished artist, you'll often see Alice's adorable illustrations on our menu. As Alice says, "every day is different" at NOFO, and that's what keeps her coming back (along with the great selection of local artists' work). When she's not learning about the best brews or completing an art project for us, she loves to clog, dance, and hike. She enjoys being in nature and traveling - particularly to Ocracoke Island. In her free time, she volunteers for the Women's Center of Wake County and Trees Across Raleigh.
Becky's been with NOFO since its inception, working over the years both in the cafe and store. She is a runner, organic gardener, amateur herbalist, and mother to her 15-year-old son Caden. Becky's jams, jellies, and pickles have won numerous Blue Ribbons at the NC State Fair. Come find Becky in the store on Mondays and in the cafe on the weekend!
Karen may be retired from her own corporate relocation business, but she's the busiest person we know. An avid traveler and lifelong learner, Karen travels around the country in a teardrop trailer. When she's at NOFO, she works in the store to help us clean and organize our products. She also finds time to produce Parks & Recreation programs for the over 50 crowd! Karen's many talents have been with the NOFO family for eight years, and we have been so grateful to put them to good use!
The mother of three adorable daughters, Lara has worked in NOFO's store for 15 years. This Alabama native now teaches preschool full time, but still manages to help us out on the weekends. Her guilty pleasure on the menu is the ribeye, and in the store she cannot resist taking home some Dilly beans. Lara is a huge fan of the Marvel universe, traveling to the Caribbean, and rescuing dogs and furniture from the street!
Dani has worked in our cafe for five years. We like to call her a graceful "energizer bunny," as you can find her gliding around from table to table, taking orders, and chatting with customers. Her nickname is somewhat fitting, considering she once played on a Roller Derby team when she lived in Florida. She has gradually made her way northward from the Sunshine State, and now enjoys spending her vacation time in the mountains of North Carolina. In her free time, she enjoys spending time running, singing, and planning her upcoming wedding.
Rianne is 1/2 owner of Dre - a rescued pitbull - and has worked in our cafe for six years. She is a fan of NOFO's seafood, NC State basketball, and the beach. Having grown up on the coast, Rianne is a beach girl at heart - and says her favorite time of year at NOFO is Spring and Summer. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and tanning.
Annie works in our cafe as a server. She grew up in the mountains of Virginia and lived on the Outer Banks before finding her way to Raleigh. She says her favorite time of year at NOFO is Fall, and her favorite item on the menu is the ever-popular pork chop. She is a huge TV fan, and always fills the rest of the staff in on the best shows to watch. Though she is an avid traveler, exploring exciting places like Thailand and Brazil, NOFO will always be a place she holds close to her heart (she met her fiancÚ Ryan here). We are so happy to have provided a forum for their first meeting, and wish them all the best in the future!
Beattie is a full-time college student, but somehow finds time to work in our store. We're so lucky to have her positive energy and bright smile behind the register. She is Raleigh born-and-bred, but is also an accomplished traveler who desires to go "everywhere." We think Beattie was always destined to join the "Pig" family, as she had a pet pig growing up! These days, however, she is more of a fan of "all things dogs." Beattie says she loves the great atmosphere at NOFO, and we're so grateful to have her here contributing to it!
Danielle has worked in our store for over a year. She came to Raleigh from New York, expecting only to stay for a year. Before she knew it, one year turned into another...and she's now called the City of Oaks home for 11 years! Danielle is a talented jeweler, and we sell many of her creations in the store. She is artistically inclined - working with metal, stone, and glass. If you're ever at a local art fair, keep an eye out for Danielle's pieces! When she's not at NOFO, Danielle works for the City of Raleigh's Arts Department, travels, and teaches art courses.
Emma works in our cafe. She was born in Atlanta, but considers Raleigh to be her hometown. She is a huge fan of karate, cosmetology, playing guitar, and NOFO's unique staff. In addition to working at NOFO, she works as a nanny and as a receptionist for Karate International. When she's here, Emma enjoys browsing the t-shirt collection and partaking in our Thursday night Blue Plate special.
Fun fact: Emma is a black belt in Sanshinkai Karate. If security is ever needed at NOFO, we know who to call!
Maya works as a hostess and waitress in our cafe, and is also a college student. Born in Richmond, Maya moved to Wilmington for middle school and has stayed in The Old North State since. Like her roommate Rianne, she is a huge fan of both dogs and the beach. In her free time, she enjoys reading Ken Follett thrillers and rooting on her favorite bicoastal basketball teams: the Los Angeles Lakes and Duke Blue Devils.