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Knapp Ranch acquires local catering company

The sustainable food operation has bought Second Nature Gourmet to offer high quality locally-sourced foods in the valley

Special to the Daily
Chef Marla Leblow launched Second Nature Gourmet in the Vail Valley in 2016. She will remain the head of operations for the catering company.
Marla Leblow/Courtesy photo

Knapp Ranch, a sustainable farm located in the upper West Lake Creek valley of Edwards, acquired local catering company Second Nature Gourmet this month.

Chef Marla Leblow launched Second Nature Gourmet in the Vail Valley in 2016, a scratch-prepared catering company focusing on ingredient quality and using local and responsibly-sourced products. Leblow said that the two companies share a natural alignment of values and commitment to quality standards, and she would not have sold Second Nature to anyone but the Knapp family.

“Knapp Ranch has created a huge opportunity for me to share my love for innovative cuisine with many more locals and guests who are visiting our mountain region,” Leblow said. “It is so reassuring and nice to know that I have a family business supporting me.”



Second Nature operations will remain unchanged under Knapp Ranch ownership, and Leblow will continue to cater events and deliver gourmet foods to customers’ doorsteps. She will also continue her Fly Away Gourmet division, a catering service that provides customized, in-flight dining.

Brian Knapp, Knapp Ranch’s CFO, recently relocated to Colorado to work alongside his father, Bud, who founded the working and high-altitude farm that practices sustainable farming and carries out water conservation and climate change research at 9,000 feet.



“When we started selling Marla’s pre-made meals at our Eagle store, they quickly became our biggest sellers,” Knapp said. “The ingredients Marla uses are organic and local — simple ingredients prepared with love.”

The sale of organic-certified Osage Gardens to Knapp Ranch in 2020 also saw no significant operational shifts, but enabled a greater distribution of its culinary herbs and vegetables. Leblow said she has long been using Osage herbs and Knapp Ranch microgreens and mushrooms grown at the Edwards farm in her meal creations and looks forward to the expanded opportunities to work with Osage under the Knapp Ranch banner.

“We don’t want to break up a company that we acquire but rather leave these quality brands as they are and support future growth mutually,” Knapp said. “Knapp Ranch embraces and builds upon the talent, quality, innovation and imagination that is already there.”



For those craving locally-sourced food, Knapp Harvest, located in Eagle, offers readily available Second Nature prepared meals, Osage herbs, as well as produce, microgreens and honey from Knapp Ranch. Products from these sustainable operations are also frequently donated to The Community Market located in Edwards and the Avon-based Salvation Army.

For more information about Knapp Ranch and its offerings with Second Nature Gourmet, visit KnappRanch.com.


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