For Bob Kunkel, the Co-owner of Harbor Harvest in Norwalk, CT, he is a true mariner whose blood is part saltwater and whose first love is the sea. With forty years in the restaurant business and a background in ship builders, Harbor Harvest is a market with a vision like no other. Mr. Kunkel does not settle for anything but fabulous which means all his products are locally sourced and of the highest quality. He makes a point that sustainability and being environmentally conscious is paramount to a healthy community and the world which has to lead to some epic initiatives.
Harbor Harvest is committed to supporting local, artisanal ingredients. In-house, they carry everything from CT produce and meat to beautiful Fritz Knipschildt chocolate creations. All of their items are appropriately priced because artisan does not always need to mean budget breaking. Even I, a broke college student, was able to afford some nice chocolates for my mother which adds to the happy household spirit. However, what I loved the most about Harbor Harvest is their plan to build a hybrid catamaran which has the capability to carry six tons of fresh food across the Long Island Sound in only twenty minutes! It will have two pontoons giving it stability and will run entirely off of very powerful lithium batteries. By running off batteries, the vessel will reduce both noise and fossil fuel pollution in the Long Island Sound. It has the capacity to make two to three trips across the Sound per charge and can do it much faster than any domestic automobile making it both environmentally friendly and more efficient than current conventional transportation methods. Mr. Kunkel’s intent is to open up a market between CT and Long Island through a fleet of catamarans so fresh Connecticut and Long Island ingredients can be shipped to local restaurants without compromising freshness. By setting up these routes, we can have a mutually beneficial relationship with our neighbors across the bay by sharing fresh, sustainable ingredients.
Walking up to Harbor Harvest, I felt like I was entering a cute, preppy Nantucket market, with the bikes stationed in the front and coffee shop vibes. However, one of Harbor Harvest’s hidden gems is there backyard. This charming secluded nook is the perfect place for weddings, rehearsal dinners, and parties. The beautiful bar and outdoor grill are unique additions to their space that make this party area one you much check out for yourself.
While on the phone with Bob Kunkel he mentioned his plan to teach healthy beginnings to the younger generation which I believe is a beautiful goal. He desires to educate kids in urban gardening, so they know where their food comes. Also, through this initiative, he will be able to explore the idea of climate change with these local kids and give them ways to reduce their carbon footprint! This plan to teach and give back to the community along with his hybrid catamaran are a power play in the pursuit of lower carbon emissions and is a great step towards a greener, cleaner Earth.
However, Harbor Harvest has more than just innovative technology. They also have a wonderful catering operation and signature sandwich menu which will not disappoint. Packed high and wide with sliced meats and toppings Harbor Harvest’s wraps and grinders will make your jaw drop in amazement. Named after local and family influences each monster sandwich is packing a fresh set of flavors for everyone to enjoy like the Cove Partner with House made chicken cutlet, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. Maybe you’re into meat and the Tugboat calls to you with its: Prosciutto, capocollo, salami, sopressata, and pepperoni, with lettuce, tomato, sharp provolone, extra virgin olive oil, and vinegar.
Harbor Harvest makes a valiant effort to make all its food offerings accessible to everyone by making Gluten Free options available. Beautiful Pad Thai served steaming hot from the stove or Beef Brisket smoked ranch style don’t have to concern you because as long as you ask look for the (GF) tag or ask they can accommodate for your dietary needs. Check out their catering/ sandwich menus and more on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/harborharvest/