RE Farm Café at Windswept Farm is a unique farm-to-table experience where you can see the farm from your seat at the table. The setting — nestled in a panoramic sweep of farmland — is just the beginning. The café itself is sustainably built, the chefs (called composers) spend time tending the vegetables as they are grown, and every food either comes from the farm itself, or from a tiny network of sustainable growers.
The founders, Duke and Monica Gastiger have a storied history in Happy Valley, specifically with creating magic with food and drink. But we’ll let them tell that part of the story.
What’s your Happy Valley story?
Duke was a PSU student and after graduation, he worked for Hyatt Hotels as a food and beverage director opening new hotels along the east coast. When the opportunity presented itself to buy The Rathskeller in 1985, he returned to State College and has been here since then, opening Spats Cafe in 1987 and he and Monica opened RE Farm Cafe in 2019.
Can you tell me about your dining heritage in this area, and why RE Farm Cafe is such a must-try destination in Happy Valley?
Spats Cafe was a local favorite featuring Cajun Creole cuisine. Beyond being a historic tavern, the Rathskeller was known for having the "best bar food" in town. As we looked for fresh ingredients, scouring the local farmer's markets, it became clear that the area was in need of a true farm-to-table establishment that not only offered amazing food but also served to help people understand food sourcing practices and their relationship to a healthy local system.
"The area was in need of a true farm-to-table establishment that not only offered amazing food but also served to help people understand food sourcing practices and their relationship to a healthy local system"
- Duke and Monica Gastiger, founders of RE Farm Cafe
A"Spats Local" menu was available on weekends and quickly became very popular. It was clear that this area was looking for a place that embraced fresh, local, and responsible sourcing, and RE Farm Cafe was breathed into being!
When guests arrive at RE Farm Cafe, they immediately begin the journey into a different experience as they enter the tree-lined drive and are transported to a relaxing space with amazing views. While enjoying the lush beauty of Happy Valley, they experience the fresh flavors of expertly prepared dishes. We often hear that it feels like being in Napa, Italy, or some other amazing destination.
What's your ‘why’?
We believe that being connected as a community and forming healthy, respectful relationships is key. From the family dinner table to the business lunch, to a special evening out, relationships are molded and solidified around a table. Offering a nurturing "table" is so important to growing a healthy community.
In your opinion, what makes Happy Valley so one-of-a-kind?
People. We can tout the beauty of the area (and it is beautiful) and the opportunities inherent with PSU, but without people to connect with each other, those are only billboards.
What’s one off-the-beaten-path thing that you personally love about Happy Valley?
On the same road, you can pass dog walkers, e-cars, horses and buggies, bikes, busses, and an occasional ice cream truck!
What’s something every visitor should see (or eat or experience) while they are here?
Why, RE Farm Cafe of course! It's more than a meal, it's an experience.