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Jeff Steckbeck owner of Ashby Grove

Jeff Steckbeck
Founder & CEO

Jeff Steckbeck was raised around his grandfather's farm in Monroeville, Indiana.  These collective experiences serve as Jeff's foundation and have given him a taste of farming at a young age. His grandfather grew corn, wheat and soybeans on 18.5 acres of land and spent time showing him how to plant, grow, harvest, hunt and most of all -- how to have patience.

His family moved to Florida and Jeff fondly remembers the many gardens he has built in the various backyards of their homes in Florida–once taking over about half of their backyard.  Though these gardens were not cash cows, they gave Jeff that outlet he needed -- an opportunity to try farming himself -- to see what he could grow.  

When he purchased The Ashby Grove property in early 2020, he was not sure what kind of farming he was going to do but knew that establishing a farm for his family to carry down generations to come was the goal.  On November 19, 2020, Steckbeck settled on creating a Christmas tree farm, apple orchard, edible gardens and augmenting crop income with agritourism by serving farm to table dinners and farm experiences using the output of the farm. The Ashby Grove was then born.

Over the next two months, Steckbeck launched the website, begun mobile development and learned a lot about the agritourism industry. He learned that catering Farm to Table meals required deep culinary skills as well as farming skills. It required an experience with food service, preparation and serving which Steckbeck did not have. So, he begun a search to find an executive chef and found Chef Drew Day. 

Now, Steckbeck believes he has the winning team assembled and ready to build The Ashby Grove into the darling of Ashby, MA.  Guests will be able to not only taste the goodness of the farm on their plate, but also be able enjoy a carriage ride to their event, plant 5 Christmas trees of their own, enjoy an orchid on their lapel grown on the farm, canoe with their long lost sister on Sunday, take a walk around the apple orchid with their new family member or make amends with their father over a good game of tug-a-war -- Whatever they choose to do at The Ashby Grove -- they will be coming back to do it again.   

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Chef Drew Day
Executive Chef
Head of Food & Beverage

Chef Drew Day brings  a tremendous amount of experience to The Ashby Grove.  He has 12 years' experience as an executive chef and 6 years as an executive chef.  He has won multiple awards in Massachusetts, including "Worcester's Best Chef" and the "Iron Chef" competition. Chef Drew is one of the local area's most bragged about chefs and knows exactly how to transform the output of the farm into a savory meal on your plate for your weekend Farm to Table experiences.

"We chose to hire our own executive chef for the farm, one who knows how to 'bring our crops to life' says Steckbeck, The Ashby Grove's founder.  We wanted to provide an agritourism experience never seen before -- a true modern farm with traditional roots, based on experiences, not how many bushels of corn or wheat you can produce.  Chef Drew has personally managed for over 150 weddings and brings our farm 'deep operational experience,' says Steckbeck.

Drew was born in Fort Lewis, Washington, and raised on the way to someplace else he says. The multitude of places he has been and lived in his life, along with being half Korean and half American have shaped the diversity of his palate. He has gained much of his culinary expertise from traveling and vacationing across the U.S. and around the globe throughout his 20s.  Day lived in Europe with his family when he was younger.  He then traveled to Puerto Rico, Mexico, and a variety of other countries. He lived on Martha's Vineyard while working within the restaurant scene as a chef, and then moved to West Palm Beach, working for a James Beard Award winning chef.
Chef Day started working in niche markets before working at a local favorite restaurant called Flying Rhino. He has managed coffee shops and high-end cheese markets. While working in Boston, a friend and prominent chef in the area told Day that he "has an exceptional palate," describing his diverse sense of taste. This sparked Day's culinary passion and a year after that he went on to start his cooking career.

His travels and love of music have inspired many of his dishes. In 2019, Day created and hosted a "Chef Drew's Mystery Dinner: The Sound of Taste," which paired food, drinks, and music. It was a huge hit and you can bet on the chef creating some incredible things for The Ashby Grove and its hosts.