Very few restaurant owners can say a hydroponic farm that produces fresh food for customers is only a few feet away from where they consume their delicious meal.

“To me, we have great food and great experiences, but I think the farm is what makes us truly unique,” says Thomas Bartsch, chief marketing and sales officer for the Gather restaurants.

Graeme and Christine Swain, the founders and owners of Gather, grew up in Omaha. They chose to open their restaurant with a hydroponic farm to metro because it was an opportunity zone.  Such zones give investors in certain areas tax cuts.

“To go back and put our first foot forward with such a progressive idea- I’m proud of it,” Swain says. “We wanted to share an idea that we had with the place that raised us.”

Currently, the Gather in Omaha features 61 towers at their farm, producing tens of thousands of ounces of produce a month. They also use 95% less water than traditional farming and don’t use herbicides or pesticides. Having a hydroponic farm in the restaurant also shortens the distance from farm to table, increasing freshness and saving resources and eliminating the need to import food from around the world.

“I would love to see food not travel so far,” Swain says. “I think a lot of restaurants really care a lot about their food and they’re trying to take anything they can to lessen the footprint.”

Their farm isn’t the only unique aspect of the restaurant. Gather’s cuisine and exceptional service sets it above the rest. A fan-favorite is the Elk Bolognese that features elk and bison mixed with house-made pasta and topped with red sauce. Gather’s house-made Truffle Pasta is another crowd pleaser, while their signature Gather burger, piled with shaved cabbage, roasted mushrooms, onions and Chili de Arbol Aioli, draws guest back for more.

“It is all around special,” says Brandon Dowty, general manager at Gather in Omaha. “The menu, I’m proud to say that I would eat anything off the menu. I’ve never worked at an establishment where I could say that… What makes Gather special in the old market here is it’s something new, something vibrant.”

Gather in Omaha has expanded to Jackson Hole, Wyoming with plans to expand into Maui, Hawaii and more. As more restaurants open, their impact on the environment continues to grow.

“I think it just means everything to us… I’ve never been on a path that’s meant more to me genuinely than what I’m doing right now in the sustainability of what we’re doing in our restaurant,” Swain says. “It’s not just a restaurant, it’s far greater than that. It’s the purpose behind it.”