Allora was founded by Amanda Kingsley in 2016.
Amanda's penchant for gathering can be traced to her adventurous family and her Armenian heritage where gathering is a part of everyday life. Amanda spent years in New England learning about biomedicine, mycology, and forestry before moving to New York. Her first year was spent apprenticing as a floral designer at Stone Barns and working as a forager for Blue Hill. Acting as a liaison between the kitchen, the farm and the forest confirmed that she could generate excitement around our local ecology through food.
Shortly after, Amanda started Allora with the purpose of bringing attention, curiosity and respect to the familiar. With a focus on flowers, she began offering floral design services with her own flowers to weddings, events and restaurants. As relationships with restaurants developed, the business grew into foraging and special culinary projects. She became the first farmer to grow Saffron in New York, and is currently cultivating specialty and culturally significant varieties of vegetables and herbs for various restaurants.
After many foraging walks and much time spent planting and harvesting together, Amanda was joined by her partner James O'Donnell to launch Wild Box, a foraged-food delivery service which brought wild ingredients from the region to home cooks along with recipe ideas and educational content. The effort was featured in The New Yorker.
Through floral design, foraging and farming, Allora collaborates with chefs, breeders and universities to shine a light on plants and seeds that are invaluable to our food system locally and globally. Together Allora aims to bring joy, excitement and child-like wonder through thoughtful, beautiful and delicious ingredients. Longterm, Amanda hopes to build appreciative bonds between people and the food system, thus instilling a sense of stewardship and community.