An Exclusive Look at the FarmHouse Fresh Ranch and Animal Sanctuary
From the whimsical animal portraits that line the walls to the bright, cheerful colors that liven up every room, the FarmHouse Fresh ranch in McKinney, Texas is charming and rustic—and most important, it feels like home. Completed in 2016, the sprawling compound not only serves as a home for FarmHouse Fresh President and Founder, Shannon McLinden, and her husband, it’s also the primary office for the brand, a working farm that grows fresh ingredients used in FHF skincare products, and a sanctuary for rescued animals that include donkeys, goats, and horses, to name a few.
“Everything about the ranch was designed to be a vibrant, ‘feel good’, creative environment,” say Shannon and her sister Delia, who is VP of Sales and Business Development. “From the whimsical decor and the handcrafted touches to the greenery that hangs throughout, it’s a happy place that nurtures creative ideas. All of this is made even more special by knowing that we’re crafting scrumptious, fresh, natural, and organic products that make people happy, support wellness, and save lives.”
We chatted with Shannon and Delia, who gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the ranch and shared more details about the company’s dedication to helping furry friends in need.
Tell us about your company and mission.
The company has quickly risen to become the “Favorite Body Care Line” of spa professionals (as voted by top luxury hotel and resort spas and day spas) through American Spa Magazine’s Professional’s Choice Awards. The spas and their discriminating shoppers appreciate the unique farm to skincare blends, farm-to-table spa experiences, and the lighthearted joyfulness of the retail collection. We pursue three passions:
GROW FRESH.Whether grown on our farm or other local U.S. farms, ingredients are harvested, washed, and extracted within hours to ensure vitamins are at their peak. And we ensure zero waste—feeding the chickens our pulpy leftover rinds!
SPA DELICIOUSLY.Our farm-to-table treatments are as delicious as they are authentically crafted with organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, and small batch liquors from across the U.S.
RESCUE.The FHF Ranch is also a sanctuary for animal rescues. Following our creed: Life is Short. Save Something Furry.®—we use your purchases to help us care for forgotten, neglected, and abused farm animals at our FHF Ranch and Sanctuary. We also fund, transport, and actively support other rescues.
Where is the FarmHouse Fresh ranch located?
Located on a sweeping hilltop in McKinney, Texas, FarmHouse Fresh is entering its 15th year of business crafting scrumptious skincare, bath, and body products featuring mouthwatering epicurean scents and freshly-harvested, locally-grown ingredients, including those grown on the company’s farm. On our property, we operate a glass grow house where we are in constant production of microgreens—trays and trays of vibrant, beautiful little 7 to 10-day sprouts of anything from micro watercress to vibrant pink micro garnet amaranth, and more. We also work with other local farms to grow ingredients using hydroponics and aquaponics.
What inspired the ranch’s design and decor?
We are big believers that your daily surroundings have a direct effect on mood, creativity, purpose, and well-being, so we custom-built and designed every detail of our ranch to embody our charming, animal-loving, soulful wellness brand. Weaving lively animal themes into our decor, our 9,100 square-foot corporate headquarters and residence also features a second-floor spa treatment room, commercial hydroponic greenhouse, and animal sanctuary on a five-acre hillside property with sweeping views.
The ranch headquarters houses the operation, design, and product development teams for FarmHouse Fresh, while also serving as a training facility for spa estheticians and massage therapists. The office space is flush with natural light and indoor trees, featuring an all-glass, barn-inspired northern wall with indoor/outdoor fireplaces, hanging birdcage chair, and a skylight assembly area full of hanging overhead plants and spilling vines. It makes it feel as if you are working in the middle of a field and taking a breath of outside country air.
When did FHF start rescuing animals? How many animals are at the ranch?
FHF has been supporting animal rescue initiatives for many years, including donations to local animal rescues, funding mega-adoption events to help overflowing shelters find adoptive homes for animals, a Hurricane Harvey rescue transport to Minnesota, and more. We welcomed the first group of FHF rescue animals to our sanctuary in 2017. To date, 15 rescues have come to call FHF home. Each has overcome immense odds, from cruelty cases to being haggled off of a slaughter truck. All receive intensive veterinary care, love, and healthy meals.
Among our many rescues, we have an alpine goat with large horns who jumps atop a picnic table in the field, mini donkeys that play tug of war with our pony, and two beefy little goats who nuzzle. We just built a goat playground which the kids love! (We really wanted a trampoline for the goats to play on, but the brisk Texas winds are putting that idea on hold for now at least!)
How do you find and rescue the animals?
We have horses, donkeys, and goats that all live happily on our ranch. All of these animals came from cases of cruelty, abandonment, or neglect. We are often contacted by our local humane society and we receive updates on animals that only have a short time left to live—many come from ‘kill pens’ in which if they aren’t rescued, they will be sent to slaughter.
Our most recent rescue is Carl, the alpine goat, who is an awesome addition. He’s such a friendly, sweet guy. He was an owner seizure case and needed rescue, and we were happy to welcome him. Unfortunately, he’s been having a little TOO much fun playing and frolicking in his first few weeks here at the ranch, and he broke his leg! So now we’re helping Carl learn how to navigate with his very own goat cast. We expect him to heal up in no time and be better than new! You can check out the video stories of many of our rescues here.
Who takes care of the animals?
Our pasture is home to FHF rescue fur babies of all sizes. Through veterinary care, healthy food, snacks, unlimited hugs and love, we help animals erase the memories of their past and build new ones with our FHF family. On any given day, you will find Shannon and FHF employees tending to the nutritional and health needs of the rescued animals here at the ranch, taking lunch breaks to give the animals some much welcomed attention, as well as taking part in other hands-on donation and animal rescue initiatives outside of the company.
Why is animal rescue important to FHF?
Animal lovers find the brand particularly endearing. Not only are our products cruelty-free, but the company also actively pursues cruelty “saves” by using a portion of revenue to rescue and rehabilitate abused farm animals—cared for at the company’s ranch and sanctuary by FHF employees. The FHF team is passionate about being "green” and that goes beyond sustainable farming of ingredients grown from the earth and includes helping ensure the wellbeing of animals that inhabit it.
Research has shown the positive transforming effects on humans simply from being in the presence of animals—from horses to dogs—stress is reduced and quality of life improves. Saving animals who cannot speak for themselves has been a perimount initiative for their team, with several employees being board members of rescues and operating non-profit animal welfare programs outside of their day-to-day jobs at FHF. Many of the FHF rescue animals are as famous as the products themselves, as consumers watch their journeys and champion their recoveries through a seasonal, printed Farmanac booklet, “Seen & Herd Around the FHF Farm,” as well as online videos and Farmanac blog.
How can others get involved to help support the ranch and animal rescue?
At the FHF ranch, we dedicate team hours toward our own animal rescues and funding to help local rescue groups save forgotten and abused animals. Every purchase you make from FHF helps us help them.
Is the ranch open to the public?
At this time, the FHF ranch is not open to the public as it serves as our working headquarters. In the future, we hope to be able to host events or tours from time to time. We’ve got a lot of ideas and dreams in the works!
[Images courtesy of FarmHouse Fresh]
Kamala Kirk is a University of Southern California graduate and has been an editor/writer for more than a decade. She has written for E! Online, Total Beauty, TravelAge West, Malibu Times Magazine, and many more. She resides in Los Angeles and is a proud pug mom. Follow her on Instagram: @kamalakirk