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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Restaurant brings farm-to-table to B-CS

First+Watch
Photo by Carlie Russell
First Watch

First Watch made its grand opening in College Station in June, with the goal of getting Aggies and local residents thinking about where their food is coming from.   
Located on Texas Ave. near Cafe Eccell, First Watch is a farm-to-table breakfast and lunch restaurant complete with modern — yet western — interior decorations and a wide variety of menu options like Belgian waffles, fresh juices and veggie burgers. 
First Watch has its roots in the sunny states of California and Florida. Scott Fraley, general manager of First Watch College Station, said the reason they opened a location in Bryan-College Station was because there weren’t many “fresh” restaurants in the area like it. 
“As far as healthy breakfast or healthy lunch, you really don’t have that [in Bryan-College Station] at all,” Fraley said. “I mean the only breakfast places you have here are IHOP and the Kettle and that’s pretty much it, so we look for cities that don’t have any of those,” Fraley said.
Tori Parsons, First Watch server and nutrition senior, said she was drawn to working at First Watch because the company values adhered to what she is passionate about. 
“I definitely think they’re moving towards what the rest of America is moving towards with fresh food items and caring more about where your food comes from, sourcing locally and that sort of thing,” Parsons said. “I want to be a registered dietitian and so the sourcing locally and the fresh foods and the healthy options are all a part of my core values, too.”
Although Parsons said she’s happy about the opening of her new favorite restaurant and place to hang out — even when she’s off the clock — she wishes there were more in the community like it. 
“There’s just not enough restaurants where I trust where the food is coming from, like I want more fresh food sort of places,” Parsons said. 
Petroleum engineering junior Alexandrea Gschwind said she doesn’t think there are enough restaurant choices that are honest about where they get their ingredients to know exactly what she’s putting in her body. 
“I feel like finding where I want to eat is really difficult in this town so I just end up going to the grocery store and buying my own stuff because a lot of the options are unhealthy or just gross,” Gschwind said. 
Parsons said she believes making fresh food isn’t only important for the health of the customers and the taste, but because it reaps local economic benefits as well.
“Since we are farm-to-table, we source locally,” Parsons said. “So the more farm-to-table restaurants we have, the more our local farmers are going to get that business.”
Along with helping the local economy, Fraley said he wanted to see the restaurant directly involved with residents to bring the business back to the wholesomeness of an earlier time.
“We want to be a part of the community. The whole goal was to be College Station and Bryan’s ‘breakfast place,’” Fraley said. “We wanted the regulars; we didn’t want just the ‘Hey, Jim comes in to eat every now and then.’ We wanted ‘Jim comes in to eat every morning. I know what Jim does and I know he has grandkids and I know he has four daughters and I know his wife’s a nurse.’ Things like that.”      

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