Ryan Williamson spent his youth with one foot in the city and the other in the country,
splitting time between Savannah with his mother and Richmond Hill with his father.
It was the men in Williamson’s family who taught him to love cooking. He grew up doing most of the grunt work -- heading shrimp, picking crab, tending to the garden - in and around the kitchen and at large family gatherings. His father and Uncle Johnny enjoyed hosting and entertaining as many people as they could talk into coming to a party (a trait they inherited from their father) and thus, it was only natural that Ryan would follow in their footsteps – toward foodways. Ryan’s mother taught him everything else -- about hard work (she often worked two to three jobs to make ends meet), and family, and the importance of a big heart, of connecting with and giving to others.
After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1999, Williamson spent nine years in the real estate business until 2008, when his friend, and owner of Savannah Bee Company asked him to help design, build and brand the company’s first flagship retail store. Soon Williamson was responsible for all day to day operations, for Savannah Bee, helping to grow the business into the nationally recognized brand it is today.
Until 2011 when Williamson’s triplets (yes, triplets!) arrived and he became a stay at home dad. In June 2013, Williamson and his wife Joanne purchase a 5-acre farm property bordering Palmetto Bluff. Low Country Farms shares a border with the community, but that’s hardly Williamson’s only connection to Palmetto Bluff. He and Joanne were married there in 2008, and it’s been a perennial favorite destination since.
And soon Williamson began providing the produce for Palmetto Bluff restaurants – sometimes merely a $14 bunch of radishes, but still enough to form a bond with Palmetto Bluff’s then chef Brandon Carter. Together the two would walk the farm, talking through what the next planting would include, and concepting new dishes for Palmetto Bluff’s four restaurant’s menus.
Williamson soon realized that he might be one step closer to his dream of owning a restaurant, and supplying that restaurant with his own produce.
FARM Bluffton is a culmination of everything Williamson loves about Bluffton and the Lowcountry and his opportunity to engage the community in the stories behind the food they eat, and where that food comes from.
When he’s not at the restaurant, Williamson and his wife, Joanne, are chasing Molly Mae, Ella Louise, and Johnny Pryce around their farm.