In my lifetime I have begun two on-farm shops. One in Indiana (Apple Family Farm) and one in Orlinda (Windy Acres Farm Shop) and I am in the process of starting a new one. River Cottage Farm Shoppe began to take shape last week with the pouring of a new concrete floor on Tuesday. Framing the shoppe began on Wednesday along with the electricity. Drywalling will commence tomorrow and we are well on our way to a new shop for the Bowling Green and Rockfield area.
With both the other shops I was able to stick my toes in the water to judge just how the community would take to a store like mine. In Indiana I took a trailer built in 1962 and with a bit of paint and some unused curtains I was able to hang my shingle and begin selling our farm products. The first year our sales totaled around $40,000 and when I left Indiana the annual sales were somewhere in the neighborhood of $185,000. The amount is not quite as amazing as the fact that about 90% of those sales were conducted on the honor system.
We hope that the River Cottage Farm Shoppe will prove to be equally successful in bringing local, natural and organic products to this area and helping people feel more connected to their community and the land around them. We'd love to get your input and get to know you at the shop. Feel free to stop by!