storelights

Member Spotlight: Farm-Way

When I visited Farm-Way last week to chat with owner Carol Metayer, the small office where all the “business” happens that keeps the store rolling along was full of family. Carol’s father, Paul Gallerani was fielding phone calls, Carol’s daughter squeezed past me to get to her desk, and there are family photos dotting the walls and desks.

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Shelby Metayer, 3rd generation working in the family business.

Carol and her husband Skip started Farm-Way in 1983 when they bought (with some seed capital from Carol’s father) the small farm supply store that was part of Oakes Brothers. Realizing that the store couldn’t support the family on just grain sales alone, the Metayer’s responded to customer suggestions and started adding things like rubber boots, outerwear, etc. Thirty-four years later the store is now a destination location with the apt motto, “Complete Outfitters for Man and Beast”. Metayer credit’s the store’s success to a focus on  knowledgable customer service and quality products.

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The story of Farm-Way’s slow and steady growth is a lesson in hard-work, persistence, vision, and community commitment. The original store purchase didn’t include any land, but today the Farm-Way complex sits on 18 acres, some of which included a brown-field. Carol relayed some of the hurdles and regulations that the family had to maneuver over the years, and it was not for the faint of heart. But, today the store is an anchor for the community by bringing tourists, creating jobs, and supporting area nonprofits, like Vital Communities.

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In addition to running an amazing 51,000 square foot store with more than $4 million in inventory, the value this locally owned business brings to our community is truly impressive. Consider these few amazing facts about Farm-Way when you are deciding where to buy new boots or a bird-feeder, and support the locally owned businesses that strengthen our communities:

  • Employs 42, mostly full-time, year-round staff.
  • Emphasis on work-life balance – Closed Sundays (unheard of in the retail world since Sunday is the second busiest shopping day), and strong benefits including health insurance and 401K.
  • 100% solar-powered
  • Customers enjoy free home-made donuts and coffee on Saturday mornings and afternoon cookies and lemonade in the summer
  • Donates proceeds from Father’s Day tent sale to support local nonprofit, Safeline
  • Local First Alliance Sustaining member

And, look for a brand new Farm-Way Valley Quest in 2017, that will be one more reason to make a trip to Bradford and visit Farm-Way.

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Carol Metayer loves riding her Morgan horses in her free time.

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Skip Metayer with grandson.

Member Spotlight – Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Company

Member Spotlight- Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Company

As you travel around the Upper Valley it is likely that you have filled your belly or fueled your vehicle at one of the many Jake’s locations around the region. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the first Jake’s Market & Deli in Lebanon and the business has grown to include eight stores on both sides of the river including Georges Mills, Walpole, and Springfield, Vermont. In addition to convenience stores, the business has grown to include Jake’s Coffee Company, Jake’s Quechee Market & Café, and a catering menu for corporate and social events.

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Local First Alliance members strengthen our communities in multiple ways including creating jobs, purchasing supplies and services from other local businesses, and supporting local charities.  Jake’s is a family run business that strongly believes in giving back by supporting dozens of Upper Valley organizations including West Central Services, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Montshire Museum, Kilton Library, Lebanon Opera House, Good Neighbor Health Clinic, David’s House, WISE, AVA Gallery, Skip’s Run, New London Hospital, SPARK Community Center, Zac’s Place, Lebanon CCBA, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, area schools, and many more.

On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses stays in our community, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at national chain stores. So, when you are looking for a convenience store, a grab-and-go meal, a quick made-to-order sandwich, or a great cup of coffee, look for the Local First Alliance logo and stop at a Jake’s Deli & Market & Deli and  Jake’s Coffee Company.