Farm on the Ridge: Farm Enterprises takes Grit and Gumption
Running a small business in Southeast Ohio takes hard work, tenacity, and gumption. People start small businesses for a number of different reasons, so we’re going to spend our next three blog posts introducing you to three ACEnet clients who you may know, but if you don’t, this is your opportunity to learn about them, their businesses, and why they started them.
By ACEnet staff member Kyle Verge
A necessity for every gourmand, and our last entry, is Farm on the Ridge. Another staple at the Athens Farmer’s Market, you may have seen them on Saturday morning where they sell amazing pork products. In their own words, read how they got their start:
“We breed and raise pasture raised hogs with emphasis on the Red Wattle, Gloucester Old Spot and Large Black breeds. We also raise some Dexter beef. We are first generation farmers and started out like many small farmers, selling our products direct to friends and family, venturing into farmers markets and approaching wholesale customers here and there. Quickly, we learned that, while our customers had the best of intentions when purchasing our products, they just didn’t have the time or know-how to prepare them properly. We also recognized that we needed to differentiate ourselves by offering seasonings and flavors different from those our processors offered in their sausages in order to have more unique products.
By becoming a tenant at the ACEnet Food and Farm Enterprise Center in Nelsonville, our farm was able to launch our line of meat products designed for the food conscious consumer who needs convenience. We offer farm exclusive pork and beef products like uncured bacons, ready-to cook-roasts and entrees, grill-ready meats, and of course, our own line of sausages. Most of our products were created with consideration for special consumer dietary needs and desires like gluten-free, sugar-free, nitrite/nitrate-free. Our product line currently includes over two dozen unique beef and pork products.
In part through this opportunity with ACEnet, our sales have increased by 400% over the previous year and are expected to double again this year. We have established wholesale accounts with nearly a dozen restaurants, caterers, food trucks and markets with eyes on expanding further throughout our region.”