Raised in a Barn is a dream come truePublished 12:30pm Friday, September 27, 2013
CHOCOWINITY — Raised in a Barn Farm, one of Chocowinity’s newest business ventures, is a dream come true for its owners.
It’s also a labor of love, one that brings together three generations working toward a common goal.
“My dream for Raised in a Barn Farm is not only a family business but a community farm for our and other families to enjoy,” said Jane Boahn.
Working side by side with Boahn is co founder Mandy Sosebee, the girlfriend of Boahn’s son Will. Joining them are Boahn’s husband Chuck, Will Boahn and his daughter Madison, Sosebee’s sister Rebecca Hardy and Sosebee’s sons Brice, Tyler and Jarrett. Also contributing considerable time, talent and labor to the venture are Jennifer Sosebee and Sandy and Velvet Blizzard.
The crew grows as much of the farm market’s produce as possible, supplementing their inventory with such homegrown delights as okra from Aurora, collards from Blounts Creek and honey from Belhaven.
“Ninety percent comes directly off the back of a farmer’s truck,” Boahn noted, adding that what isn’t grown on the family’s farm is gathered from local and regional farms of all sizes.
“I’ve always wanted to do something with this farm,” Boahn said. “My father (the late Dr. Tally “Tab” Lassiter) was a strong supporter of farms and farmers. He said we could always live off the land.”
Raised in a Barn Farm opened its produce market in August. The response has been encouraging, so much so that its owners are already making plans to expand. Joining the fresh produce on the market’s shelves are jars of jams, jellies and preserves canned right there on the premises. In a unique bit of marketing strategy, customers are invited to return their empty canning jar and receive a discount off their next purchase.
“Whatever is in season and I have plenty of, I throw together and make a jam,” Sosebee said with a laugh. Her canned specialties featuring everything from strawberries, pears and apples to hot peppers and beets are examples of her culinary talents.
Rounding out the assortment of treats are baked goods, and there are plans for a gift shop stocked with locally made arts and crafts. The blended family also hopes to host parties and cooking, canning and craft classes.
“We want our community to work with us on this,” Sosebee said. “We hope to have special events as our support grows.”
To keep the market well stocked, Boahn and Sosebee are developing a network of local growers who have extra produce from their gardens and farms.
“We want more local foods from local people,” Boahn said. “We’re always looking for connections.”
*Raised in a Barn Farm is located at 2106 N.C. Highway East in Chocowinity. The produce market is open year ’round each day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Wednesdays and Sundays. For more information, call (252) 945-6153.