As you may have seen online or around town, we are releasing a series of posters to share with people some of the great points about the Bethlehem Food Co-Op! Each week, we’ll release a different poster on our Facebook page, and you’ll find blog posts here on our website to go along with the theme! The blog posts aren’t necessarily the views of the whole food co-op—Instead, they are reflections by the awesome individuals that make up the co-op, and they’ll give you a taste of what our members are looking forward to about the co-op.
This post is written by Brian Bruno, owner of Apple Ridge Farm & Stone Oven Bakery.
My wife and I own and operate Apple Ridge Farm, a small 7 acre sustainable farm and a wood-fired brick oven organic flour artisan bakery that specializes in sourdough breads and baked goods featuring ingredients grown on my farm. Our farm specializes in Certified Naturally Grown heirloom produce, hydroponic produce, pasture raised chicken, and eggs. I’m extremely excited about the Co-op because small local-products focused stores are a very crucial outlet for my business. Big chain stores like the idea of what I do but they don’t like the inconvenience of working with a small producer like me nor do they ever seem to appreciate the role small local farms play in a sustainable food system. My best wholesale customers are independently owned health food stores where the owners know my farm, understand what it takes to produce my products, and can explain to their customers what separates my products from other products they may see at the supermarket. I promote these businesses to my customers and they promote me to theirs!
I’ve been involved in several farmers markets in the Bethlehem area over the past 2 years and have met a number of wonderful customers who are struggling to find a good outlet for local sustainably produced foods, especially in the winter months. I enjoy doing the farmers markets but it’s really tough to justify all the cost associated with doing a market in the middle of the week when sales are much slower. Being able to drop off to the co-op would be a much better option for us. It would also be good for the customers to have the ability to purchase this type of food 7 days a week. On behalf of all area farmers I’d like to thank all the hardworking, dedicated individuals who are putting in countless hours to make this co-op a reality!