The entrepreneurial itch must be scratched, even though it's slightly out of reach. Although Matt Yetman and Emily Curtis-Murphy had paid positions working for other notable Vermont organic farmers, they wanted to do their own thing. They wanted to provide local, organic food that was affordable to the masses. Food that people on food stamps (themselves included) could afford. So they opened a farm store and started a 10 acre farm all in the same year (and had a new baby just to make sure they really got no sleep!).
Their tiny farm store near Montpelier includes organic (not yet certified) produce, meat, and eggs they raise just minutes up the hill from the store along with other Vermont products like cheese, yoghurt, grains, beans, even Vermont roasted coffee beans. Although I am a little mentally daunted about the long-term economic viability of their new business, the prices in their store are cheaper than the larger Montpelier grocers. They also offer an exceptional 15% discount for all food stamp shoppers, something no other store provides. Matt and Emily have incorporated their business as an L3C, a unique LLC-type structure with a non-profit type social mission. Technically called a low-profit limited liability corporation, this business structure allows Fair Food Farm to recieve foundation grants and investments. None have arrived just yet, but with time and a solid reputation, Fair Food Farm is poised to be the perfect kind of farm/retail hybrid that can address food insecurity and food deserts in rural areas.
Listen to my dynamic interview with Emily about how they are getting started with their new farming operation, some of their challenges, their committments to fairly priced food, and more.