Remember the good old days? How most of us long for a time when shopping was local; merchants were our friends; and family….was everything. And, if homemade ice cream fresh from the dairy farm was featured that made it even better!
Green Valley Country Store & Specialty Goods is bringing a lot of that good stuff back. Jason Powell and Farin Weltner, owners of Green Valley Dairy, have expanded the business to include the Country Store located at 120 Mill. St., Hookstown, PA. The store will hold a soft opening on Monday, November 23 at 10 a.m.
The purpose of the soft opening is to get the kinks worked out and learn what types of feed their customers will need so that they can be fully stock according to Farin. . The Grand Opening is slated for Dec. 5. Operating hours will be Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. Closed on Sundays and Thanksgiving.
The Green Valley Dairy, a family farm for over 100 years, is located on Gas Valley Road and has long been a staple in the community. Jason and Farin are the latest generation to continue the dairy farming tradition. To continue to operate and hand-off the farm to their children and grandchildren, Farin said they knew that diversification was key to the farm’s survival.
“Farming is a dying occupation and you either have to diversify or die. I won’t be the generation that lets that happen,” said Farin. “When Jason quit his job on the railroad last year to come home to the farm, we knew things on the farm had to diversify.”
“The idea to purchase the feed store was actually my Dad’s (Sonny Weltner). He has always wanted to own a feed store and with all the ventures Jason and I have going it made sense,” she said. Jason and Farin soon expanded the idea by adding in local products and specialty items.
“We wanted to have a place in our community where local vendors could sell their products like us, on a bigger scale,” said Farin. “We believe that COVID and the pandemic that occurred has changed the way people shop. More people want to know where their products are coming from, and they want to support and shop local business.”
And, so the Feed Store grew into Green Valley Country Store and Specialty Products.
“We want a place where locals can come and buy the seed, feed and fertilizer that grows the corn and hay that feeds the cows and chickens that end up on your table,” she said noting that is truly the vision of From Farm to Table.
Many local residents fondly remember the ice cream that was sold when they were children at the dairy farm. Now called “Uncle Sonny’s Ice Cream” it will be sold exclusively at the Store. Offered in 14 flavors, the small batch ice cream will be fresh from the farm and sold in quarts and pints. Also featured will be Highland Homestead meats and take and bakes, local honey from Top of the Hill, Goat Milk Soap from Longbourn Goat Co., Uncle Roy’s Hot Sauce, Duck Blind Coffee, Frozen Meat from Stockman’s and Marlburger’s Dairy products. A focus will be to ensure all products are made in the USA.
“I give my family credit for all the support and help they have given us from the very beginning. Dad is always my go to sounding board for advice. Mom is the moral booster when I’m stressed and tired, My brother, sister in law and sister, all teachers, have been very instrumental in all of the ideas and changes they think they are smart and make good business, Of course, we consult the boys.”
In addition to the dairy farm, Green Valley is also home to a thriving bulldog breeding business and Jason and Farin will divide time between all the endeavors while depending on family.
“Jason will spend most of his day at the store loading the feed, while I will be back and forth depending on the time of the year (If I have puppies or have ice cream to make) and we have one great employee who we will rely upon heavily. But above all, we have had our friends helping us get things up and running and we will be forever indebted to them for the time they have put in.” she said.
“I never dreamed a year ago that this would be my life…but I do believe that God has set us down a path and we are all following it….and I trust that!