Manlius Store Provides Locally Sourced Meats and Produce—Are You a Vocal Local?

Side Hill Farmers, located in the Sno Top Plaza in Manlius, opened about 18 months ago to provide locally sourced meats, produce, and prepared foods. They have had a 30% increase in sales over the past six months. We spoke with Greg Rhoad, the General Manager of Side Hill Farmers, about the store and their products. Greg has lived in CNY for about 20 years and before joining Side Hill Farmers, was a chef.   Greg grew up in a family business that bought food locally and made products from scratch, and as a chef he did the same. So when the opportunity to run the Side Hill Farmers store was presented to him, he knew it was the right fit. When asked about what he wants people to know about the store, he said, “We want people to know our products are locally sourced, hormone and antibiotic free. We also want people to know we aren’t only here to sell local products, but also here to educate the community about the local products, the farmers, along with how to prepare and serve our locally sourced meats. We will soon have a section on our web site with different recipes and suggestions for preparation. We also want people to know when they buy products that aren’t local, the money doesn’t stay local. Economic sustainability goes along with food sustainability.”

In addition to Side Hill Farmers being solely focused on locally sourced meats and produce, they also provide cuts of meat that other retailers don’t. Greg said “the meat department at Wegmans will send people to our shop, when they don’t have the cuts needed. For example, the chuck steak you buy at the grocery store is actually 7 or 8 muscles that can be separated into different cuts of beef.”

When I asked Greg if he considered himself a social entrepreneur, he said “Yes, we consider ourselves a social enterprise. We need to make money to support the store and farmers, but we also have a mission beyond that to strengthen the local community and economy. We have shown there is a market for the local products, that people understand that small farm production costs more, but it doesn’t have to be a lot more. We are trying to keep small farmers in business in CNY and help farmers focus on producing, not trying to sell their product.”

You can visit Side Hill Farmers at sidehillfarmers.com. In addition to their store they also have a Community Supported Agriculture program, where you pay ahead of time for a “share” and then each month you receive a certain number of pounds of meat, depending on the type of share you purchase.

If you eat meat, you may wish to visit them and talk about your experience with others. Local, sustainable products are better for the local economy, the environment and your health!

 

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