10 Years Later…

This day 10 years ago was… chaos.

Monday, June 30, 2008 Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery opened our doors for the first time and welcomed the public onto our multi-generational dairy farm.

New staff, new stuff, a new set of chores, rules, and lessons to learn.

Today we celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary!

Based on Shannon’s dream, and pushed by the financial need to diversify, we jumped from making food – to serving food.  And it has been one wild adventure!

These days, Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery has become not just a part or our farm’s story, but a part of our community.

In a world full of screens, politics, and distractions we relish our time with our customers at the store. Within these walls we experience, the simple joy of a child devouring a chocolate chip cookie, the unspoken understanding as coffee cup is passed from baker to truck driver at 6am, the purest delight when a mother opens the box to her child’s birthday cake, the sincerest excitement of the birder spotting an eagle from the porch, the genuine happiness of a family enjoying breakfast together around our table. It is an incredible honor to be a place that holds memories, stories, and traditions for the people of our community.

Today, as we celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery, we express our most profound gratitude to that community.

Our regulars know our schedules as much as we know theirs!  We know their orders, their pets, their favorite treat from the bakery case. They know our strengths, our weaknesses, and they keep us on our toes!  We know how to make them smile – and they know how to make us laugh.  The customers that frequent our  farm stand have become so much a part of our story they’ve practically become family!

And speaking of family – we are incredibly grateful to the support of our family members. We call on our extended family to clean tables, call orders, wash dishes, sweep floors, scoop ice cream, park cars, edit content, and shamelessly advertise Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery. For the family members that keep menus in their purse, business cards in their wallet, and Barstow’s at the tip of their tongue – for those who are always willing to work, help, listen, and offer insight – thank you so much.

We surely would not have reached this milestone without the employees of Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery. Making sandwiches, taking orders, mopping floors, washing dishes – you know the drill.  But in addition to all of that, our team have shooed farm dogs from the drive thru window, helped us herd run-away cattle, picked trash from the compost bin, and put up with our farming family dynamic. They have been an advocate for our dairy farm, answered questions about our herd, and stood up for New England agriculture.  We are lucky to have had an amazing, dedicated, and dynamic team our 10 years in business.

Thank you to our vendors, artists, and local farmers for filling our store with wonderful goodies and capturing the Valley in such a beautiful way.  Thank you to the repairmen, tech team, handymen, electricians, landscapers, and plumbers who keep us running smoothly. Thank you to our neighbors who not only tolerate our many daily visitors, our early morning routines, and our smells (from fresh baked cinnamon swirls to cow poo and everything in between), but support us fully!

And thank you to the customers who have been here only a handful of times.  Even to the customers who have only visited once. To the ones that wrote us a not-so-great review so that an issue might be brought to our attention. Thank you to the customers that watch us from afar on Facebook or our newsletter. When you are operating a small family farm with a small family business in a small corner of the Pioneer Valley, we know that every little bit counts. That a network of supporters affords us the opportunity to improve care for our herd, make better food, employ more of our community, contribute to our economy, preserve more farmland, further reduce our carbon hoof-print, educate our young people, and continue this family business for generations to come.

There’s so much to say!  We’ve tried so many things.  Failed at quite a few. Succeeded in quite a few more. We broke some stuff.  And made some messes. We learned some lessons. Cried. Smiled. Laughed.

But what we really want to say is: THANK YOU!

Cheers to 10 Years!  And to many more!!

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