I love a good farm stand, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve shopped at the Ludlow’s family farm. They have owned the land for the longest time, and split it between the potato/corn farm and the dairy farm. My girls love going to visit the cows every morning, and feeding the chickens after camp. Recently they opened up a shop on the property of Mecox Bay where they sell all of their artisanal cheeses, milks, and fresh eggs. Going there all summer to stock our house is a real treat, that I will miss as the seasons change. If you get a chance, ask Pete Ludlow to visit the baby cows in the back of the farm where they offer kisses, and bring your camera to capture the special moment!
How many years have you been in business?
The retail business has been operating since 2001 and the farm has been in the family since the 1870's.
How did you get your start?
We decided to focus on the retail end of the business after getting so many requests from local people who wanted to buy our items directly, but we continue to operate and manage the family farm here first and foremost.
What do you feel differentiates you from others?
We believe we are different in that we offer a very unique variety of items from some of the greatest producers in the country. In addition to our own fruits and vegetables, we offer the incredible organic Harry's Berries from southern California as well as Frog Hollow Farm's organic peaches and apricots when in season. In addition, we sell our own meat, Meredith's incredible pasture raised eggs, and of course, her famous handmade pies, which are known throughout the Hamptons. We have been expanding our natural skin and body care lines, as well, and now feature organic and amazing Bee Pollen skin food from Live-Live and coconut soap and lotion from Skin Trip in Colorado. In every category of what we sell, we try to find and sell the best of the best, and items you don't necessarily see elsewhere, and I feel that is what sets us apart. Barbara's jams and soups, granola, and cookies are all made with love here on the farm and by hand! I continue to bake challah and multi-grain breads by hand each week using our own home grown wheat and rye and milled right here in our kitchen.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
By being able to sell them the healthiest and freshest items from our farm and beyond. Our customers give us incredible feedback on everything we sell both positive and negative, and we make changes as a result. We listen to our customers' needs and wants and try to improve with each season.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Connecting with our customers. We have wonderful relations with our customers, many of whom have become our dear friends and are our neighbors. Having the rapport we have brings me great personal pride as a farmer and resident of Mecox. I watch our customer's children grow up and become young adults, some who come work with us during the summer break from school and I like to feel as though we are a part of each family's life! It is inspiring to say the least.
How do you benefit mamas?
We believe we benefit them by being able to provide them with some of the freshest and most healthy fruits and vegetables on the East End and by giving them access to the other wonderful items we carry each season. In addition, their children who visit the farm with their parents always seem to be enriched by the experience of being able to see the animals up close and walk through the fields in the summer. Being on the farm seems to make people happy.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
That we are doing a good job and that their family truly enjoyed the meal last night which consisted of the items bought from our farm stand - that we can impact peoples lives in such a memorable way.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Mecox Bay Dairy and The Green Thumb in Water Mill among others. We are also quite fond of the job that Executive Chef Sam McCleland does at the Bell & Anchor Restaurant in Noyac.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Always go out of your way to make the customer happy.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Drink plenty of water and make sure you take a few moments every day to see the beauty around you!