Laurel Vista Farms
Today’s savvy shoppers want quality, locally grown produce. Laurel Vista Farms owners, sisters Marian Soldano and Rita Resick and husbands Ken Soldano and Rick Stafford, saw in that trend the best chance small farming has had in decades to be self-sufficient – if farms could package their harvests in a way the supermarket chains can handle. So their Laurel Vista Farms set out to build a facility for storing, packing and shipping not just its own products, but those from other farms in the region as well.
The Progress Fund loaned $150,000, and helped arrange a $100,000 loan from Pennsylvania’s First Industries Agriculture Program. It also hired Laurel Vista as a consultant to its agriculture initiative, funded by the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
Laurel Vista is now contracted to supply 12 grocery stores with local produce, and a regional restaurant chain has said it will take whatever the farm can supply. The new building is creating nine new jobs, and sending a refreshing message. “Farming doesn’t have to die as a family-sustaining activity,” said Rick. “It can prosper with new marketing direction and new investment.”View Story as PDF