What started as a way to control our own food source has now blossomed into so much more.
We weren't quite sure what direction we'd go when we started this journey. All we knew is we wanted to be able to control our own food source. As you know by now, Josh and I didn't grow up in this lifestyle, which makes us first generation farmers. We started on a mission to give our food a better life or grow it as naturally as possible. That has ended, where in fact it has grown into so much more.
It was honestly it was not our goal or vision to sell our products to the public. We had zero experience running a business and even if we wanted to - had NO clue where to even begin. We started selling a few dozen eggs here and there - from a Facebook Marketplace Ad. We quickly realized we couldn't keep up with the demand for high quality eggs and were constantly being asked what all we produced to sell.
We were a bit leery about taking anything additional on as there's obviously legalities in selling food to others. I (Dayna) reached out to any small farm I knew on social media to start asking questions on where to begin. Josh and I both came to the agreement that if we were going to sell anything else produced on our property we needed to get things squared away from a legal perspective.
After several meetings with our Accountant, Insurance Agent & others we were knee deep in business prep. Feeling excited, yet nervous and 100% overwhelmed. What in the heck did we just get ourselves into?
Starting by word of mouth.
We didn't start big. In fact, we started extremely small, selling to our loyal egg buyers and family/friends. We had our first pig and steer processed at our USDA butcher down the road (Gentle Harvest Processing) and started the unfamiliar process of marketing our meat to strangers. We harvested our first batch of meat chickens and sold a few to get feedback.
Overwhelming response. We learned quickly that the few people we sold to told their friends, and so on. We didn't have a storefront to sell our items in the beginning. I relied solely on word of mouth, social media, and sending photos to potential customers. We would arrange a time/location to meet with individuals to pickup their products. We operated this way for two years. Even when we started our CSA program they would pick up at our front door. All our meats we stowed away in chest freezers in our basement.
Cayla Graham did an amazing job on on our mural walls and signage for the market/gardens.
How to plan for growth. One evening doing chores I voiced to Josh that if we really wanted to get into selling our own products we'd need to figure out a different way to approach things. All this back & forth, customers not able to see our products before purchase and coordinating to meet wasn't sustainable if we ever wanted to grow. We weren't sure if we even wanted to sell more than just the little bit we were already doing.
I didn't really think Josh would go for it. I pitched an idea to convert our two car garage into an on-farm market. His first questions was "But who would come buy our things?" I told him I wasn't quite sure anyone would show up.... but I promised to try my hardest to advertise our farm and our story using social media outlets.
So, like the crazy people we are, we rushed to convert our two car garage that was full of storage into our very on farm market. We had to be frugal. As being a newly married couple, recently welcoming our dear Hadley to the family & not having much disposable income to build a luxurious structure - we had to get creative. Josh used his skills to design a space that was unique, wouldn't cost us a fortune, but would still give our future customers that wow factor.
I announced our very first market Sunday for August 29th 2021. To our surprise we were flooded with about 150 friends and family - some we hadn't seen in years and several people we never met before stopped by the farm to learn about what we were up to. It was a day full of emotions as we didn't expect to receive the support we did that day.
Grow & Evolve.
Ever since that first market day we have constantly improved our setup, the products we offer & expanded into supporting other local small businesses. When you visit Geraghty's Market you can trust know the beef, pork, chicken & produce was all grown by us. For products that we don't produce - such as raw honey, cheeses, milk, maple syrup, ice cream, etc. we source as locally as possible. All while
supporting businesses that have the same high standards as us.
We are always thinking of ways to improve the market for a better experience for each and every one of you. It's why you'll notice our displays have changed over the last two years, we've added more refrigerators/freezers, and Josh designed custom doors to give a climate controlled space. (Thank you to those of you that shopped during those bitter winters without them)
While other local farmers markets are seasonal, we are open year round. Every Sunday from 12-4. The only days you won't be able to visit are Christmas and New Years Eve weekends.
We have some big goals for Geraghty's Market in the future.
Looking into the immediate future of early 2024 we are wanting to open Geraghty's Market an additional day during the week. While we haven't selected a day or time that will be - we will be sure to announce that once those plans are set in place. We understand Sundays can be difficult to make it here before we close & we want to be able to give everyone the opportunity to visit.
Each year we strategize how to raise more pork, beef, and chicken for you all to meet the demand for it. We have been blown away by the sudden increase of market traffic on a typical Sunday this year. It isn't uncommon for us to sell out of popular products (chicken, bacon, etc) in just a few short hours. Please understand this isn't our intent. We don't want you to have to worry if the products you need are in stock. Each year we plan a year in advance, and so far we've doubled the amount of animals we raise or produce we grow. Next year will be no exception. Good, nutritious food takes time to raise & we can't rush the process. We refuse to cut corners - which means it can't happen overnight. Thank you for understanding as we always try to estimate how much we increase year after year.
As far as 5-10 years from now.... we have heft goals. Thanks for being here & thanks for choosing to support your neighbor. I promise it doesn't go unnoticed nor is it under appreciated.
"Absolutely LOVE Geraghty's Micro Farm! They are a wonderful couple, raising livestock humanely and with love. Their meats and eggs are top quality! They are transparent, honest, and love showing where and how your food is raised. After not eating meat in year, I have started buying meat from the Geraghty's and have been incredibly impressed." – Kelsey