Baked goods seem to be on a first-name basis with customers at Weavers Way, judging from a quick survey of labels on the shelves. Among them is Noreen’s, a line of bars, cookies and loaf cakes that have been part of the Co-op almost since it began.
Breakaway Farms is a new Weavers Way meat provider whose free-range cattle and pigs are raised on the gold standard of sustainable agriculture: pesticide- and herbicide-free grasses and clovers, without hormones or antibiotics, using age-old practices of cohabitation and grazing rotation.
Backyard Beans Coffee Company started with husband-and-wife team Laura and Matt Adams roasting small batches of coffee beans in their backyard. Today, Backyard Beans is a flourishing business with a coffee shop and commercial production facility on Main Street in Lansdale, Montgomery County.
In the not-so-distant past, most U.S.-made cheese came from factories in the Midwest. Now Southeastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding area has exploded, with a plethora of creameries coming into existence in just the last 10 years, and you can find almost any style of cheese being made within 100 miles of here. One of the newcomers is Stefanie Angstadt of Valley Milkhouse Creamery.
Breaking into the booming specialty food area isn’t easy, and it takes much more than having something good to eat. “First, we came up with a great name,” said Kristen McManus, one of the co-founders of Brine Street Picklery. “And we knew with the red color on our labels inspired by our Thai chilis, combined with the hand-done type of our name, our product would really stand out.”
With agriculture dominated by mega-producers, it’s reassuring to find a favorite product packaged and distributed by a local family business. One example: Fruitwood Orchards in South Jersey, which provides honey, both bottled and bulk, to Weavers Way.