Season after season, we have new and improved answers to this perennial question: Why buy local? We all share a general sense that it’s great for the community. It makes us better connected, strengthens our local economy, makes us more prosperous as a whole—it requires less transportation, thereby reducing environmental impact, etc. But, the truth is, for residents of southeastern PA, buying local just means buying some of the best-tasting food you’re likely to find anywhere.
At this point in the season, it’s easy to fall into the months-long loop of harvest anticipation. As things start getting more and more local, we’ll keep waiting for the next wave. Right now, for example, we’re harvesting our own lettuce, spinach, spring onions, and cucumbers. We’re also carrying local tomatoes, rhubarb, and strawberries, which means that our own strawberries can’t be far off, and then blueberries, and so on. It’s easy to lose sight of the local flavors that are always available here at Pete’s all throughout the season. We figure now is as good a time as any to shine a light on these local businesses and remind our customers that buying fresh and local is in no way restricted to agriculture. Rather, we’re part of a gigantic network of impressive local food professionals.
Here’s a quick rundown of local businesses whose products we sell, which help make Pete’s Produce Farm the unique foodie destination that it is:
Baily’s Dairy of Pocopson Meadow Farm has been in the Baily family for four generations, and it is the ONLY farm in West Chester to produce 100% hormone-free milk, right there on their beautiful and historic 122-acre farm. Fun fact: Baily’s Dairy was Pete’s first job in farming—when he was 11 years old! Another fun fact: We also carry their chocolate milk. Do yourself a favor.
Baba’s Brew is a family-owned business in Phoenixville, PA, with an outstanding commitment to all-natural, all-organic ingredients. “No added juices, extracts, concentrates, or other BS ever.” They have the lowest sugar content of any kombucha on the market—and the best taste! With year-round classic flavors like Ruby Sipper and Bee’s Knees, as well as seasonal concoctions like Cherry Bomb and Peach Sage, founder and CEO Olga Sorzano works nonstop to keep our community healthy and strong.
Owned by the Abner King family, Pequea Valley Farm operates out of Lancaster, PA, where they use the milk from their grass-fed cows to produce fresh and super delicious yogurt. What’s not to like?
Anyone who’s had them knows—Firehouse Donuts aren’t your ordinary donuts. These homemade, artisanal donuts are made fresh just a few miles from the farm, and people can’t seem to get enough of them. Healthy as we strive to be, there’s nothin’ wrong with a little sweet tooth now and then. Hey, at least they’re fresh and local!
Chester Springs Creamery is an extension of the Milky Way Farm in Chester Springs, PA. They make their ice cream from the milk of their dairy herd, and, to give credit where credit’s due, each of their 48 (!) flavors is named after a cow in the herd. People come from all over for these pints. Where else are you going to find flavors like Opal’s Orange Pineapple?
Sticky Bucket Maple Syrup – OK, maybe not technically local, but our friends up in Potter County, PA, have an incredible setup with amazing results. With more than 13,500 taps, they collect raw sap straight from their maple trees on site and supply us with some of the best maple syrup we’ve ever had.
Talluto’s has more than fifty years under their belt of providing our area with delicious, high-quality food. Surely you’ve tried them by now. But, if you haven’t tried their pasta with our produce yet, then you ought to make this season your first! We carry their ravioli, pasta, manicotti, pesto, meatballs, gnocchi… You just can’t go wrong.
Dr. Elkins’s beef at Buck Run Farm is grass-fed, free-range, and grown completely without growth stimulants—that means no hormones and no antibiotics. Along with producing high-quality beef, Buck Run Farm is also committed to the environmental sustainability of their operation. In their words, “There is strong evidence that rotational grazing cattle can contribute to the storage of carbon in the soil and improve soil health… It’s one big recycling operation. No synthetic fertilizer, no pesticides, no hormones, no antibiotics are needed, so we don’t buy them.” We’re proud to support them!
Our selection of Sugartown Smoked Specialties is a perfect complement to your local produce spread, no matter what time of season it is. For nearly thirty years now, their gourmet line of artisanal products has been a major crowd-pleaser. Not only do we carry Sugartown’s smoked trout, smoked salmon, smoked sea scallops, and smoked duck breast, but we also carry an assortment of smoked fish spreads—always a hit!
Wilson’s Curiously Good Foods – It just wouldn’t be right to offer you amazing salad fixings without also offering you equally amazing soups. We have proudly been selling Wilson’s for the past few seasons, and frankly it’s tough to keep them on the shelves. Even in the summer! Curious, isn’t it?
Believe it or not, the Fishtown Pickle Project started out when Chef Mike Sicinski and Dietician Niki Toscani gave their now-famous pickles as gifts to their wedding guests. These Fishtown foodies use all-natural ingredients for their impressive array of bold flavors—”brined with love,” as they say. There’s Habanero Dill, Original Sour, Philly Dilly Deli, Sweet Onion, and Zesty Sweet Garlic—all highly recommended!
Taste of Puebla – Mariana and Cristobal Castaneda out of Kennett Square have been active in local agriculture for the better part of their careers. Both Mariana and Cristobal worked in the mushroom industry for 20+ years before shifting their focus to catering and making some of the best salsas around. Many of our customers have been lucky enough to shop with us on days when Taste of Puebla’s food truck is in our lot. We proudly carry their delicious salsas and awesome guacamole.
Flavors of Jalisco – Siblings Jose and Maria Orozco have traveled a long way to be our neighbors, and we’re so glad they did. Originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, they moved here to Chester County, where perhaps they’re best known for their awesome catering. If you’re ever hosting a big party or event, we can’t say enough good things about their authentic and delicious dishes–or, next time you’re at Pete’s, try one of their excellent salsas.
If you’ve ever tried our tomato sauce, you have the Bauman family in Sassamansville to thank. Each season, we send up a truckload of tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs to the landmark Bauman’s Apple Butter, where they process these ingredients into an amazing tomato sauce. Their impressive establishment is surely worth a visit. They sell a HUGE assortment of fruit butters, sauces, and cider, and they’ve been there since 1892!
No matter what your tolerance for hot sauce may be, Hank Sauce has got you covered. With unique blends that incorporate sweet, savory, or straight-up hot, founders Hank, Josh, and Matt have concocted an array of sauces that will perfectly complement your seasonal meals. (OK, since they’re out of Sea Isle, you’ll have to visit the Jersey Shore this summer to truly call them local. You have our permission.)