First and foremost we want to thank you for your support during the 2020 season! It certainly was one for the history book! Every person and business had to adapt to the changes and challenges presented. Looking back on the year we are grateful for the support of our community, our covered porch which allowed us to safely serve our customers, our incredible staff who continually adapted with us, and the success of implementing and operating an online store. It wasn’t always easy, but we persevered, and we are grateful to be on the other side. As we prepare for our new season some of the changes that were made will stay, and some will things will go back as they were.
At the end of 2019 we were notified by our local Board of Health (BOH) that our water would need to become a “certified public water supply” (PWS) in order to obtain our food service permit that allows us to make coffee, donuts and prepared foods.
We completed this certification last spring, but unfortunately the size of our septic system does not comply with Title 5 regulations to allow us to have any “on premise” seating. In order to obtain our food service permit from the BOH we had to remove all seating, including picnic tables from the property. Currently the only possible way for us to obtain a food service permit with “on premise” seating would be to install a new septic system. Unfortunately that financial investment is not a viable option for our business.
Because of this, after 25 years of offering lunch “to-go” we have made the difficult decision to permanently close our lunch counter. Having a place on the property for folks to sit and enjoy something they purchased in the store was a big part of the lunch counter’s success. Having one without the other just wouldn’t work. We know this news will leave many of our “regulars” sad, and you were heavy on our minds as we struggled with this decision.
We are instead looking at this as an opportunity to refocus gained time & energy into growing on the farm and feeding our community. We will continue to offer many of your lunch counter favorites in the prepared foods section of our farm store, along with coffee, baked goods and cider donuts, however moving forward there will be no place to sit at Westward Orchards.
While we all enjoyed a slower pace this winter we have been working to prepare for the upcoming season. Trees have been pruned, soil is being tilled and crops are going in the ground every day. Potatoes, corn, lettuce, a new planting of strawberries and many other crops are already in the ground.
We are thrilled to be opening our doors on Tuesday, June 1st and can’t wait to welcome customers to SHOP INSIDE OUR STORE! Yes – you can choose your own produce and see everything the inside of our store has to offer.
For those of you who liked the convenience and safety of online shopping – it is here to stay! We will also continue to offer curbside delivery for online orders and CSA customers. Another thing that will stay in place is our opening at 10 am daily, just like last year. This will allow us time to prepare any online orders that have come in as well as fill CSA boxes once they begin in July.
For anyone who is interested in joining our CSA program there are less than 20 boxed shares available for the 2021 CSA season. For those looking for more flexibility, our Freedom Share is a great way to enjoy Westward grown produce at a discount without having to commit to a weekly box. To learn more and join our CSA please visit our CSA store.
Our family truly cannot wait to welcome you into our store when we open on June 1st – we look forward to seeing everyone very soon!
The Westward Orchards Family