FLETCHER, Vt. (WCAX) – It’s a small business in every sense of the term. A group of young people in Franklin County are finding fun in running their own farmstand.
Off this road in Fletcher, sits a multi-family farmstand selling butternut squash, corn, and maple syrup, to name just a few of their products. It’s run by kids in the community who are cashing in.
“We wanted to sell stuff and we wanted to have our own little business,” said Madden Graff Bell.
It started three years ago when two neighboring families began selling sap from trees tapped on their property in a stand built by one of their dads. “In the end, everybody joined in and we have this,” Bell said.
Now, there are children from five families rotating control of the operation. The items available expanded to include flowers and produce all grown in their gardens.
“We really didn’t have much for expectation. We kind of just looked at it as a great space for them to be outside no matter the weather,” said Sereena Simoneau, a local parent. That’s right, the farmstand is open year-round on days when it’s possible to be outside. “They dress for the weather and even times when we’re like, ‘Are you sure you want to go out?’ They’re out there and they love it.”
Not even a pandemic can stop their positive spirit. With mom’s looking on, they take all safety precautions necessary.
“Our six-feet apart sign, our sanitizer that we have in front of us. And we have our masks,” Bell said.
“They’re having hours of fun and really that’s the best part for me,” Simoneau said.
After the first year of the farmstand, the kids made about $100. And like the true entrepreneurs that they are, they reinvested most of that money back into the business. Now, after year three, they’re looking to take some of the money they made and donate it to charity.
“Now that they’re older, they know how important giving back is. We haven’t decided on anything. We’ll probably get them together at the end of the season and decide together,” Simoneau said.
“We get to experience having our own business and we all get to be together,” Bell said.
Harvesting food, growing a business, and cultivating friendships. This small, roadside farmstand is a pretty wealthy investment.
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