Friday, December 17, 2010

After all these glorious years, "Ludgates" is passing the torch!

A few weeks ago, Mike Ludgate sent out this announcement. "After 37 years as a family business and no heirs to take it into the next generation, the Ludgate family is exploring new options. It has been especially difficult to manage without "The Squire" around to keep watch over everything. I think we: (Roberta, Linda and Mike) are ready to try something new. He sent this message yesterday which he invited friends to share: Our first choice right now would be to "pass the torch" of the family business to another family, person or group who could take Ludgate Farms to the next level - some youthful enthusiasm would be terrific right now! The food business has changed a lot in 37 years and is now entering another really exciting period with all this interest local, renewable and sustainable. We have taken what we think is the logical first step; this is a business that works the best if the owners are living on the premises - so we have put the entire business and real estate on the market. This would be an excellent opportunity for an energetic person or family to jump right into an established farm market with a loyal customer base."

Well ... it worked! We found someone! Or they found us, or both!

We are pleased to announce that Ludgate Farms is changing hands this coming January. Having run the farm stand since its inception in 1973, the Ludgate family has sold the business to another local family, the Quinn-Jacobs. The Ludgate family will remain in the area and are looking forward to a variety of "second careers".

The new owners, Katie & Dave Quinn-Jacobs, are looking forward to contributing to the productivity and future development of the farm stand in the years ahead. Katie is the founder of IthaCan, the local home food preserver’s network and both she and Dave are developers for Harvestation, the online farmer’s market that was launched this past harvest season. Betsy Appleton, who has a strong background in the local food movement, will be the new Ludgate Farms general manager-in-residence.

While bringing some fresh ideas and new initiatives to the store, the incoming management team is committed to maintaining the tradition of supplying the local community with a great selection of fresh produce, specialty groceries, bulk goods and locally produced items that Ludgate Farms has offered the Ithaca area for over three decades. Stay tuned for some innovations in the farm stand and we’ll be in touch as we move ahead.

Have a happy & healthy holiday season and see you at Ludgate's!

Roberta, Michael, Linda, Katie & Dave

Ludgate Farms