“Local” is among the terms frequently used by food purveyors, chefs, and restaurateurs these days to describe their commitment to what’s considered the de rigueur mantra of the food industry: Buy local ingredients and buy from local food purveyors. Now it’s one thing to tout adherence to a well-intended goal; it’s another to actually follow through on it in practice.
Michelle and Erich Smith of the newish The Farmer’s Grind (the coffee shop/market they opened in the precarious month of March 2020) are the epitome of food business owners that support local, from the all-star crumb cake (by certified home baker Anna Oneto of South Salem) to the coffee (via Suffern-based Java Love) to artisan honey, honey spreads, and balms (from Bumbleberry Farms in Somerset, PA).
The couple are enthusiasts who not only support local at their business but live it. “If you came to our home,” says Michelle, “you would see it looks similar to the market. Local products all over.”
Located within the Copia Home & Garden nursery, the 800 sq. ft. space was previously a short-lived coffee shop called Smith & East and a butcher shop prior to that. Now it’s all country-style wooden tables and shelves, bins, and baskets, chock-a-block with freshly made breads (Idyllwild of South Salem, Ross Bread Shoppe of Ridgefield), jams (Beth’s Farm Kitchen of Old Chatham), maple syrup (Kavookjian’s Maple Syrup of New Canaan), scones (Mrs. Larkin’s of Pound Ridge) and other baked goods (Baked by Susan of Croton-on-Hudson), soups (Ladle of Love of Bronxville), and produce (Tabora Farms of Chalfont, PA and Dykeman Farm of Pawling).
“In some cases, we try four or five purveyors of a given item before settling on the one to sell,” says Erich. “And everything we sell we know their story.”
Come on the right day (typically Sundays), and the smell of freshly made apple cider doughnuts may scent the air.
Besides market items, there’s also breakfast and lunch (e.g., avocado toast with cilantro aioli, oven-roasted turkey with Brie and apple butter on an organic multigrain baguette) as well as a prepared foods case (don’t miss Arthur’s Pierogis, also from South Salem).
“We moved from Yonkers to South Salem for fresh air, land for dogs, chickens [they have 10], and a sense of community,” says Erich. “Providing good foods for patrons from Wilton and New Canaan to Katonah and Pound Ridge, while supporting other local businesses like ourselves, is a great feeling.”
The Farmer’s Grind
475 Smith Ridge Rd