EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 28, 2013

Pelham farm stand takes a fresh approach

New farm stand is a hit in Pelham

By John Toole
jtoole@eagletribune.com

---- — PELHAM — Robin Dougherty and Donna Campbell want you to get fresh with them — fresh corn, fresh beans, fresh cukes, fresh tomatoes.

The women staff the farmstand that opened this summer at 28 Mammoth Road.

It’s quickly become the community attraction town officials hoped for when they approved it.

“If they are not in good spirits when they come in, they will leave here in good spirits,” Dougherty promises. “People come. We walk, we talk, we laugh, we tell stories.”

It’s all about the vegetables and fresh is the word.

Cars regularly pulled in and out of the farmstand on a recent afternoon, with customers prowling the tables.

“We’ve got the best corn around,” Dougherty said. “Sweet. Just like eating an apple.”

Squash, peppers, water melon, apples and eggs filled the tables.

Steve Poulin rolled in, a first-time customer from Manchester.

“I’ve been driving by for a month,” he said.

“Fresh” was the attraction that finally drew him from the road, he said.

Campbell said customers are coming from all over the area, from either side of the border.

“Weekends are unbelievable here,” she said.

Concha Devlin lives in Tyngsboro, a satisfied returning customer.

“Today, I’m buying corn and cucumbers,” Devlin said. “I love it. I’m from Spain and I’m used to fresh vegetables.”

Jack Lloyd lives in Pelham. He said this was his fourth or fifth visit.

“The corn on the cob is very good here,” Lloyd said. “I like having a local place where I can get stuff.”

Lloyd has a second home in Moultonborough, but will shop this farmstand instead of one of the many in the Lakes Region.

“I buy here and take it up there,” he said. “This is as good or better.”

Helen Carver came over from neighboring Dracut.

“I love it here. I really do,” Carver said. “You know you are going to get fresh produce that hasn’t been on a truck for two days.”

Carver said prices are comparable to the grocery stores. Corn was selling for $6 a dozen.

“But you know you are going to get fresh produce here,” she said.

The place opens by 8 a.m. and stays open until 6 p.m.

Third-generation farmer John Grzesik, 73, is operating the farmstand in association with Franklin and Frederick Nietupski, owners of farm land on Mammoth Road.

Dougherty said Grzesik often is first to the farmstand.

The farmstand staff recommends customers arrive early for the best selection of produce.

This isn’t one of those stuffy farmstands.

“We let our customers do whatever they want: pick ‘em up, feel,” Campbell said.

They even will spare you the mess at home.

“I allow them to shuck their corn,” she said.

The farmstand has more season to go. Plans call for staying open through October.

Bottomline, business has been very good this summer.

“We’ve been busy every day since we’ve been here,” Campbell said.