Farmed with Love

Summerside’s new local food shop

On a rainy Saturday afternoon, two weeks after its grand opening, I paid a visit to Farmed – Market & Craft Butchery, located in Reads Corner, Summerside. Owned and operated by Julie and Mike Taylor, this new food shop is clearly setting its sights on meeting the needs of locavores and foodies in Western PEI. With a focus on supplying high quality meats and produce, locally-sourced products, and freshly prepared meals to take away, the store is a welcome addition to the Summerside retail scene and another important distribution channel for Island food entrepreneurs and farmers.
For the Taylors, Farmed marks the latest of many partnerships they’ve embarked on together. “We met over 10 years ago at work,“ said Julie.

Their first business venture, The Bony Broth Co., was conceived shortly after Julie gave birth to their daughter in 2015. When her search for bone broth to add to her homemade baby food proved fruitless, Julie decided to make her own. Handily, the couple also own a small farm, Harmony Hills, so were able to source bones for their broth from their own chickens. The Taylors decided to try selling it at the Summerside Farmers’ Market and quickly discovered market-goers were hungry to experience the tastes and purported health benefits of bone broth.

While bones are most commonly the byproduct of other meat-focussed endeavours, the Taylors faced the unique challenge of dealing with the meat byproduct of their broth business. “We only used the bones to make the broth,” said Julie. And so the growing demand for their bone broth birthed the opportunity for the couple to sell local meat products including sausages, chicken breasts, and chicken burgers.

Photo Credit: Ilona Berzins

“Once we outgrew the kitchen facilities where the bone broth was made it was time to expand our operation,” said Mike. “We had the need for a larger kitchen and we also thought having a retail operation bringing together local farmers and [food producers] with customers was an almost foregone conclusion.”

At present Farmed boasts 30 suppliers from Tignish to Souris. While ‘local’ and ‘fresh’ are definitely the focus of the new store, the Taylors are also aware of the importance of one-stop shopping and keen to respond to customer demand for other grocery items. “Not all products are local, as products such as coconut oil have no local producers,” Julie said.

Perhaps because they own a small farm or simply because they appreciate the importance of supporting the area’s farmers, the Taylors want to make their new retail location as farmer-friendly as possible. “We also offer free coffee to farmers and wish to openly invite farmers to partake in a cup when visiting our Summerside retail storefront.”

“Our plan is to ship our bone broth off Island. We are currently in the testing phase of our bone broth in powdered form,” Julie said, when asked what the near future holds for their multiple, intertwined businesses. “[In-store] we want to expand and include home cooked meals and currently we are in the test phase of homemade ice cream. We also wish to add more locally-sourced products to the products we offer for sale and expand distribution.”

Farmed is open seven days a week from 9am–7pm. They are also active on social media, where they post tantalizing pictures of the day’s special and other products for sale in the store.

About Ilona Berzins

Writing is a passion for Ilona. Food, especially savouring every morsel is more than a hobby. Being allowed to contribute to Salty enables her to combine two of her loves. An admitted grammar perfectionist she now has to apply all those rules to her own writing. Ilona resides in rural PEI and is currently living overseas on another Island with many trips back home to PEI, when the snow is gone of course.

View All Posts