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Business

January 14, 2012

Shop Talk: Lucky Dog Farm & Store, The Hamden Inn

Lucky Dog Farm & Store, The Hamden Inn 35796 State Hwy 10, Hamden Owners: Richard and Holley Giles Established: Farm: 2000; Store: 2001. Employees: Three to nine on the farm; two at the store; and two full time and four part time at the inn.

Shop Talk is a weekly column featuring locally owned and operated businesses. This week, we talk to Holley Giles, who with her husband, Richard, owns the farm, store and inn.

How long have you lived in the area?

We moved here 11 years ago.

Tell me about your business:

Lucky Dog Farm is a certified organic produce farm. We sell our produce at the Callicoon Farmers Market, the Pakatakan Farmers Market, two markets in New York City (Fort Greene and Union Square), as well as at Lucky Dog Farm Store.

We have also done a community supported agriculture program where people pay to have shares of our harvest.

Lucky Dog Farm Store specializes in selling locally produced farm products, organic and bulk foods and assorted other items from local craftspeople. The Hamden Inn is a popular lunch-time stop with homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and specials with a beverage service and dinner menu for evening meals.

Describe a typical day in your business:

We are up and working by 6 or 7 in the morning, feeding chickens, harvesting for farmers markets and transplanting seedlings into the field. The store operation begins by 6 or 7 in the morning also to bake fresh bread. The store opens at 10 a.m. and a typical day involves cashiering, baking, stocking shelves, and packing bulk foods.

How did you get started in this line of work?

We wanted to farm and live in the country.

What have you learned from your work?

The value and rewards of good old-fashioned work.

What is the most challenging part of what you do?

Getting through the lean winter months is a challenge.

What are some advantages as well as drawbacks of doing business in this area?

It's a beautiful area to live in and enjoy nature, but since our businesses are to a large degree seasonal, the winters can be tough.

What advice would you give to someone trying to enter your field of work?

Be ready to work hard.

Shop Talk interviews are conducted by Terry Hannum. For information, call The Daily Star at 432-1000, ext. 213, or email news@thedailystar.com.

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