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Member Spotlight - 3 Bar Farms

Lucas Handley is a very busy man these days, as the Nicola Valley Farmer's Market prepares to open for their 2018 season. From the middle of May until the Thanksgiving weekend you can find him at the Farmer's Market every Saturday from 9:30 am to 1 pm and for pretty well the rest of the time during growing season, you can find him at 3 Bar Farms, 2124 Tomkinson Road, in the beautiful Sunshine Valley.

 

You can also connect with him via email or phone 250-378-2124, and of course on Facebook and Instagram

 

Thanks for taking the time for the Member Spotlight, Lucas! I know you're a busy man these days with getting ready for the season opener of the Nicola Valley Farmer's Market. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.

 

My name is Lucas and I run 3 Bar Farms.  We grow produce the right way, that's why our motto is Farm Fresh Food Done Right! No synthetic chemicals added to our produce, and our poultry is raised the same way. We have 34 acres in the Sunshine Valley were we raise poultry, grow hay and market garden crops on, including garlic, potatoes, and squashes/pumpkins. In the Fall we host a pumpkin patch.  

 

I know about your pumpkin patch, a super idea for families with children {and anyone else, really}! Tell us a bit more about how 3 Bar Farms got started. 

 

We started in 2007, with one acre of pumpkins. We sold them at the local Farmer’s Market and on the side of the road. Things just kind of took off from there. By about 2009 we had added market garden crops and in 2010 we tried poultry. Our first Pumpkin Patch was in 2012. In 2013 we purchased an additional 17 acres of land and started growing hay too. More recent years have found us refining our market gardens and focusing heavily on garlic, squash/pumpkin, and potato production.

 

That has been amazing growth for you, but I'm not surprised. Your product is great and you are known for the quality of your produce. Plus your weekly deliveries into Merritt are awesome as well! Is your business a family-run business and who’s all pitching in?

 

Yes we are a family run business, my mom and my dad help out a lot on the farm.  

 

It's certainly easier if you have help! What do you love most about being a business owner?

 

I love being able to interact with my customers, to find out what they like about what I'm doing and what more I could be doing to better serve them.

 

It's so important to put yourself into your customer's shoes! That's the secret to serving them with exactly what they are looking for. So what do you like least about being a business owner?

 

Never getting a day off for 9 months of the year!  

 

That is a challenge for sure! When you finally do get some free time, what do you like to do when you’re not running your business?

 

When I am not running the farm, I like to collect and restore vintage cars and trucks.  

 

That sounds like a full-time job in itself! Do you find time for social media? What’s your favourite social media platform and how can your customers connect with you there?

 

Facebook. We try to post regular updates as to what we have been up to. We also post what is available for purchase each week, and we try to answer all messages and comments within 24 hours or less.  

 

A great way to connect with your customers. Last question: What do you love about the Nicola Valley?

 

The small town atmosphere and the laid back pace at which life moves at. And the friendly people. The weather is great too!!

 

Yes to all those things. They are definitely perks of living here. Thanks so much for taking the time, Lucas - and I look forward to seeing you at the Farmer's Market.

 

Thank you for reading and for supporting local business. If you would like to stay up to date on collaborations and deals of the Merritt Small Business Centre and get notified when the next member spotlight is published, you can sign up below. If you're a business owner and would like to be part of building a thriving small business community in Merritt, the Nicola Valley, and Logan Lake, then come and join us on Facebook.

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