A new business, Barstow Farms Country Store, opened in Waldoboro on Sept. 22. It looks like a small place that couldn’t possibly carry the amount of inventory it does.
Renee Grover and Jamie Barstow started a farm in Nobleboro, then found one on Goshen Road in Waldoboro around five years ago. They raise chickens, beef, pork, and lamb. Grover said she has an affinity for old houses, and the house at their farm was built around 1894.
Along with fresh meats, eggs, milk, and cheeses from their farm and other local farms, Barstow’s offers hot lunches and dinners to go, with different options every day. Everything is fresh and homemade, and Grover uses her grandmother’s recipes for most of the dishes.
It’s a real family affair. Grover’s mother, Peggy Kenney, who is usually in the store helping out, does most of the baking, including pastries of all kinds. On one day in October the pastry case was brimming with over a dozen different choices: lemon buns, cake with peanut butter frosting, muffins, date squares, and other delectable sweets.
“My mom loves to cook anyway, so she might as well be here,” Grover said. Gluten-free baked goods are being added daily.
There’s always a selection of breads made by Cindy Lewis, who owns Cindy’s Home Baking in Boothbay. Depending on the day, customers may find cinnamon, cinnamon raisin, cheese, and/or white bread.
One day recently the store sold out of the hot lunch, or dinner, of the day: baked ham with a traditional glaze, pineapple and a cherry, sweet potato casserole, and a side of dream of angel salad. There was a mac-and-cheese dinner with smoked ham available that day too, along with BLTs and grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon.
Grover said they decided to back off from raising and processing turkeys this year due to lack of time, but they’ve been taking orders for Thanksgiving turkeys from Maine-ly Poultry in Warren. “I try to use as many farms as possible and about 90 percent of our products are locally produced and made,” she said.
There’s a deli case in the store full of fresh, ready-to-cook meats, as well as dairy products, like raw milk and free-range eggs from Straw’s Farm in Newcastle, and goat cheeses, yogurt, kefir, and cajeta (caramel sauce) from Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro.
A separate business in the same building, Rising Sea Wellness Center, owned by Grover, features handmade alternative natural hygiene products like “almost edible” soaps and lotions and deodorants, locally hand-knit hats and mittens, and small handmade gifts.
On Thanksgiving Day, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the store will offer Thanksgiving dinners to go, complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, turnip, sweet potato casserole, boiled onions, a yeast roll, and a piece of pie. “It will be a real, authentic, old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner,” Grover said.
Grover is accepting donations for a local food pantry and Christmas gifts and food for children and adults for donation to a homeless shelter on Old County Road in Rockport. “We’ll take anything we can get to help people in need,” she said.
“We’ve been selling out of food every day, which is mind-boggling,” Grover said. “It’s overwhelming. The community and everybody has been so great. I wanted to be community-oriented. I want everyone in the community to think of this place as theirs.” And coffee is free. “I love people to come and tell me good stories over a cup of coffee.”
Barstow’s is on the Cider Hill Farm property at 777 Main St., between Kaler’s Corner and downtown Waldoboro. The store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For more information, call 975-3037.