Tell us a little bit about your business.
Our shop is called Appleton Farms. Our farm is based in Ipswich and Hamilton, on the North Shore. It is the oldest, continuously-working dairy farm in the country, as well as the first place where Jersey cows lived in Mainland United States. We carry Jersey cows’ milk, which is known for its rich butter fat and really creamy quality, as well as heavy cream. We have cheese from Appleton Farms, as well as cheese, yogurt and sour cream from 16 other Massachusetts farms that are part of the Massachusetts Cheese Guild.
What is your favorite item that you sell?
Our heavy cream is definitely my favorite. It’s really thick; something I love in my coffee and on strawberries and on dessert — I just think it’s delicious.
What has been your biggest career accomplishment or proudest moment?
I guess one way to look at your success is your customers really knowing what you’re doing and understanding what you’re doing. The most gratifying thing for me is when I hear our customers explaining to other customers, “They have really good cheese there,” or whatever they like about our shop. Hearing our customers share that with other people is really what makes me proud of what we’re doing — and I know our shop and organization is really grateful for that.
Why were you interested in joining the market?
The Trustees are a founding member of the Boston Public Market. But I think that also having a vendor space here is really important as a way of supporting our work of land conservation as well as supporting local farms across Massachusetts that are farming sustainably, using grass-based milk, using raw milk, and treating their animals humanely— I mean, the “Dancing Goats” really do dance, and our cheese maker, Tricia Smith, walks with her goats every day. Our farmers and our vendors are really connected to their land and their animals, and it’s important to us to be able to reach even beyond what our core mission is of preserving special places in Massachusetts.
How has being a part of the market changed your business?
This is really our first venture into this type of retail space! We’ve given a lot of exposure to different farmers, we’ve exposed a lot of different people to Massachusetts cheese, and we’ve certainly increased the demand for Massachusetts cheese in Boston as far as we can tell. But I think even more than that, The Trustees have made some wonderful relationships; to be able to interface with thousands of people in the heart of Boston every day is wonderful exposure for the organization.
What do you like to do outside of the market?
I really enjoy cooking; I like to cook what’s good or seasonal or special. I definitely have a sort of nose for finding products that you wouldn’t necessarily get everywhere or every day. And I like being outside; I like being near the water and near the ocean, so I like to go to Castle Island, to just walk around or be at the beach, anything on the shore. And I spend a lot of time with my family as well.
If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I think I would probably prefer not to listen to anything than to listen to one thing for the rest of my life!
Enjoy Gannon’s suggestions for snack pairings with Appleton Farms products:
- Sidehill Farms whole plain yogurt with Q’s Coquito nuts
- Castleton Sesame Graham crackers with blue cheese (our Grey Barn Bluebird & Jasper Hill’s Bayley Hazen Blue, in particular)
- Dancing Goats fresh chevre with Carolyn’s Farm Kitchen Pepper Jelly
- Robinson Farm Tekinink Tomme with Doves & Figs Falling Leaves Jam
- Smith’s Smoked Cheddar with Castleton Rye Crackers, Holly’s Spicy Pickles, and Daniele’s hot soppresata
- Stillman’s strawberries with Appleton Farms Heavy Cream
- Vermont Farmstand Tomatoes with Mozzarella House burrata & Corner Stalk Farms basil
- Nella Pasta Sriracha Pasta with Cricket Creek feta
- Crystal Brook Jalapeno Cilantro chevre with Boston Smoked Fish Cajun salmon