by Allison Deutschman
Special to Left of Center
Throughout Western New York there are numerous successful family-run businesses.
Having the option to purchase homegrown foods locally, rather than from a corporate grocery store, can be a fun, inexpensive experience, if you know where to shop.
Sanger Farms of Youngstown, located at 852 Lockport Road, wants locals to consider them for all of their produce, baked goods needs, and family fun!
Co-owner Sandy Tuck was raised on the very farm that she is now inviting the general public to experience. Sandy wants visitors to enjoy it as much as she does.
"I love the farm itself. The land, the trees, the soil." Sandy said. "We have a beautiful pond in the back, I love going for walks around the farm."
When Sandy and her husband, Mike, purchased Sanger Farms from her parents in October 2013, they started working immediately to improve the business.
"We took out a wall and expanded our whole selling area." Sandy said enthusiastically.
Sandy and Mike's five children, Carly, Claitan, Lisa, Rogan and Shari, also assist with making improvements, both near and far. Ranging from 18 to 31 years old, the Tuck children help out wherever they can.
"Lisa was in New York City going to community markets, waking up early and going to market and calling me!" Sandy exclaimed, noting that her daughter Shari, a recent NYU grad studying nutrition, helps the family gain insight on what is trendy in the food world.
Claitan studies at Niagara University and Rogan studies at the University at Buffalo, but over the summer both of the Tuck boys can be found working hard on the farm or in the kitchen.
Twins Carly and Shari work full-time jobs, but in the evenings and weekends they bake delicious treats in the kitchen, following in the footsteps of their mother, Sandy, and her mother, Helen, carrying on the family tradition.
The aroma of apple tarts and banana cream pie filled the air as Sandy gave the Sentinel the grand tour of the kitchen and store, making it difficult to focus on just one positive aspect of the farm.
Sandy knows the farms customer base is frequently made up of campers who visit the area and Fort Niagara during the upcoming months, due to their farm's close proximity.
The Tuck family strives to make every visitor's experience the best that it can be, by providing them with more food choices such as the ever-popular pizza wrap-ups (likened to a calzone), sandwiches, and bakery goods as well as fresh produce.
They want to become more involved locally as well.
"I do want other farmers to bring their stuff in here, that would be my dream." Sandra continued. "If there are other farmers that want to grow things and sell it here, I am all for it."
To become involved with selling at Sandra's onsite retail store, call 716-745-7297.
The Tucks bring their goods to markets and festivals across Western New York, but they also encourage customers' hands-on involvement.
Why not enjoy the farm atmosphere, pick fruit and make a pie?
Sanger Farm's u-pick seasons start in mid-July with cherries and continue with different forms of produce, such as peaches and apples, through the fall. The Tuck family has added benches and picnic tables as well as new cherry trees around the property to add to the customer's experience.
Stop in anytime from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. any day of the week, for fresh produce, a homemade pie, or one of the farm's upcoming events. Go to its website, www.sangerfarm.com, for details.
Once the summer season ends, Sandy wants people to come utilize hayrides, hiking trails, and cross-country ski trails on the property. The Tuck family is trying to expand and improve wherever possible.
"I am enthusiastic about our area and people know it. If they love Youngstown, they love coming here."
Pictured: Sandy Tuck and her son, Rogan, at Sanger Farms.