Anderson’s Farm Market & Country Store – UPDATED!


When I created the BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT section for this paper the intent was to highlight Homer area businesses to give them some much-deserved recognition and to encourage our local community residents and visitors to be aware of the many business “in our own backyard,” and to shop here first, whenever possible.  The stronger, more vibrant and successful our business community is, the better their collective success is for Homer.  Our writers are all volunteers and, as sometimes happens, mistakes are made in outlining specific details concerning special events, the history of a given business, or some other aspects related to that business. To the uninformed, these mistakes may seem minor. But to the business owners, their employees, their families and their loyal customers, even the smallest of mistakes can be disruptive, confusing and even harmful to associated businesses, their professional relationships and vendors.  Such was the case with our last issue.  We made, not just ONE mistake, but a total of NINE errors that common sense and professional ethics dictate immediate and whole-hearted corrections be made as soon as possible.  Below are the nine errors that were brought to our attention.  Please make note of these corrections.  These folks and their staff work hard to bring you good service and products and these mistakes are totally and completely our fault.  Our most sincere apologies to Jenn and Matt DeHart, Theresa’s Pumkin Patch, Erin Casterline and Grace DeHart and, of course, to the Homer community for our mistakes.

1. “Complete with Pumpkin Patch.”  Anderson’s Farm Market & Country Store does NOT own the pumkin patch.  Rick and Lynette Villnave, of Villnave Family Farm are the owners of “Theresa’s Pumkin Patch,” which was named after their daughter Theresa.

2. “……daughter-in-law, Erin.”  Erin Casterline has been with Anderson’s Farm Market since 2015 but IS NOT Jenn and Matt DeHart’s daughter-in-law.  They love her dearly, but she is one of the store’s bakers.  Grace DeHart is the DeHart’s actual daughter-in-law and is also their other baker who assists in preparing, when needed, their other hot food menu items.

3.  “….at the farm.” The DeHart’s children have not worked on the farm, which is significant since they do not own a farm.  their children have worked at the store.

4. The location of Anderson’s Farm Market & Country Store was NEVER the location of the dariy farm.  The old dairy farm is actually located just down the road.  The building site and structure for the Market was not built until 1979.

5. “……when he couldn’t sell the produce at the “Regional Syracuse Market…”  Jenn’s grandfather, Jake and her great Uncle Rob were the ones that couldn’t sell produce at the regional market and sold their produce roadside, not Bill.

6. “By the 1980’s, Anderson’s had become a traveling …..” to “Anderson’s Farm Market & Country Store became a reality.”  This whole paragraph is inaccurate since Bill actually had several locations throughout the 1980s and 90s.  By 1999, Bill had simply outgrown the location on Rt 11 in Homer.  Bill was offered the opportunity to purchase the current location from his dad, Jake Anderson, Jenn’s grandfather, in 1999.  The 281 location has been the permanent location for Bill Anderson’s Farm Market Inc. since that time. 

In 2017, Bill retired and Matt DeHart, Bill’s business partner since 2012, and Jenn bought out Bill’s share of the business.  As the store’s new owners, they instituted the name, Anderson’s Farm Market & Country Store, as it is known throughout Central new York and beyond. 

7. “Leveraging the pandemic-born popularity of her hot meals ……”  Anderson’s Farm Market has been offering a daily hot food special every Monday thru Friday since 2016, well before the pandemic.  It is one of the many popular features at the store and is also one I highly recommend.  Their daughter-in-law, Grace and team put together some fine fixins’!

8. Anderson’s Farm Market & Country Store CANNOT accept WIC (Woman, Infants and Children.)  They can only accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.) benefits.

                 And Finally!

Email addresses are very important for all businesses these days and even the simplest mistakes, such one letter, or an upper or lower case letter, space, dot, WHATEVER, can make the address useless and cause substantial frustration to the sender. The correct email address for Andersons Farm Market & Country Store is:

Again, we apologize to the family, staff and associated businesses at Andersons Farm Market & Country Store for these many errors.  It is important to them and to our readers that you all know this was not done with any malicious intent or overt carelessness.  We screwed up.  I hope this correction makes things a little better.  You can rest assured that every legitimate effort will made to business features and all other articles as accurate as possible.  Such mistakes are the sole responsibility of me, the editor of The Homer News, and no one else.  Respectfully, Kim L. Hubbard

By Molly Lane

Nestled in the beautiful rolling hills just outside the village of Homer, Anderson’s Farm Market and Country Store is a welcome oasis of tasty, locally sourced produce, home-cooked food, and baked goods– complete with a pumpkin patch. Owners Jenn and Matt DeHart and their family bring five generations of agricultural know-how and deep-rooted values of quality, community, and dedication.

When you walk in you are immediately struck by the cheerfulness and down-home comfort of the place. Photos of jazz legend Newell “Spiegle” Willcox (along with his trombone) grace the walls. You cannot help but be awed by the sheer variety of…everything! Brussel sprouts, sweet corn, lettuce, radishes, carrots, melons and berries, cucumbers, every type of pepper–it’s a visual feast of colors! The cooler cases are stocked with an assortment of cheeses, herbs, local eggs (including duck) and dairy products. Dried and bulk goods–from staples like flour and paprika to nuts, dried fruit and snacks–line the walls.

No visit to Anderson’s is complete without indulging in their delectable baked goods. An entire wall is devoted to a vast selection of scratch breads and rolls, delicious cookies, pastries and oh my, the pies!
Jenn and Matt’s daughter-in-law, Erin, has been the store’s baker since 2015. And you can spot the regulars:  they stride with purpose, grabbing what they need and chatting at the counter, warmly greeted like family by the staff.  Speaking of family, the DeHarts’ children all have worked at the farm since they were seven or eight, helping sort apples and doing other chores. “It’s a great environment to teach them how to put in a day’s work, see the product of their work and then have a successful transaction with a customer.”

Beginning in 1904, the location was originally a dairy farm. Jenn’s grandparents were from the Midwest– “Where they have real farms,” she laughs. “When my family decided to put down roots and farm here in Cortland, their kin responded, ‘those aren’t farms; you grow rocks in Cortland.’” Jenn’s father, Bill, started selling produce from Cortland-area growers and farmers. When he couldn’t sell the produce at the Regional Market in Syracuse, he put it out by the side of the road–Anderson’s roadside produce stand was born!

By the 1980’s, Anderson’s had become a traveling farm stand at several locations including West Main and Grant Streets in Cortland and Route 11 in Homer. Bill’s hope was to one day open a full-service retail, bakery and produce shop.  Jenn and Matt approached Jenn’s grandfather, who owned the land where Anderson’s is now, and in 1999, Anderson’s Farm Market & Country Store became a reality. Starting out as a three-season business, it went year-round in 2011. Matt knew a lot of people were forced to find ways to subsidize their seasonal work. “I didn’t want to try and find a winter job. I wanted to keep working at the same thing, so Bill said, ‘Let’s try it!’” Jenn adds, “The caveat was that we had to finish the market in the black if we were going to try to stay open during the winter. By the end of that fall, we finished with $800 in the bank.”

Exceptional customer service is first and foremost at Anderson’s. Matt and Jenn listen to their customers and provide fresh local and regionally sourced produce and food items. “Today there are usually two factors that drive a customer’s desire to buy local,” says Matt, “Where does the food come from? And did it have a low impact on the environment?” Looking at sustainability and minimizing the cost of shipping food, Jenn points out that the costs of transporting food affect not only the environment, but also the actual quality of the product when it reaches its destination. “Less travel is a gain for everyone.  Not only does it waste less resources, but the roads also play a direct role in how your produce arrives.” Distance (and potholes) affect freshness and there’s less overall waste when it’s geographically closer.

Anderson’s strives to sell at least 65-70% of local and/or regional products to customers and for the most part they succeed. Matt explains, “It’s when we get low on apples–which if you count volume, is our largest selling produce. Then we will supplement with apples from Pennsylvania when they are in their early growing season.” Throughout the winter, the only apples sold at Anderson’s are New York State apples.

COVID -19 also forced a renewed focus on local. Larger stores couldn’t get grocery deliveries to people the same day. Many of those stores’ suppliers also work with Jenn and Matt. They began filling online orders for groceries and set up curbside service. (They had to hire more staff during the pandemic!)  Anderson’s curbside pickup got groceries and hot meals to customers from Syracuse, Elmira, Horseheads and elsewhere–the same day! Jenn mentions the couple from Preble that had never been to Anderson’s. “They worked in Syracuse and bought all their food up there. Then during the pandemic, they couldn’t get groceries or meals from Wegmans. They found us. And they’ve been coming to us ever since.”

Leveraging the pandemic-born popularity of her hot meals and soups, Jenn grew her menu one day at a time, “I added an extra day each week until I was making meals Monday through Friday.”  The daily menu features a hot main dish and a soup, hitting every comfort food and then some. From “Lethal Mac-n-Cheese” (with extra-sharp cheddar) to chicken pot pies–to which Jenn sighs, “I cannot make enough chicken pot pies!!!” If she has extra orders, she leans on Erin, her daughter-in-law (the store’s baker) to help. On Saturdays, she rests.

Yet for all the fresh produce, comfort food, and amazing baked goods, what is Anderson’s known for?  “Our cheese!” cry Matt and Jenn in unison. “We work with a cheese broker who gets us some of the best cheeses. Our prices – especially for aged cheddar – are very competitive,” said Matt.  While some are from Wisconsin and Michigan, the DeHarts pride themselves on the aged NYS cheddar they sell. And if you’re a snowbird or a transplant from some faraway locale like Alaska, have no fear. You can have ripened NYS cheddar delivered right to your door courtesy of Anderson’s.

DeHart’s’ commitment to community and neighbors is woven into everything at Anderson’s. They are proud members of Cortland Harvest, a new collaboration between Seven Valleys Health Coalition and local producers and farmers to highlight locally grown food and agricultural products in Cortland County.  They accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Women, Infants and Children). “We help out Loaves and Fishes and several other food pantries in the area,” says Jenn, “We do what we can to make sure people aren’t going without.”

The community support for Anderson’s continues to grow every year. “We know our customers can go to Aldi and Walmart, buy all the same stuff they can buy here, and get a cheaper price and probably the same quality. But when you know your neighbor’s name or what their favorite items are, and you make sure they can get them–when you know their kids or their parents–that is something you cannot buy at a larger chain store.”

Jenn, Matt, and their children (and their children’s spouses) are making sure that with each generation, the market remains relevant and vibrant.  In an era when convenience often trumps tradition, Anderson’s remains a place where the past meets the present, where history is as rich and delicious as the freshly baked goods that grace its shelves. Do yourself a favor. The next time you find yourself speeding down 281, slow down, turn off at Anderson’s and step inside.

Did I mention those pies?

Store Information
5887 Route 281, Homer, New York 13077
(607) 749-5551

Hours (Subject to change)

Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 6 pm
Sunday: 10:30 am – 5 pm

Site Designed by Eves Digital