Signature farm products: A unique offering
By Cathy Bartolic
By Cathy Bartolic
“I would walk a mile for a camel.”
This is a statement that will date me but it’s exactly what popped into my head when I started thinking about writing this article about signature farm products. It summarizes everything a signature product should be and could do: ensure customers go out of their way for a unique product they appreciate.
Signature products are created by a business to provide a unique offering to its customers. These products are distinctive and characteristic of that particular business. For example, a blueberry farm may create a BBQ sauce from their own fresh blueberries and garlic to put on the sausages they grill on the weekends. Other people can make a BBQ sauce but it will never be exactly the same as what is offered by this farm. Anyone who falls in love with the flavour will have to go back to the blueberry farm to get some more. As the popularity of the product grows, it becomes a signature product for that farm.
Here are some other examples of interesting and unique signature products and experiences.
Murphy’s Farmstead has a signature buttercrunch that got its start in 1983 when Mark and Shawn Murphy decided to take a chocolate-making class in hopes of finding a product that would help diversify their farm business. According to their website, the buttercrunch is described as a buttery toffee confection enrobed with a layer of Belgian chocolate and topped with freshly toasted pecans and almonds.
The Murphys didn’t have time to make the product year-round, as they were farming full time, and so decided to only offer it during the Christmas season. The limited access to the product for customers only serves to make it even more desirable. You can only get Murphy’s Buttercrunch from Murphy’s Farmstead in November and December. After 30 some odd years, it is one of their most famous signature products.
Rebecca Landman started Landman Gardens and Bakery on her family’s farm because she loved the concept of growing and making delicious food to share with others. In 2009, her father, Eric Landman, and several other dry stone wallers built a Blackhouse on the property. A Blackhouse is a small, traditional structure made of stones stacked on top of each other without any mortar to keep them together. They are most commonly found in the highlands of Scotland. The one at Landman Gardens is also topped with a living roof.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that Rebecca decided to “marry” the distinctive building with the foods she was creating on the farm by offering Blackhouse Dinners. One of the challenges of the building is that it can only be used from April to October. However this limitation also makes the dinners more special because they are not available every day, all year round.
Take a look around your farm and discover what’s unique to you. What product do you already have or can you create that could become your signature product or experience? Have you got a camel in your barn?