We had a great time hanging out at the new Whole Foods Co-Op in Denfeld with Clover Valley Farms and Mad Chicken Studio! We learned about their delicious vinegars and the collaboration between local farmers and the Co-Op. Fresh and local produce is so important to our community and we are thankful for the hardworking farmers! Read more about Cindy and Jeff Hall, owners of Clover Valley Farms below.
Your name: Cindy Hale & Jeff Hall
Business name and location: Clover Valley Farms, 6534 Homestead road, Duluth MN 55804
Years in business: Homestead farming since 1996, part-time farming since 2005, full-time farming and vinegar business since 2013
How did you get started? We started farming with chickens as a summer efforts while Jeff & Cindy still worked full-time, the poultry flock expanded to include ducks and turkeys and we began the process of restoring our homestead orchard as well as planting new apple orchards and many small fruits. The year-round solar greenhouse, where we grow most of our herbs was built in 1998 and was used for our own food production before becoming out primary herb production area. As home brewers we started dabbling in vinegars about 2009 and after a test marketing on one of our Rhubarb vinegars at the farmers market we wondered if this could be a business, rather than just a hobby. We applied for and got a 2 year grant from the USDA to conducts a technical and market feasibility study to determine if an artisanal vinegar operation could really work. The short answer was yes and we were off to the races. We continue to build our fruit & herb production capacity as our vinegar business grows too!
Why did you choose Duluth? Jeff & Cindy landed in Duluth independently, but for the same reasons, great quality of life and access to un-paralleled, year-round outdoor recreation opportunities in nature.
What is one thing your business is primarily known for? Early on we were know for chickens, but now for our unique fruit vinegars.
What is your favorite thing about Duluth? Great community and the greater outdoors!
What do you think about the current Duluth economy? The forward thinking entrepreneurs make Duluth economy a great place to start and build a business. They (and we) believe in helping each other more than competing with each other and in the end we all win.
What would be your advice to someone thinking about opening a new business in Duluth? Do your homework, before jumping off the edge, connect with other business and the NE Entrepreneur Fund.
A couple other fun facts about you
Favorite place to eat in Duluth: Honestly…the deli at the Whole Foods Coop. Great for fast but great food! We don’t eat out a lot, but Duluth Grill and Lake Ave. Restaurant are our two favorites!
Favorite local business in Duluth (besides your own!): Love Creamery!
Favorite Duluth “hidden gem”: The city parks…there are so many, they are so rich with life and the opportunity to feel like you are out in it while in the middle of a vibrant city, especially in the winter..snowshoeing or skiing, they are magical!