What started as a passion for agricultural studies between husband-and-wife duo, Ben and Taryn Marcus turned into renting 5 acres of farmland in Whitefield, Maine. It has evolved over the past ten years to become a team of 15 employees and a booming general store that supports over 200 vendors. The Sheepscot General Store & Farm mission is to bring sustainable food and farming traditions back to Maine is well on its way.
After learning Sheepscot’s previous financial institution had closed the doors on them, cPort took this opportunity to reach out and express an interest in working with them. From the start, the Marcus family say they felt as if they belonged. Taryn notes “my favorite part about working with cPort is the personal connection they’ve taken the time to make with our family and business.” She describes the cPort staff as being, “Super friendly, and knows who we are, it’s a refreshing feeling.”
Like many small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Sheepscot hard, and they had to lay off most of the staff early on. However, Taryn says, “Working on the PPP loan process with cPort was so easy and straightforward. It’s huge for a small business to have that experience.” Soon after successfully securing funding, Sheepscot was able to rehire almost their entire staff back.
“The silver lining of the pandemic” as Taryn refers to it, is that we have all remembered how important a sustainable food ecosystem is. Now, more than ever, people are caring about where their food comes from and what they are putting in their body. Taryn refers to this newfound concern around food sustainability as “the responsibility of our generation.” The Sheepscot General Store supports a variety of other vendors by selling their food at the market, most of which are in close proximity to the farm.
It’s important to remember how finding ways to work together and support our local community not only during these times, but always, can help shape the bigger picture in a positive way.
To learn more about Sheepscot General Store & Farm visit their website: sheepscotgeneral.com
Photo: Blue Horse Photography