I’ll never forget the afternoon in 2016 when I drove by the historic farmhouse that is now our award-winning Wardensville Garden Market and Bakery. Walls were coming down, the roof was partially off, and there was a giant hole in the floor. It was tough to visualize what would become of the space.
But wonder was being created, one nail at a time.
In just a few short years, we’ve gone from a small farm market and experimental bakery to what is arguably one of the most unique not-for-profit social enterprises in the United States today.
To date, we’ve sold over 17,000 cinnamon rolls, planted more than 80 varieties of veggies with 40 different types, sold over 80 CSA produce box memberships with over $15,000 invested in Friend of the Farm cards, and won several prestigious awards, including Best Nonprofit in West Virginia.
Most importantly, we’ve changed the lives of many young people in our community. More than 60 local high schoolers have held jobs at the farm and bakery. We’ve distributed over $90,000 in scholarship money for our student employees. And local middle schoolers aged 11-14 have joined us in over 200 hours of free summer STREAM camp, learning everything from how to grow food, to how to paint a picture of a turtle, to how to make a model boat that floats.
And that’s just the start.
With plans for a new restaurant and continued expansion of our programming for local youth and high schoolers, we see only more big things ahead for Farms Work Wonders.
I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this organization.
Thank you to our entire team for working endlessly and tirelessly. Thank you to the students and parents who put your trust in us. Thank you to all of you in the community who go out of your way to support us through your purchases, engagement, and donations. None of this would be possible without the big hearts and smiles of this community.
Wonder abounds in Wardensville. There is more to come.
Colette LaForce has more than 25 years of business leadership in technology, public health, and consumer products. She wholeheartedly believes that WGM cinnamon roles qualify as a core food group and that the bakery’s apple pie is better than her mom’s (shhh…don’t tell).
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