It’s been a few weeks since Homestead Creamery’s renovated farm market has been open in Burnt Chimney, and feedback from customers has been positive, according to company officials.
“Everything that we’ve heard so far from the customers ... it’s all been received very well,” said Heather Williams, Homestead’s farm market manager.
Remodeling the space was something that the creamery had been contemplating for some time, according to Rose Jeter, the creamery’s marketing director.
“It wasn’t built and designed to be a farm market,” Jeter said of the space that was transformed from a one-story ranch home into the farm market years ago.
When the COVID-19 pandemic barred indoor seating in the creamery, Jeter said they began exploring options for what to do with the empty space. “That gave us the opportunity to look at where we want to go and what we wanted to do with the farm market.”
The renovations included taking down walls, eliminating tables for indoor dining and separating the deli space, where freshly prepared sandwiches and salads are made, from the dipping cabinets, where nearly two dozen flavors of ice cream are served.
“We moved the ice cream off to the side, which caused a big bottleneck” when customers entered the store, Jeter said. On busy summer weekends, customers could often be found lined up outside the door.
The extra space not only created a better flow for customers and opened sight lines from one end of the store to the other, but it also allowed the creamery to stock more locally made products, specialty food items and Homestead Creamery branded merchandise, Jeter said.
“It’s definitely a lot better,” Williams said. “It’s roomier.”
The creamery also replaced its dipping cabinets with ones that are more visible to even the youngest shoppers.
“Ice cream is obviously our No. 1 seller here,” Williams said. “The new cabinets are easier for the kids to see in and it helps because kids eat with their eyes.”
To celebrate the remodel, the farm market is planning a ribbon cutting celebration in partnership with the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce on May 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Homestead Creamery’s farm market is open Monday through Saturday at 7254 Booker T. Washington Hwy., in Wirtz.