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Why we do not allow outside food.

Why we do not allow outside food at the Vintner’s Knoll

Like many local businesses, farms are having a difficult time surviving on agriculture alone. Covid was definitely not a good time for the farming industry or any business. Like all businesses in the hospitality industry, farms rely on good weather and have the the added dependence of relying on weather to assist in growing crops. For farming, every year brings new challenges and unpredictable weather can damage crops which increases losses.  Ever wonder what happened to the farm next door that became a developement?
Losses have to be planned for and supported by other revenue. This year alone, like many New England farms, we lost 100% of our peaches and 70 percent of our grape crop and it has rained on almost every weekend. Trees and vines damaged by weather still have to be managed and maintained.  The bills and payroll do not go away.  Vendors still need to be paid and fruit that we lost to weather has to be purchased from other non-local farms to sustain our wine and distilled spirits operations.  Lower revenue with higher costs is not a recipe for success.  And yes, inflation has been devistating as well as the shortage of labor.
Revenue from our food and drinks has become an important part of our ability to support our farm.  While our food operations evolved during COVID when it was mandated by the government, the decision to continue operating as a restaurant was based solely on economic survival and not economic greed.  The cost of operating a farm, like everything, has become unsustainable.  Every farmer is looking for new ways to survive and we are no different.  Revenue from our food and wine operations is currently our way of making sure we will be here in the future. For our family, the food and beverage sales that we generate from our operations allow us to replant our farm, manage and maintain our crops, and create, maintain, and improve our venue while keeping our staff employed.   

We appreciate that this change is discouraging to some who in prior years used our grounds as a free picnic area to host family and friends.   However, that approach was not paying our bills. We agree that it is a bit more expensive to pay restaurant prices for food when visiting rather than supermarket prices and we recognize that ordering off of a menu might be less enjoyable than bringing your own food.  However, the sales from beverages alone were not sufficient to sustain our operations. Rather than being another farm that fails, we made the decision to change. As a family, we love our farm and our mission so the change was a necessary business decision, not an option. 

We hope that our approach will find customers who want to see a farm survive, grow, and prosper in the years ahead as we enter our second generation of farmers. We believe we are an incredible venue with an incredible story. For the customers that we lose, we hope you will find a better venue and hope that you will remember your time at Nashoba with fond memories.

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