INDIAN PINES FARM MARKET of PENN YAN, NY!!
GENEVA, NEW YORK – The Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board (FLWIB) announced today that Indian Pines Farm Market is the September “Business of the Month” recognizing the company’s efforts to build strong community partnerships along with their continuing contributions to the local economy.
Indian Pines Farm Market stand is a small, family operated business located in Penn Yan that quietly makes a big and lasting imprint on Yates County youth. The location has hosted a fruit stand for many years, but has been under its current ownership since 2005. Since that time Indian Pines Farm Market has employed up to 4 youth each year as part of the Summer Youth Employment Program. This is not just an employment opportunity, but a life and learning opportunity for those lucky enough to work there.
Loree Martin, Yates County Youth Counselor presents the award to Lonnie Jones, Owner of Indian Pines Farm Market.
The business owner Lonnie Jones works to mentor these youth and give them as many different experiences as possible. While working at the stand, the youth are given the opportunity to take on both front end and back end responsibilities. They are given customer service experience as well as an opportunity to interact with and serve the public. Expectations are defined and supported on a daily basis. Youth become familiar with local produce and are able to answer questions concerning varietals, uses, preparation, or whatever people may think to ask. They are able to run the cash register and make change. They operate the scale and weigh out individual orders.
In the back end of the operation, youth are exposed to packing, packaging, quality control and again weights and measurements. They know how to store and prepare items for sale. They keep the shelves and coolers stocked and appealing to customers. They learn responsibility and lifelong skills that will contribute towards future successes in education and employment.
The fruit stand employs six full time employees, and offers fresh local fruits and vegetables, flowers, perennials, as well as small trees and shrubs. Gardening needs such as mulch or potting soil can also be purchased. Fresh baked goods, such as cookies, pies and breads are always available. Indian Pines Farm Market offers a large selection of local jams and jellies, salad dressing, marinades, honey, coffee and cheese. The store is always well stocked with whatever is in season, including greenery in the winter months, and is clean and consistently friendly.
One youth is typically hired on after the summer season ends, making the transition from employment program participant to employee. It’s a win/win situation for everyone involved!
“We are happy to highlight and recognize Indian Pines Farm Market for working so closely with the community’s youth as they transition to the world of work.” says Karen Springmeier, Executive Director, Finger Lakes WIB.