Letter to the Editor: Heart of The Village

By Devon Clements, Contributing Writer

“It’s all about throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks,” said Chris Cronin, Executive Chef at Farm & Coast Market.

That was his explanation of the first few months within a newly-opened business.

Chef Cronin is one of four managers that work at a little place in South Dartmouth called Farm & Coast Market.

This market is a very uniquely-designed business that just opened this past summer. It is best described like this: restaurant-meets-farmers market.

They have fresh produce every day, a butcher shop that butchers whole animals in-house, a wine department with wines that you cannot find at a normal liquor store, a cheese department with many local and delicious cheeses, and a barista counter where you can order a hot latte with some food from the menu.

This place highlights the reasoning and the process behind starting a business.

Per Lofberg, the owner of Farm & Coast Market, bought the property the market now sits on, with genuine intentions.

“Something needed to be done with this place, it’s the heart of the village,” he said.

After helping his son, John, open a restaurant in Padanaram, Lofberg saw the opportunity across the road at 7 Bridge Street where the abandoned space lay.

Starting a successful business doesn’t just happen, it takes a strong business plan that outrivals similar businesses near you. “We have something to offer that other (businesses) don’t.”

Chef Cronin highlights an important factor of opening a business: uniqueness.

The Small Business Administration published statistics related to newly-started businesses, stating that 33 percent  of total businesses do not last longer than two years, while 50 percent of total businesses do not last longer than five years.

The key to running a successful business that doesn’t become part of this statistic? Having a unique business plan with the staffing to support it.

“We do things that inspire/motivate people,” said Chef Cronin. He believes that a motivated staff is the key to running a successful business.

That, along with a variety of food options makes the management at Farm & Coast Market believe they can thrive as a business.

Farm & Coast Market opened up to the public this past July, and it did not happen without some flaws.

The original opening date was for June this past summer, but construction among other reasons delayed the opening a whole month.

“The bridge closing was one of the biggest problems we faced when opening the business.” These are the feelings of Jody Cote, General Manager at Farm & Coast Market, who was not a fan of the highly-inconvenient timing of the Padanaram bridge construction.

The market opened up on July 18, which just so happened to be the same week the Padanaram Bridge closed for its two-year, $8 million construction.

This bridge connects South Dartmouth with Padanaram, and for those who used the bridge to get into Padanaram now have to take a 5-10-minute detour to get into the village.

But according to Mr. Lofberg, it’s in the past.

“Its frustrating that it happened, but we have to look forward.” he said.

Thousands of businesses are opened on a yearly basis, and all for their own individual reasons.

For this situation a man wanted to see a business thrive in the middle of a community that has a special place in his heart.

These intentions did not help the bumpy ride; delays happened, bridges closed (quite literally), but this did not stop the goals of Per Lofberg from becoming a reality with the property he bought at 7 Bridge Street.

His best advice to someone looking to start a business: “Be prepared for anything.”


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