RIDGEFIELD, CT — Much has been made of how the coronavirus lockdown permanently shuttered many restaurants, and is greatly diminishing the revenue prospects of those that have reopened. There’s been less conversation about what that meant for those one level up on the food chain, the farmers who sell the food to the restaurants.
Pre-pandemic, Horseshoe Farm, a 14-acre sustainable farm in Ridgefield, sold 80 percent of its harvest to local restaurants. When the owner, “Farmer Pete” Campbell, saw those kitchen lights flicker and go out, he knew his business would have to pivot to stay afloat.
With restaurants no longer ringing his phone, Campbell decided to focus on his retail operation. During its five years in business, Horseshoe had always run a modest farm stand on weekends. But although the state allowed him to keep that “essential” food business open, getting enough COVID-skittish customers in to browse through each