Connolly Brothers open farm store on Temple property

  • David and Linda Taylor serve customers at the Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm in Temple’s new farm store Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

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    A bowlful of "Sweet Piggy" maple bacon ice cream from Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm in Temple. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/16/2021 12:41:44 PM

Connolly Brothers Dairy Farm has expanded, adding a new 600 square foot farm store to its Temple property that officially opened on March 6.

Chris Connolly, who owns and operates the dairy farm – founded by his parents Martin and Lynda in 1982 – with his brothers Michael and Patrick, said the expansion was years in the making and necessary to fulfill the rising demand of their customers.

The farm store will include all of the Connolly Brothers meats, from the staples like ground beef and steaks to part or whole broiler chickens. They also raise heritage pork, resulting in sausages, pork chops, ham and bacon, as well as lamb. Also available is their ice cream in single serve 6 ounce portions to half gallons and raw milk, as well as eggs from their 500 laying hens and maple syrup boiled on site.

A few years ago, Connolly Brothers entered into a partnership with Francestown Village Foods, providing ground beef for meals like beef lasagna and shepherd’s pie, which will continue to be sold at the farm store. With the increased space, Connolly said they brought in a few local vendors, with displays for Temple Glassworks and Nelson’s Candy. The have a selection from Broken Bread Baking Company in Bennington, as well as items likes milk soaps and lotions, and felting kits from FiberDreams Farm, owned by Connolly and his wife Jennifer. Connolly said home delivery of items from the store is also available.

In the late 1990s, Connolly said they etched out a space in an old hay shed to serve as an honor system farm stand where customers could purchase hamburger and raw milk. But over the years, the selection of meat products has grown and the foray into making homemade ice cream in the early 2000s increased the inventory they wanted to include in the farm stand.

But as business grew, adding more animals and products, the farm stand, which coupled as the onsite production location for the processing of raw dairy items, began to require too much real estate.

“It was taking up more than half the space,” Connolly said of the farm stand. But even then, there wasn’t enough room for the necessary amount of freezer space, which made finding certain cuts of meat more difficult for customers.

Connolly said to produce the ice cream in the most efficient manner, they simply needed the entire area. They built on to the back of the building 10 years ago, which “gained us a few years,” he said, but it still wasn’t enough.

“We just got to the point where we needed to do something separate,” Connolly said.

Connolly said the new farm store isn’t huge, “but bigger then where we were at.” It provides a defined space and “we’re not trying to do five different things,” in one area, he said.

The store, built in post-and-beam fashion, is only 20 feet away from the place where customers had been going for decades and the Connollys used resources from around the farm for construction.

“The whole structure is wood that came from the farm that we milled at our saw mill,” Connolly said.

The project began four years ago with the pouring of the foundation, but it was really in the last year where the push has been to finish it.

“Farming isn’t something you can just shut off and go work on the farm store for a week,” Connolly said. “But the ice cream business is really booming, so we said let’s just get it finished.”

The store will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but Connolly said the hours may change once they get a feel for when customers are coming in. The goal is to have someone in the store as much as possible, with Patrick’s wife Jill serving as the manager, in order to engage with people and answer questions.

“People are always asking about the farm and what we do,” he said.

Connolly said there are more ideas for expansion, including adding a commercial kitchen and a small stand for scooping ice cream, “but that’s another phase,” he said.


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