Lengel Brothers Farm and Market

Published: 06-Nov-2014


Name:
Elliott Lengel

Company:
Lengel Brothers Farm and Market

Address:
1346 Mercer Grove City Road
Mercer, PA

County:
Mercer County

Industry:
Agriculture

Year Founded:
1942

Consultant's Name:
Maggie Horne

SBDC Assistance:
Marketing and business development

Additional Partners:
None

Gannon University SBDC Jeff Corcoran, Director
120 West 9th Street
Erie, PA 16501
Phone: 814-871-7232
Email: gusbdc@gannon.edu

Lengel Brothers Farm and Market is a third generation dairy and crop farming operation located in Mercer. Since 2002, the company has grown its vegetable trade into a sustainable value-added operation that provides farm fresh produce to two universities, supermarkets, wholesale companies, farm markets and its own farm based produce stand.

Lengel’s offers a large selection of vegetables grown on the farm or local items sourced from other agricultural operations. Other local products include: potatoes from Shippenville, PA; apples, apple cider and other fruits from Enon Valley, PA; and honey from Slippery Rock, PA. The farm also provides beef for private sales purchase by the whole, half, or quarter.

The farm is moving towards a more naturally grown situation with both vegetables and pasture fed beef and soon will be providing hydroponic lettuce, and herbs grown in two greenhouses in Slippery Rock, PA. Presently, at the farm location there are three high tunnels (greenhouses without heat) that extend the season of red raspberries and strawberries. In the 2012 season, two larger buildings will be constructed for peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.

In 2012, Lengel’s launched a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that includes a ‘pick your own’ vegetables option along with education programs for CSA members and an intern program. School education programs will also be conducted on the farm promoting hands on learning experiences with growing vegetables.

"As people are becoming more aware of the importance of eating local, sustainably grown food, we want to give them access to farm fresh, Pennsylvania produce here in Mercer County through our CSA distribution program," says Elliott Lengel, co-owner Lengel Brothers Farm and Market. Through the CSA, consumers buy into the farm’s harvest as a shareholder at the start of the growing season and in exchange receive a weekly “share” of the farm’s harvest. The prepaid CSA arrangement benefits the farmer as a source of financial security while supporting the local economy and job market.

As the company continues to evolve, the need for a strong marketing plan, including a solid branding strategy, was recognized. Lengel’s is very active with its Facebook page and has participated in a variety of local events including Earth Day Celebration at Penn State Shenango. To build a strong brand, the need to create a new logo for the company was key. Elliott Lengel was one of four business owners who took part in a logo program, which is a collaboration between Gannon University SBDC and Mercyhurst College. The Mercyhurst students worked with Elliott over the semester to create a logo that reflects where the farm is now. The results were outstanding and Lengel’s will be using two of the logos presented in their marketing campaign.

A number of memberships have already been purchased for the CSA and Lengel Brothers Farm and Market are looking forward to a successful growing season.