Farm Runners Station, Hotchkiss

March 22, 2019

Powered by the Hardworking Hands of Local Farmers & Elevate Internet

When we started this rural broadband project we knew it would be hard, we knew it would be costly (that's why investor-owned utilities said 'no thanks'), we knew it would take years, we knew we would have some haters, and we knew it would all be worth it!

Listening to your success stories brings it all into perspective for us and gives us the energy to keep on keeping on one fiber line, one bore, one tree trimming, one live customer at a time.

One of those recent success stories we are able to say we played a small roll in is the Farm Runners Station in Hotchkiss. Check out how this local business is unifying farmers and buyers from across our beautiful Colorado Western Slope. 

The Origins

The story of the Farm Runners Station is like so many around our service territory. By that, we mean it is filled with an entrepreneurial spirit, a commitment to community, and passion for a product and the niche that it serves. On our rural Western Slope, it is this type of spirited and determined courage that knits our communities ever tighter together.

Owners, Emma Stopher-Griffin and Matthew Kottenstette, came to the North Fork Valley in 2012 to learn how to farm. However, as Emma and Matt grew their network while working on local farms they found a need for local farmers to find a viable option to market and sell their products. Believing they could serve as this liaison and energized by their sincere desire to help farmers already in their network, they founded Farm Runners in 2015 as a wholesale distribution center for local farmers. Now they spend their time drumming up local business for their local farming partners.

Their commitment to ‘drumming up local business for their local farming partners’ is one of their core values. Their intention is to keep all aspects of their business local including their buyers. The local farmers that supply The Farm Runners range the Western Slope from Basalt and Carbondale to Hotchkiss and Paonia, to Delta, Olathe, Montrose, and Ridgway. Their distribution area includes the Roaring Fork, Grand Valley, Gunnison, and of course, Delta County.

The Evolution

By popular demand, in June 2018, the Farm Runners expanded their business to include a new retail location in Hotchkiss. Just like their wholesale operation, everything at the Farm Runners Station is sourced locally, with the exception of Arizonian citrus in the winter months (also sourced from small farmers trying to make a living).

The Farm Runners’ commitment to their community is yet again reflected in their pricing. During our visit, we drooled over several baskets of delicious, local organic Honeycrisp apples for just $1.99/lb. Their desire is to be approachable and welcoming for the folks that they share their community with is at the forefront of all they do. They strive to be both a place where their friends and family can shop and that also pays the farmer a fair price.

Farm Runners accommodates special orders, bulk discounts, and they will even preserve your garden bounty via canning or freezing!

Emma was lucky enough to be able to hire a good friend who had roots in farming, Katie Darlington, as their retail manager. Katie’s favorite thing about running the retail piece is being able to work with and see the local community enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Additionally, The Farm Runners Station partners with Blue Sky Baking Co to provide fresh baked goodies alongside delicious coffee. Did we mention they have homemade Gluten-Free and Gluten-Full pop tarts…. 🤤😋

The Farm Runners Station was fortunate enough to be able to begin their adventure with Elevate Internet in hand. With so much web-based software in use, Katie stated that high-speed internet is vital to their entire wholesale component, as well as, their retail POS and live music streaming.

The Future

Emma and Matt’s philosophy is to be open to where the community wants them to go. So this fall, they are adding CSA shares to their offerings with pickups all the way from Aspen and Crested Butte to Hotchkiss. To find out more about their CSA go here- and here-

In addition to their CSA expansion, Farm Runners is expanding their grab-and-go selection to include hot soups and sandwiches. On a busy day, you could eat breakfast and lunch at The Station and bring dinner home in a basket.

Support Local

Stop by The Farm Runners Station at 235 CO-133 in Hotchkiss, Wednesday- Saturday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. for a cup of hot coffee, a mouthful of homemade pop tart, and a bag or two full of local goodies.

By supporting The Farm Runner Station you will also be supporting Abundant Life Organic Farms, Alpenglow Mushrooms, Big B's Juices and Hard CiderBrava Natura, Bush Creek Microgreens, Connor Orchards,Dayspring FarmDeer Tree Farm and Agroforest, Desert Wyer, Ela Family FarmsFortunate FruitField To ForkGray AcresHigh Wire Ranch,Homestead Natural MeatsJ & M Farms, Jardin de Verger, Mattics Orchards, Mountain Poppy Foods, Osito Orchard, Paonia Bread Works,Potato GardenPrincess Beef, Producer's Co-Op, Rock Canyon Coffee Roasters, LLCRocking W Cheese & MilkSouth River Aquaponics,Sunshine Mesa FarmThe Living FarmThistle Whistle Farm, Tortilleria La Roca, Two Roots FarmWestern Culture Farmstead & CreameryWhite Mountain Honey Farm, The Wonder Egg, Yurtstead FarmZephyros Farm and Garden, and the Zimmerman Pork Farm.

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