The dairy farming company is close to signing leases for two new counter service restaurants — and it has plans to open several more.
AVON, CT — Most Connecticut residents likely recognize The Farmer’s Cow for its dairy products found in grocery stores, rather than for its Farmer’s Cow Calfé, a counter-service restaurant in Mansfield.
But that may change soon, as the company is planning a statewide “Calfé” expansion, officials told Patch.
Steve Lane, The Farmer’s Cow’s chief development officer, said the company ultimately wants to open several Calfé locations throughout Connecticut and beyond.
And after looking at over 40 properties for its first foray beyond Mansfield, officials have tentatively chosen two restaurant locations — one in Avon, and one in Waterford.
Though the company has yet to sign a lease on either property, Lane said both have “checked a lot of the boxes,” and said the company expects to begin leasing at least one of them this spring, if not both.
(Lane declined to name either location, saying staff must “cross all our Ts and dot all our Is before we make anything official.”)
“There are many factors and components that made these two properties stand out, and the communities are fantastic, but we don’t want to rush this process,” Lane said. “The next location we create will be our first expansion from Mansfield and we are being very thorough in our execution.”
Once the lease is signed, Lane said, the Calfé’s doors would open about three or four months later.
Currently, The Farmer’s Cow Calfé in Mansfield serves breakfast, sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and more. Lane said the company plans to keep that menu, but to expand it with more farm-to-table offerings at the new locations.
“We have already started sourcing more local products and plan to build upon that as we grow, with some big announcements coming down the road,” Lane said. “You can expect to see a lot more local farm and local artisan products on our menu in the future.”
And though The Farmer’s Cow is currently focused on getting the Avon and Waterford locations off the ground, its staff has plans to expand further throughout the state — from Glastonbury, Simsbury and Newington to parts of Fairfield County.
Lane said the company has an extensive list of criteria for its new locations, including high traffic levels and community support.
“Both the town(s) of Waterford and Avon have expressed an excitement and eagerness to have The Farmer’s Cow Calfé & Creamery there. They know the brand and they see the vision we are building,” Lane said. “We are really focused on the communities where we plan to move into — it is paramount to our mission and vision.”
Looking even farther into the future, the company envisions its products in grocery stores throughout New England and nationwide, according to WTNH, which first reported the expansion.
“We all saw that this was more than just building a restaurant chain,” Lane said. “This was about the farms and the local community, and we see the impact of this company reverberating far beyond the walls of the restaurant.”
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