Wilson Farm in Lexington has been named the 2012 Retailer of the Year by the Retailers Association of Massachusetts. The association, which supports businesses all over the Commonwealth, selects one Retailer of the Year each year.
Winners are chosen based on their quality of offerings, customer service, and innovation within their industry. Past winners have included Hunt’s Photo and Video, Royal Jewelers of Andover, Fern’s Country Store in Carlisle, and others. Wilson Farm is this years recipient based on their commitment to local agriculture, customer service, diversity of offerings, and their vision of a modern farm stand, according to the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.
While this is Wilson Farm’s first time winning the award, they are not a new business. The Wilson Family has owned and operated Wilson Farm since James Alexander Wilson and brother-in-law George Reynolds founded the farm in 1884. Over the years the farm has evolved as a business.
In their early years they would grow their own produce, load it in a horse drawn wagon (along with produce from their neighbors) and deliver it to Quincy Market. The horses were eventually replaced by trucks, but the farm continued to operate on the same model of business until cousins Alan and Donald Wilson took control of the farm in the 1950’s. In 1954 the Wilsons built their first farm stand, a relatively modest structure. It wasn’t long before the cousins built a local following based on their high quality standards.
The farm stand was so successful that they had to replace it a mere 10 years later with a stand that nearly doubled in size. That farm stand, served the community for over three decades, before it was replaced by the current building in 1996.
Wilson Farm’s continued success is due in part to their fanatical dedication to quality, affordable prices, and exceptional customer service. According to Jim Wilson, a 4th generation farmer, “I think we’ve been successful because we never lose sight of what our customers want.” Wilson Farm continues to evolve each and every year, adding a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in 2011, where customers can purchase a farm share for the 20 peak weeks of the growing season.
Today, their farm stand still features their own local produce and fresh cut flowers but also has much more to offer. Their own in-house bakery produces custom cakes, delicious pastries, traditional pies, and even fresh baked breads. Their floral team makes gorgeous flower arrangements and bouquets using their own home grown flowers. Wilson Farm has their own farm kitchen, led by Chef Jeff Peters, who prepares over 100 different seasonal recipes each week utilizing Wilson Farm’s own produce.
Wilson Farm has successfully married the tradition of New England Farming with a spacious and compelling place to shop. They still grow over 125 crops each year, but have also learned to identify the needs of modern shoppers. Meeting their shopper’s needs with excellent customer service has allowed this 128 year old farm not only to thrive, but to preserve a piece of the agricultural heritage of the Commonwealth.