Froehlich hoping to make connection at Farmer’s Market
Kyle Froehlich (left) and his fiance, Jessica Fox, pick strawberries that will be arriving at the Northbrook Farmers Market.| Photo courtesy Kyle Froehlich
How often do you plan to visit the Northbrook Farmers Market?
WHO: Kyle Froehlich
BUSINESS: Froehlich’s Finest Fruits & Vegetables
WHERE: Berrien Center, Mich.
LOCAL: New to the Northbrook Farmer’s Market this year
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:29AM
Kyle Froehlich, a Central Michigan farmer, is looking forward to being one of the newest providers at Northbrook’s Farmers Market when it opens June 20.
The market will run from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 20 to Oct. 10, rain or shine except in severe weather, in the Our Lady of the Brook Church parking lot, 3700 Dundee Road.
Froehlich, who will be selling a large variety of field fresh fruits and vegetables under the name of Sunny Harvest Farms, has just started his own business.
But he isn’t a newcomer to the field. He grew up living and breathing agriculture from the time he was born to Karen and Dean Froehlich in Berrien Center, Mich., where they run Froehlich’s Finest Fruits & Vegetables.
“I’m a fifth generation farmer, which is as far back as we can trace. I have also farmed with my father since my childhood, so I am very knowledgeable in the area of agriculture,” Kyle said.
“I also just graduated from Central Michigan University, which I attended to learn more about the business aspect of the farm.”
And one of the most important things Kyle learned was to diversify.
“In today’s world, one thing you really have to do to survive in fruit and vegetable farming is to diversify,” he said.
“You also need to satisfy different customers. There are some customers that are all about flavor. Others don’t care so much about flavor, but how it’s grown — such as organically.”
So Kyle will run his business to please as many as he can, including himself, by diversifying.
He noted that if all he grew was apples and his crop took a hard weather hit, his income could be devastated. But since he is diversifying, he has other crops that can save the financial situation.
At this time, Kyle is renting land from his grandparents, Robert and Connie Froehlich, and looking forward to buying his own, upon which he hopes to settle down with his fiance, Jessica Fox of Battle Creek, Mich.
Kyle, who describes his business style as outgoing, said his focus will be on flexibility and quality - not quantity.
“My ultimate goal is not to have a big acreage. I would like to grow enough to sell some to wholesalers and to take to Chicago’s farmers markets,” he said.
“I like the idea of seeing how customers react to what I’ve grown, and to learn directly from them whether they like it or not.”
To start, Kyle will be offering three different kinds of lettuces, Romaine, red leaf and green leaf; as well as onions, radishes, kohlrabi, yellow squash, green zucchini and potatoes. Much more will be available later.
For more information, visit the Sunny Harvest Farm Facebook page.