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Maine Bay & Berry to expand operations at The Barn

by on September 13, 2018 12:55 PM

LEMONT — The Barn in Lemont is going to get a New England-style makeover, as the Maine Bay & Berry Co., currently operating out of the basement of the facility, will soon take over the lease and become first-floor tenants. 

But, organic gardeners shouldn’t fret. The current operators of The Barn at Lemont are excited to move and expand their business to a farm in Centre Hall, where they can see through their vision of  working farm where people can learn more about growing and raising their own food.

The seafood company has grown in State College since its August 2017 opening, offering a product that previously was not available in the area. "Honest-to-goodness fresh seafood, right here in landlocked central Pennsylvania,” said co-owner Christa Stofferahn.

Stofferahn and co-owner Shaun Knight started with a stand on Shiloh Road and, in March, added The Barn's more permanent location. Now, they are ready to expand upstairs and bring a real coastal feeling to State College.

Stofferahn said the hope is to open upstairs in early November after some remodeling. She said they are glad to have a more open space for customers to gather, and are considering adding a soup bar to their offerings. She said some of the other businesses in building will still be open during the renovations.

“The winery will still be upstairs — Shade Mountain will still be open — but we have to do a couple of things to bring all of our seafood upstairs,” said Stofferahn.

In the meantime, fresh seafood products still will be available in the basement shop during remodeling.

Stofferahn said she is unsure what they will do with the basement space, but might consider it as a space for parties and workshops or for another potential business.

The past three years have been great at The Barn for Johan Stryker and Jessica Wilt's organic gardening and homesteading business, but they are ready to move on to see their idea all the way through.

“Our five- to 10- year plan was always to get into a big farm and do like a farm-to-finish with our own greenhouse,” said Stryker. They have found their spot in Centre Hall, where they will have new store.

They plan to offer pork, goat, lamb and beef, all raised on the farm, along with quail, pheasant, chicken and turkey. And, they still will offer organic gardening, hydroponic and homebrewing supplies.

Stryker said they have built up a great customer base in three years, and they feel good about moving only 6 miles away and offering a wider variety of things.

“It will be a more self-sustaining farming experience. We are going to open it up a little bit. We are going to do a farm tour and show people where the animals live, how they live. We can really show people this is where your food comes from, which is what we always wanted to do,” said Stryker, who noted they hope to open by January.

He said the new space will offer more demo days and provide a learning experience as much as possible, along with the feeling of really being out in the country, where food comes from.

“It is amazing to me the number of people who walk in here and look at this like a county store, and I am like, ‘We are still in town, there is nothing country about it,'” said Stryker. “We want people to be able to come out and experience things that they wouldn’t be able to experience anywhere else.”


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