Kerber’s Farm began innocently enough with the construction of a chicken coop in 1941. What was first as a poultry farm was quickly complemented with a farm stand and pie shop. For decades, Kerber’s Farm stood at the same location on Huntington’s Pulaski Road, serving the community fresh produce, chicken, eggs and baked goods.
By 2013, however, it had fallen into disrepair. Like much of Long Island, at least those parts that are remnants of times gone by, Kerber’s Farm was slated for development. That is until Nick Voulgaris drove by and saw the farm up for sale. The Long Island native had frequented Kerber’sas a child and did not want to see it bestowed the same fate as so many other farms in the area.
“Kerber’s was a Long Island fixture,” Voulgarisrecalled. “So when it was closed and abandoned, I was concerned it would be lost forever as developers were planning to build houses there.”
Voulgaris was able to finance the purchase of the property and immediately got to work getting the farm back up to working order. Kerber’s consists of seven buildings, including the main retail store, two houses, chicken coops and barns. All were in various states of disrepair yet Kerber’s reopened just months after Voulgaris’ purchase.
On location, Kerber’s sells fresh produce as well as a product line of everything from blueberry jam and apple pie kits to fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil. The retail store also doubles as a café. Guests can enjoy coffee, baked goods, egg sandwiches, potpies and much more. The location’s chic rustic aesthetic, complete with a tiled floor and wrought-iron tables, is simultaneously a nod to the past and present. It is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast or lunch, sitting outside as chickens roam the grounds freely.
In addition to the retail store, Kerber’s also has a large wholesale business, manufacturing products on site that are distributed around the country. Those products are sold in more than 600 stores nationwide including all Williams-Sonoma stores, Saks, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus.
In addition to running Kerber’s, Voulgaris is also an author, having written six books. His seventh, which will be about Kerber’s Farm, is slated for a September release. But his main focus is expansion.
“I want to continue growing the brand. We are always coming up with and testing new products,” he said.“We launched a line of hand-poured candles that we make in one of the barns and they are selling like crazy. We also are working with the Town of Huntington to convert one of our old barns into a farming educational school. My plan is teach kids the importance of sustainability, conservation, farming and healthy eating habits.”
The success of Kerber’s Farm speaks to the community’s desire to retain institutions that provide, and a reminder of what can be lost if those locations disappear. “Places like Kerber’s, with 70-plus years of history, are becoming more and more rare and need to be preserved. Decades ago farms were everywhere but they are continuing to be lost to development, whether it’s another cul-de-sac or a strip mall…The town has been great in supporting Kerber’s and truly appreciates its history and nostalgia. I continue to get letters from strangers, thanking me for saving Kerber’s.”
Kerber’s Farm is located at 309 West Pulaski Road, Huntington. It is open seven-days a week.