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Delaware farmers add retail sales with frozen treats

A farm family in Bridgeville is diving into the frozen food business in a big way by folding its small-market produce into sorbet and ice cream.

Evans Farms, in its third generation of family ownership, launched the Frozen Farmer line of chilly concoctions this spring – slowly at first from its farmstand on Seashore Highway.

On Thursday, Frozen Farmer opened a storefront at the golf course at Heritage Shores, the Bridgeville residential development.

The ice cream, sorbet and "nice cream," a sorbet-ice cream combo, are all made in Bridgeville using locally grown fruit and produce, says co-owner Katey Evans, 28.

"I think the industry's going to this, as far as finding new avenues of retail. It's a competitive industry," Evans said about modern farming. "You've got to get creative with what you do with your product in order to stay on top."

 

Like many large farms, Evans is paying increasing attention to the retail side of its income ledger. The majority of its trade is in bulk sales to grocers, wholesalers and farmstands; Evans said they tend to 2,000 acres in Kent and Sussex counties. It deals directly with more than 40 supermarkets, often getting them produce the same day it's been picked from the field.

But along with other well-known southern Delaware farms like T.S. Smith and Sons, Evans Farms reaches consumers directly through several channels: Its farmstand, where vegetables, fruit and icy pints of Frozen Farmer products are sold; farmer's markets around the region; the Heritage Shores storefront; and, soon, a custom-built food truck for the ice cream, sorbet, popsicles and smoothies.

Frozen Farmer is a family partnership. Evans' husband, Kevin Evans, oversees farm operations; her mother, Jo Ellen Algier, runs production of the frozen treats.

Delaware farmers add retail sales with frozen treats