For Otegobon Pamela Grimm, Trollbok Farm is what Swedish dreams are made of.
Together with her husband, David, and their adult sons Johannes and Karl-Sebastian, Grimm launched the farm shop and eatery on 107 Main Street in Otego in July, with a grand opening scheduled for October 30.
“The name of our farm is Swedish, and I’m actually from Sweden,” said Grimm. “” Trollbok “is an enchantment book, and we are after all the Grimm family, so everything fits. The aesthetic of our brand is very much the Scandinavian forest and trolls. ”
The business, Grimm said, pays homage to her past while focusing on a societal future.
“We bought the farm just a year ago … to start gardening,” she said. “We have put in an orchard and a high tunnel and (will grow) fruit and vegetables and flowers … but when we think about what we have in the store, there are two big things that drive it: the Swedish connection – our bakery carries about 20 different things, (eg) cakes, muffins, cakes and so on, all of which reflect the Scandinavian flavors of almonds, ginger, cardamom and lingonberries, and we import a lot of things from Sweden – and the other is local bit. It is expressed in a couple of different ways.
“We have this amazing store that we really want everyone in Otego who does things with added value to have access to,” Grimm continued. “So we have a craft wall and we give local craftsmen a small shop. You can come here and see local crafts, and some are absolutely fantastic – jewelry, breadboards, pot holders, aromatherapy – then we have syrup, honey and jam from the locals. And the second piece works with our local producers and brings in fresh produce all year round; you will always be able to come in here and buy a tomato. ”
The dining area in the store area, Grimm said, also has ready-made sandwiches and salads, an alternative to a lunch box, chocolate, soups and coffee.
Visitors to Franklin Farmers’ Market, Grimm said, will know the Trollbok Farm ticket price.
“We did it to find what people respond to, what attracts and is interesting, and people reacted incredibly positively and they have favorites,” she said. “Our top three are the fairy dusters, which are almond-based, cardamom-dusted, single-serving cookies and we can not have them on the shelves; the other big favorite is our Swedish visitor cake, a thinner almond-lemon cake; and our range of granola – cardamom flavored, wild berries, mulberries and lingonberries, then all three (berry flavors) as forest berries. ”
Even though she was born in Sweden, Grimm said, she has long had an interest in the uplands.
“Our intention is really to support our community,” she said. “It is such a big part of what we are about as a family, and everything we do here we want to support the village. It’s about jobs and bringing money from Otego to Otego.
“We ran livestock and livestock farms for 10 years in Kansas, but what brought us into New York … was that I grew up in the Hudson Valley, so we know New York well,” Grimm continued. “My husband was a Unitarian Universalist minister in Ithaca, and after he retired, we moved to Binghamton and opened Park House Bed and Breakfast. We’ve been riding it for the last six years, so this is our next adventure. ”
Grimm said the family’s plans to strengthen Otego’s economy include wholesale and production efforts.
“We wholesale our soups and talk to local grocery and grocery stores, and we make soup subscription boxes,” she said. “We’ll be marketing them in Albany, Syracuse and Binghamton, so it’s going to be a way to take products from here … and take them out to other places.
“And we’ve just started growing micro-vegetables and will have a full-scale micro-green business selling to restaurants, in-store and in our own salads and subscription boxes,” Grimm continued. “It is the next rollout phase, then we will build a cheese factory and make (a Swedish farmer) cheese in Otego and sell it nationwide. We work with Cornell … and will start producing through their incubator program. ”
The response near home, Grimm said, has been encouraging.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “(Mayor) Ernie Kroll and Joe Walsh, the mayor and other people who are movers and doers in the village have been incredibly supportive and helpful. We have also received grants from Otsego County through Otsego Now and it has been fantastic. So we really have people who are very happy here, because not only was (the building) empty for a long time, but now they can get fresh food, baked goods and farm eggs all year round.
“We are a different matter and we will fill a niche,” Grimm continued. “We really have lots of locals and we really appreciate it and get to know them, and really people traveling down (Interstate) 88, because we’re here. We hope that … with the Swedish bakery and something a little different for lunch, our run-in clientele will come from an area of 300 km. ”
For more information or to subscribe to Trollbok’s weekly newsletter, visit trollbokfarm.com. Also find “Trollbok Farm” on Facebook, follow @trollbokfarm on Instagram or call 607-376-7603.
Trollbok farm is open from 8 to 17, Tuesday to Saturday. The big inauguration event on October 16 with vendors, children’s activities and drinks and baked good samples starts at 10 am