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009 Andy Lynd: How Lynd Fruit Farm Grew Their List To 43k!

Andy Lynd is a 4th generation Farmer at Lynd Fruit Farm in Central Ohio. This family farm has a long and rich history, having started as a small market on Route 40 back in the 1940s. The market was eventually sold in the mid-1970s, and the farm began wholesaling instead. But that didn’t stop them from continuing to grow and expand over the years.

One of the key factors behind their incredible success is their list, which they started building early on and nurtured.

With this list, they can stay connected with customers and shoppers interested in buying their fresh produce straight from the source. And by providing high-quality products, they have built a loyal following of customers who keep coming back year after year.

So if you’re looking for some top-notch fruits and veggies and other goods, check out Andy Lynd and his team at Lynd’s Fruit Farm! 

Missed our episode with Justin Jones? Watch or listen to it now!

 

Transcript

Pat Cherubini:

How many people, like on a weekend, like one of your prime weekends, you know, what do you guess, how many people do you get in there?

Andy Lynd:

I would guess that we get, uh, I don’t know, I’m gonna guess 10,000 people

Announcer:

Starting sustaining and having a successful small business is hard, but you already knew that, but wouldn’t it be great to have a podcast that talks to and digs in to the people who’ve made it problem solved. This is local vibes, small business success stories, talking to successful small businesses from around America. You’ll hear awesome stories about how they got started and how they survived and thrived online. And in their communities. We find out their special vibe. Welcome to local vibes,

Announcer:

Brought to you by ultimate online marketing.com.

Announcer:

Now you’re your host, pat and Angie Cher.

Announcer:

Hello, let’s do this.

Angie Cherubini:

Hi everybody. It’s pat Angie Cher with local vibes podcast. And today we are featuring a client and very good friend of ours. Andy Lynd from Lynd fruit farm, and he is the fourth generation Lynd at the farm. So I guess we’ll start out by Andy. Why don’t you tell us, tell us a little bit about how you got started and just about the farm?

Andy Lynd:

Well, Lin fruit farm has been in central Ohio for just over a hundred years. We moved our family from Southern Ohio along the Ohio river in 1919 to its current location on Mo road. Just a few miles north of potass. And my great grandparents had five, had six boys, and they were farming on the, the steeps of Southern Ohio and they lost a team of horses. And my grandfather thought, uh, I don’t wanna raise boys on these Hills. Also, my great-grandmother was getting letters from her sisters in Worthington, uh, describing the wonderful city life. And she was stuck in Southern Ohio with, with six sons in a husband and she kept bugging him to move. And so <laugh> my great-uncle told me just a few years ago. That’s why we moved. Cause mom mad about how great city life would be up near Columbus. So

Pat Cherubini:

I can 100%

Andy Lynd:

Picture that pot.

Pat Cherubini:

Yeah, I Almost a hundred. And now you are, I guess, for the people that don’t know, you’re a fruit farm. So we, we think of you as a fruit farm and an apple farm. What, what all do you guys do? I know that’s a huge question.

Andy Lynd:

Well, that’s a, that’s not difficult to, to, to summarize. We primarily are an apple orchard and primarily sell retail. So we open our orchard to people in the fall to come pick apples and pumpkins and go through a corn maze. A lot of the activities that people would associate with a farm farm that does a lot of retail type, uh, business. And, uh, pumpkin patch is big. Corn. Mazes is big. Apples are number one by far. And the retail on farm market is also, uh, really important to our business and our customer base.

Pat Cherubini:

Yeah, something that, um, I mean, we’ve been going since we were kids practically that that’s, that’s the place. If everybody thinks about, when you go to pick apples, you literally drive into your field, get a bag and pick apples.

Angie Cherubini:

Yeah.

Pat Cherubini:

It it’s more, it’s almost entertainment.

Andy Lynd:

It, it, it is entertainment for people. And that’s been recognized in the industry for probably the last 30 to 40 years, uh, 20 to 30 years that people aren’t looking for savings dollars wise on food. They realize that when they come out to pick apples, it’s cheaper than at the store, but that’s, that’s a minor point when I was a boy growing up, that was a big deal. Our advertising emphasized saving money, but, uh, for 25 years now that has not been at all because that’s not the, the major point that drive people to come to our place. It’s, there’s something about an orchard is appealing to people. And if you do a good job of growing apples and have the place nice and neat and have good staff, it’s just a very enjoyable day, uh, away from life. As, uh, as, as people know it, it’s, it’s a break from the routine that people really enjoy and we love hosting people. So it’s a, a good match. And it’s a good business model for, for us,

Pat Cherubini:

Which is a little bit ironic. When you talk about your, your ancestors breaking away from the farm to go to the city. Now, people are trying to break away from the city to go to the farm.

Angie Cherubini:

True.

Andy Lynd:

<laugh> I think there’s a lot of truth that we are just far away from Columbus that it seems like I can see getaway, but we’re close enough that it’s an easy trip to make. So it’s the best of both worlds right now. And we’ll see how future development perhaps changes that, uh, with Columbus marching eastward, as we speak true time will tell

Angie Cherubini:

Now, were you guys, was your dad like the first one in the area to offer the U pick like that?

Andy Lynd:

Well, there aren’t a lot of orchards in central Ohio. There are, I can think of three and we were the first to do your own in central Ohio. Dad picked up on the idea from, uh, we have a lot of grower friends across the country and he picked up the idea from people who were doing it out of state and, uh, relayed that it was really popular. But remember it was primarily as a savings opportunity for people at the time. And it, it, uh, evolved into a, we discovered we, you could see it, just the enjoyment that people had in picking apples or pumpkins, whatever they could do at the farm, they seemed to really enjoy. Um, so anyway, that’s, that’s kind of how all got rolling there and

Pat Cherubini:

Well, to the people that don’t know.

Andy Lynd:

And I don’t see it changing either.

Pat Cherubini:

This goes out, you know, far and wide, but you know, we’re focusing on around us. But if, if people don’t know, you guys get slammed. I mean, you’re not just a little apple orchard. You, you guys are big. And how, I mean, how many people, like on a weekend, like one of your prime weekends, you know, what do you guess? How many people do you get in there?

Andy Lynd:

I would guess that we get, uh, I dunno, I’m gonna guess 10,000 people. Yeah. Visits the farm in, on the busy weekends in September, October. Um, if it’s new, nice weather, it’s, it’ll be a big weekend. All the neighbors know <laugh>

Angie Cherubini:

Yep.

Andy Lynd:

Don’t go past lens. It’s uh, it’s best to go the other direction to get to town. So now

Angie Cherubini:

With

Andy Lynd:

We try to be good neighbors cause

Pat Cherubini:

Oh yeah, I’m sure there are some issues

Angie Cherubini:

With Intel coming in and that many more people. Holy crap.

Pat Cherubini:

<laugh>

Andy Lynd:

Well, we’ll see. I, I, we don’t expect anything but, uh, boom to the business, but, uh, we’ll see. I, I think we’re in a good position because we do retail and the emphasis on all this, uh, investment in the area. I, you think it can only be positive for the business.

Pat Cherubini:

Oh yeah. It’s coming. All you can do is stand in front of it now. So

Angie Cherubini:

Talk about the Mar the market when, um, when you guys decided to, to actually do the market and why you decided to, and you know, how has it, how has that added to the, the vibe of Lynn fruit farm?

Andy Lynd:

Well, the market, the market is critical piece. It’s a critical piece of the puzzle for our success and our appeal. And in the forties and fifties and sixties and seventies, we had a market on route 40 in Aetna mm-hmm <affirmative> and it was pretty well received, but there was, uh, in the mid seventies, there was a, um, oil embargo gas prices went through the roof and people stopped traveling for pleasure. I 70 also got built oh, before the mid seventies, but you put those two things together. Our market business on route 40 started to go, started to decline, and a gentleman stopped by and he said, I’d like to buy this place. And my uncle thought at the time we didn’t wanna sell. And he said, well, it’s not for sale. This guy, I stopped later month later, I’d like to buy the place anyway.

Andy Lynd:

After telling him it was not for sale, my uncle finally decided he’d just tell him a number that was really high. And the guy said, I’ll take it. Oh, so we got, we got rid of our market in the late seventies. And we were wholesale from all through the eighties and into the early nineties, except for pick your own. We did pick your own, but we didn’t have a market. Mm-hmm <affirmative> well, we got back into growing peaches in the eighties and my uncle said, let’s put up a wagon of peaches down at the corner, more shreds re tent. So that’s what we did. And we sold peaches pretty well <affirmative> and then we thought, well, you know, it’d be nice to have the sun off of the person. That’s gotta stand there and sell the pizza. So let’s put up a, a little tent. So we went to farm and fleet bought a eight by 12 tent, put it up over the, so the person was in the shade. And then the next year it’s like a little bit bigger wagon. And the next year it was a bigger tent until eventually we got to a pretty large tent that we rented

Andy Lynd:

Uhhuh <affirmative>. And, uh, it was a day in August and it was windy. A storm came through a storm front and almost blew that tent down the stakes that were three feet long and an inch and a half. And di an inch diameter came up outta the ground. Oh, six, eight inches. I thought we were close to losing this whole thing. So I called to find out what’s it cost to build a building. And as it turns out, the annual payment on the building for 10 years, the annual payment was less expensive than the rental fee for the tent for four months.

Angie Cherubini:

You’re kidding

Andy Lynd:

Me. So it was a no brainer. It was, it was choice. I like to say, you know, my Ohio state education paid off, it was better idea to build the building.

Pat Cherubini:

Yep.

Andy Lynd:

So we built the building in 2011 and the next, the 2012, we realized it was too small. We added on the building and we added on again, uh, this past year, a pavilion edition that, uh, uh, it’s got a roof, but no sides to it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but it greatly expand. It’s got concrete core. So it greatly expands the, the number of square feet. We have to sell things. But the market is yeah. Yeah. Integral piece of the puzzle.

Pat Cherubini:

I can’t believe it’s been 11 and years ago.

Angie Cherubini:

It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.

Andy Lynd:

That’s been there 11 years. I know its notice seems like

Pat Cherubini:

What shirt my wife has gone on here.

Angie Cherubini:

Did you see my shirt, Andy?

Andy Lynd:

Oh yeah. <laugh> yeah. I see that. <laugh>

Angie Cherubini:

I have to represent.

Andy Lynd:

Yeah. Yeah. Just so

Angie Cherubini:

People just so people understand that they are a client of mine, of ours, and gosh, we’ve been doing business. We figured it out last night for 16 years now. We’ve been in business together. So that was that’s pretty cool. Pretty amazing. Thank you.

Andy Lynd:

We had, uh, a, a family friend did our website. I’m gonna say 19 years ago, maybe 20. Yeah. It was early in the internet. Um, we shoulda had to pay and I remember the look of that yellow webpage. Yep. And yeah. Yeah. I can remember <laugh> I remember that. And I was out in the orchard pruning and I don’t know how you, you must have contacted me GE. I, I don’t remember

Angie Cherubini:

Probably,

Andy Lynd:

But because I knew where I was. Yeah, yeah. That’s right. I, I know right where I was in the orchard. When we talked on the phone about you doing a website.

Angie Cherubini:

Yeah.

Andy Lynd:

And decided, yeah. We’ll give it a try. We’ll give that a and uh, that was a good move. Oh, that’s a very good move.

Angie Cherubini:

Thank you. Thank you.

Andy Lynd:

Would you say that was 16 years ago?

Angie Cherubini:

It was. What years? 16 years ago. It was in 2006. May of 2006 is when it changed. There’s a, there’s a website. You can go to called way back machine. I show I’m here in a minute.org. He’s gonna bring it up. But, um, you can look back at a timeline. I think you guys started, what does it say of when they started online? Like,

Pat Cherubini:

I don’t know.

Angie Cherubini:

It, it said it how’s

Pat Cherubini:

That look.

Angie Cherubini:

Do you recognize that?

Andy Lynd:

That’s that’s that’s the page

Pat Cherubini:

<laugh>

Andy Lynd:

Yep.

Pat Cherubini:

We got days. I

Andy Lynd:

Remember those, uh, those prompts on the left. Yeah. Yes.

Pat Cherubini:

School tours. What’s all there. That was

Angie Cherubini:

Front page. Wasn’t it? I think that was the builder front page.

Pat Cherubini:

I mean, that’s this way back tracks. Almost every website. You know, we, when you go back, it goes all the way back to

Angie Cherubini:

Looks like 1999 is when

Pat Cherubini:

1999, when

Angie Cherubini:

You guys started

Pat Cherubini:

First had some thing. It doesn’t always have it. Let’s see if it’s got your very first one, but it’ll just go back and take screenshots of everything. There you go. 1999

Angie Cherubini:

Is when you guys started online <laugh>

Andy Lynd:

Is that part of the, how is that part of the web page right there or the website?

Pat Cherubini:

This is this its called the way back my machine and it’s it’s archive.org. They literally go back and save almost everything on the internet forever.

Angie Cherubini:

Not all the pictures will show up. Yes. But at least all the text pulls

Pat Cherubini:

Up. You can go to just about any website and type it into this way. It’s just called the way back machine and it’ll pull up what it has. It’s not

Andy Lynd:

Always pull up the first, uh,

Andy Lynd:

Pull up the first website that you guys did for us homepage.

Angie Cherubini:

The hard part is not all the images show, but um, in may of thousand six, we’ll still show you

Pat Cherubini:

May,

Angie Cherubini:

May of 2006. This

Pat Cherubini:

Work There’s most of

Andy Lynd:

Oh

Andy Lynd:

Well

Angie Cherubini:

Websites back then were HTML based. And in order to get a cool looking, um, picture based front of a website, I had to create the picture in corre is what I did. And then you had to slice it. It was crazy. All the stuff I had to do. But now I think you, you gotta show ’em what the website looks like now

Pat Cherubini:

<laugh> current

Angie Cherubini:

So they can so they

Pat Cherubini:

Can see. So I wanted to talk about this part. We’ll talk about that

Angie Cherubini:

In a minute. The yeah. Now look what we have.

Andy Lynd:

<laugh>

Angie Cherubini:

Boy, we’ve come long

Andy Lynd:

Way.

Pat Cherubini:

There’s the market he was talking about. That’s just a little tent, right? <laugh> a little market.

Andy Lynd:

That’s where the tent was.

Pat Cherubini:

Oh, that looks like fun. Apple cannons.

Angie Cherubini:

We’ve never seen we haven’t done that one yet.

Andy Lynd:

Oh my goodness. That’s uh, we’ve done it two years. It’s uh, fantastic.

Angie Cherubini:

That’s gotta be a big hit with the older.

Pat Cherubini:

Kids’s a, that’s pretty cool. Let’s talk about

Andy Lynd:

Everybody loves apple cans.

Pat Cherubini:

Oh yeah. Shoot stuff and blow things up. Smashing fruit, the Marketing and growing part of your business in the past. I, I know the answer before us. How were you getting a word out? The argument we make to new businesses all the time and, and established businesses is everybody loves word of mouth. Word of mouth is great. But if it’s Lynn fruit farm 18 years ago and the schedule changed, how do you get the word out? Is that, was that even possible? Because I know how you do it now.

Andy Lynd:

Yeah. Well, what we did 18 years ago was we sent out a newsletter. We had, I don’t remember how many thousands of names on our mailing list. It was, I don’t remember 20,000 names, but we would have not even

Angie Cherubini:

Know if it was that much.

Andy Lynd:

Somebody to

Andy Lynd:

Print the label.

Pat Cherubini:

Yeah. 15 was the number always in my head. I don’t know why, but I remember when we first got you switched, you had about 15,000, maybe 20,000 addresses, but that was literally printing out and mailing.

Andy Lynd:

We had to, we would go to the, we would compose the email or email call. We would compose the newsletter and then we’d take it to the printer and we’d bring home boxes of newsletters. And we’d split ’em up between the family members at the farm. And then we’d go to another, we’d go to a different guy that would print out the labels. We’d take a floppy disc with the 12, 15,000 names. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and we’d print the labels out and we’d come home with, you know, folds of papers. <laugh> with the stickers of the labels. And we would put the labels on, they’d be organized according to zip code. And then we would take a box full of boxes, full of labeled newsletters to the post office. And they, it was a, it was a huge undertake. And if the schedule changed, the best we could do was a recorded phone message. I mean, there’s, there was nothing you could do about, well, they picked all the fruit by Saturday. There’s nothing left for Sunday. We couldn’t communicate that to people quickly. We would just, uh, do a recorded phone message. So the internet has changed that, uh, dramatically it’s so much better now than it, than it was because, uh, wrapped communication.

Angie Cherubini:

I remember, I remember talking to you guys, I specifically remember being there. I think it was at, it was, it was at your house, I think possibly where we sat there and we told you, we’re like, well, you know that we could do this online. We could, you know, you could do a mailing list online and start, start pulling these people from, from regular mailings to online mailings. I remember when you did that. And that was the, and it’s just grown ever since. How big is your, how big is your guys’ list now?

Andy Lynd:

Oh gosh, that’s a good question, Angie and I, I think we’re over 20,000. You,

Angie Cherubini:

I know your way over that,

Andy Lynd:

Over that. I know you,

Angie Cherubini:

I think, I think you’re anywhere between 35 and 40. I bet

Andy Lynd:

I’d have to. I mean, I could look at constant contact and see real quick. Um, I know that we’ve grown a lot since we’ve been with you guys, um,

Pat Cherubini:

Because of this, you have a place to sell and I

Andy Lynd:

Just, I just dunno the I’ve lost out of lost track of the number. It’s funny. I get the Facebook followers, the email followers, the old newsletter pat, we were talking about earlier, the number there, all just like that. And, and I just don’t anymore. I did. It’s gotten to the point where, well, it used to be fun to track that and watch it. Yeah. But the business is so solid that, uh, uh, I don’t really pay attention to it anymore. Right. And plus Debbie has taken it. My sister’s taken over the, the email newsletter. Yeah. And, uh, when I looked at it every week, I knew I knew those kind of stats, but, uh, yeah, I just, I knew more about how many trees we have than I do have many

Pat Cherubini:

Customers. And you know, that’s our side of the business is the, the emails and all that. And that’s why we always talk about it because Facebook I know is, is part of it too. You make a lot of announces announcements. You share a lot of news, but sometimes, you know, if you have a, a time change, not everybody’s gonna see it unless they go looking for it. An email is something, you know, your list is at least your list and you can control it and get the news out. And that’s something that we preach a lot to all businesses is you need to own own your information so you can communicate no matter what happens with Facebook or anything else.

Andy Lynd:

Yeah. The, the email is, is a critical tool for us to communi communicate with customers. And it’s, it’s common for us to send out an email and then realize within the email we made a mistake on a date or a, a price or something is incorrect that we didn’t catch. We sent out another email and apologize about sending out the second correction, but, uh, that’s, that’s very doable. It doesn’t cost us. It just gives a little bit of annoyance to, to, to our clients. But, uh, usually they appreciate and if they don’t, they just delete it. So, right.

Pat Cherubini:

Uh, and on what we say, the people that are on that list want the information from you. They, they signed up to get information. So that’s, you know, when they’re tired of it, they can unsubscribe.

Andy Lynd:

Right, right. We don’t, we don’t have very many unsubscribers. We get some every, every month, but, uh, not very many.

Angie Cherubini:

That’s good. That’s good. And I, I, I mean, I think a good thing is, is you guys always direct people back to the website too, and you’ve got the ticker, you know, we’ve got the ticker that runs on there that Debbie does a good job of, um, keeping that updated. And you know, when busy season comes, I know it’s, we all work to keep that, that sucker updated. And I, you guys are, are, are really doing what we preach in keeping the flywheel going,

Pat Cherubini:

Got a ticker.

Angie Cherubini:

Yep. There’s the

Andy Lynd:

Ticker. Well, that, it’s funny that you say the ticker. I can hear my sister say, um, I’ve gotta update the ticker, excuse me. But, uh, oh, sorry.

Pat Cherubini:

No problem.

Andy Lynd:

You’re fine. The ticker is a, is a huge deal.

Pat Cherubini:

Yeah. With as much as

Andy Lynd:

You

Pat Cherubini:

Guys have

Andy Lynd:

Most important.

Pat Cherubini:

Yeah. That’s the perfect place to put the information and people, honestly, they, you train ’em to go and look, if that’s what’s going on, if they’re thinking about coming out and they know there’s gonna be 10,000 people out there, wanna make sure you’re open. So they go and check out the ticker.

Angie Cherubini:

Now, Andy, I know. Yeah,

Andy Lynd:

That’s right.

Angie Cherubini:

That, you know, O obviously every, there are things that hit a farm and any business, uh, obviously most small businesses have been hit by, you know, this past by COVID and stuff like that. Um, what I’ve always admired by you guys is with, when it comes to weather or, you know this with COVID, you guys have always been able to figure out how, um, how to survive and thrive. I mean, I know you’ve lost peaches one, one year

Pat Cherubini:

Or more, more years.

Angie Cherubini:

Yeah. Um, just tell us, tell everybody a little bit about that. How you guys, I mean, you just thrive. It doesn’t make a difference. What is thrown at you? You thrive

Andy Lynd:

Well to be, we did wholesale. And if you lost your crop, I’m gonna have to get a water here.

Angie Cherubini:

No, go for it.

Andy Lynd:

Walk. Let me pause.

Angie Cherubini:

Yeah. We’ll pause.

Andy Lynd:

When we were wholesale in, uh, forties, fifties. Well, since the inception of the company, we’re primarily wholesale. And if you lost your crop during those year, it was tough to make a living. Uh, when we converted to just retail, which has been the last, I’m gonna say 10 years, we can weather those storms of crop loss. They don’t, they don’t have very often, but when they do use example, if we lose a peach crop, well, we probably didn’t lose apple crop. We probably didn’t. We’re not gonna lose too much market traffic. So other parts of the business pick up where something else left off and, uh, Angie, you mentioned peaches. We, uh, it, and at central Ohio, we lose peaches at least one out of four years, really? And we don’t like that, but we business goes aren’t as usual because other things pick up how it’s interesting. Our clients

Angie Cherubini:

Lose peaches though.

Andy Lynd:

Why do we lose peaches? Mm-hmm <affirmative> well, peaches are lost primarily in the winter. So if it gets to 15 below there, aren’t gonna be any peaches, really trees survive, but the flower buds are gonna be killed at those temperatures. Okay. But the tree’s fine, but it just won’t have any fruit. And then you wait another year to see if you can, you know, you got, you gotta wait another year to see if you get a crop, but, uh, losing an apple. Crop’s a different story. Uh, that’s a, that’s a bigger deal, but that’s less likely to happen. So, and I will say this, sometimes weather reduces your crop, but if we do retail, we don’t have to sell nearly as many bushels as if we did whole, if you do wholesale, you’ve gotta sell truckload. After truckload, you gotta have lots of bushels in the storage to sell mm-hmm <affirmative> and make a little bit of money on each bushel. If you do retail don’t mean nearly as many bushels to, to, uh, support your business. So, right. Uh, but crop loss is side having a strong retail market and a corn Mays and a pumpkin patch. Those things always come through and, uh, really strengthen the foundation of the business. So I think we’re spread out as far as what we offer, which makes us able to weather the storm, so to speak.

Angie Cherubini:

That’s good. Well, yeah, you and you’ve got, now you have the sunflowers, and then I know you have, uh, the new part of the business, the, the wildflowers, you wanna talk about that?

Andy Lynd:

Uh, my, my nephew Alex is passionate about wildflowers, uh, and birds and I, he and birds <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. And he, uh, I would say east of the Mississippi, he’s one of the leading authorities on these, on wildflowers anyway,

Angie Cherubini:

Really.

Andy Lynd:

And I said, uh, he hit had interest in selling these things at the market that he would grow mm-hmm <affirmative> and I encourage him to do a website and he did that and he’s the business is picking up. So we’ll see, I see it’s featured on your, uh, design of our homepage. It’s right at the very top. Yep. The native plants. So there seems to be an interest native plants. Uh, so we’ll see if we can pick up on that trend. And, and, uh, I gotta get Alex in front of the camera. He’s got a he’s the authority figure and he needs to portray that to people and be the go-to guy. So

Pat Cherubini:

Absolutely

Andy Lynd:

Gotta work on getting him in front of the camera.

Angie Cherubini:

<laugh> there you go. I think he would be just fine.

Pat Cherubini:

Well, part of our whole thing with our, you know, our local vibes, we deal with local businesses, family businesses, you know, we’re a family business. We love working with family, you know, it’s kind of our jam and things that are part of com of the community. You guys are that all three of those in spades. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> the family part. How many, well, how many employees do you guys have and how many of them are related to you?

Angie Cherubini:

Good question.

Andy Lynd:

Well, my, yeah, the, the company’s owned by my sister, my uncle, myself, and we’ve, we’re the older generation at this point. And we’ve brought into the company, my nephew, my son, my son-in-law and my cousin. So I’ve got four young people that are being groomed to sort of take over for us old timers. And then in addition to the ownership roles, oh my goodness. Try to have all the kids work at some point in the market or in the fields. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I’ve got, uh, with eight kids, everybody’s taking their shot at, uh, working in the orchard eight for the yeah. Yeah. Eight kids. And I’ve got, uh, Noah. He is full-time at the orchard Uhhuh and, uh, is a great addition. He knows how to fix things. I don’t know how to fix things. So that’s nice. It’s good to have no on board, but we probably have in the, our busy time, September and October, 125 people that are on a payroll, uh, whether it’s, uh, staffing for pick your own or school tours or the market or harvest labor or other, you know, there are other functions also. But, uh, I’d say we have 1 25 and through the winter months, things are slow. We probably have, uh, a dozen people

Angie Cherubini:

Mm-hmm <affirmative>

Andy Lynd:

On the clock. Beautiful thing about the winter months is, uh, there’s nothing that has to be done at a particular time. So, yep. I like November, December and January.

Angie Cherubini:

That’s

Pat Cherubini:

When the vacation and the planning come in. Right.

Andy Lynd:

Those two things are big in the winter. Yep. Mm-hmm <affirmative>

Angie Cherubini:

So what do you think is a, what’s a common myth that people have about your business?

Andy Lynd:

Uh, I experienced this when I was a kid growing up in school. My dad says the exact same thing. My uncles say the exact same thing. So all through elementary school, you guys must be rich. You guys are rich. There’s this perception that we were rich. I said something to my dad and uncle uncles about that. And he said, oh, we, the, when we were kids growing up, we were the same thing. And my response to, to other people who say that is like, do you see the cars that we drive? Do you see the cars that we drive? We are not rich. There’s there’s I there’s about row and row and row after row of apple trees. That it’s.

Andy Lynd:

So I assume that’s why people thought that, but that was the number one thing in my mind is you guys must be rich. And I say, I remember on Christmas, we turned the thermostat up. It was a big deal, uh, as a kid. And it was, we just, we weren’t, we weren’t ever, I never hurting her. Anything. I never felt deprived on anything, but I never felt rich. I never, I never thought about it. I just, it just, wasn’t a, I knew that we weren’t rich, but, uh, uh, we weren’t discontent at all. We were very satisfied with life, but that was a misperception that so many people had about our, our family and our livelihood. And it still is this to this day, my children say, yeah, everybody thinks we’re rich. <laugh>

Pat Cherubini:

I guess people don’t realize that that money grown on apple trees is you only get to pick once a year, not every week

Andy Lynd:

<laugh> that’s right? Yep. Eventually you run out product. But, uh, I like to tell people, you know, we made a million dollars this year, but we spent 1.1 million to get it. Yep.

Angie Cherubini:

There you go.

Andy Lynd:

There’s a, there’s a lot of expense is a lot of expense in horticulture crops. Uh, I, I do know that some people will come through the pick your own checkout. It’s invariably men that do this, and they’ll say, man, you guys are making a killing today. I’d love to know what you’re bringing in today. It’s like, you know, I’m not <inaudible> that information, but what you gotta remember is there’s an awful lot of money goes into raising a fruit crop. It’s, uh, it’s labor intense and it’s input intense. And, and you, I mean, you consider the price ground expensive, and that’s why you’ll see very many people getting into it. You have to decide, I I’m gonna put a lot of money into purchasing ground and put a lot of money into trees and a lot of knowhow that I don’t perhaps have that I need to acquire.

Andy Lynd:

And then I’m gonna wait five years for it to return in a decent way. That’s not an overly appealing, uh, proposition to people. So, but we do well now that the ball’s rolling because of over a hundred years of doing it, uh, once that ball is rolling, you can keep it going. So I think we’re gonna be able to stay where we are even in the face of, uh, land prices going up due to the months of the Intel announcement, uh, pretty well. I think we’re gonna be able to, to, to, uh, stay right where we are and do, and a do a great retail business. I think so too time will tell. Yeah.

Angie Cherubini:

Well, and you guys have done a, I, I think you’ve done a really great job of, um, of developing a great staff. I mean, I think, and that’s hard to come by these days, but I think you guys do a great job. My mom actually works there. So, um, seasonally. Yeah.

Andy Lynd:

Yeah.

Angie Cherubini:

So I, I think I commend you guys for that.

Andy Lynd:

Well, I there’s, uh, my most, most people enjoy working with us and it, it shows our customer base, uh, tells us frequently that you guys have great people. Now, sometimes you get an email or a, a notice that says, oh, I was treated terribly. I, and, uh, and, and sometimes that, that will happen. But, uh, generally speaking people, our clients love our people. And, uh, that’s a, that’s so important for a family business. That’s trying to do retail to have that kind of frontline customer or, uh, employee base. It’s it’s wonderful. Yeah. Yeah. We got, we have great people.

Pat Cherubini:

It makes it fun. And that’s, you know, when that’s part of your business, it does make it needed.

Andy Lynd:

It makes it a lot easier for us to, to have people who represent us well. And, uh, just enjoy having the, uh, customers come out to the farm and treating them accordingly. It’s it’s wonderful. It’s wonderful. So we love retired teachers, anybody that takes early retirement, I’m looking for those people. <laugh>

Angie Cherubini:

There you go. That’s good.

Andy Lynd:

So

Pat Cherubini:

How well, that’s a good question. Have you guys are seasonal and you, you know, those are the perfect fit. And with what’s been going on in the world with the labor force, have you had any trouble filling it?

Andy Lynd:

It’s been a little challenging. The last couple of years, there’s a lot of condition with, uh, pay rates, you know, people taking jobs, but usually we lose people. Um, they’re taking care of their parents or they’re moving, or they’re a lot of young kids work for us too. They’re going to college and we lose people that way. Uh, but, uh, we’ve always found that there’s somebody that feels yeah. Who we don’t know. Perhaps we get a lot of, uh, people that wanna work for who are our customers. They come into the market and they’ll say something and we’ll, you know, hire ’em and it works out great. So, uh, people trickle in and people trickle out and there’s always, I how the young people that you lose, people who work for you and you’ll think, what are we gonna do now? How do we, what do we do now? We lost. So andSo for whatever reason. And I said, it’s been that way for generations. Yeah. Where you have those indispensable employees that eventually are gone, you think, what will we do? Well, there’s, there will always be a solution to that. So we’ve experienced that many times.

Angie Cherubini:

Yeah. So where, you know, I, I, I’m always wondering what you guys are gonna do next. What are what’s Lynn up to next

Pat Cherubini:

To share

Angie Cherubini:

What’s what’s in store for this year.

Andy Lynd:

<laugh>

Angie Cherubini:

If you can tell,

Andy Lynd:

Well, this year it’s not. Yeah. I don’t, I don’t, you know, I don’t know of any secrets that we have that I can’t. I tell you that I had a secret if I had one, but I don’t. Um, sometimes we do, but we don’t right now we will open the patch. I say, we will. We anticipate opening the patch on 37.

Angie Cherubini:

Oh, blue

Andy Lynd:

Frog. It’s a, it’s a farm we bought. No, no, it’s just outside of Alexandria on if you went from, to your that’s, where they lived on, uh, D uh, there’s a 30 acre farm. We in, we planted berries there and those things look great right now. And we anticipate this summer picking a lot of berries at the, at the patch.

Angie Cherubini:

And that’s,

Andy Lynd:

You that’ll be a new for us. Uh that’s right. Pat, we had some flowers there, two, so people are somewhat familiar with that farm. Mm-hmm <affirmative> this year, it’s gonna be full of berries. Gotcha.

Angie Cherubini:

Oh, nice.

Andy Lynd:

Yeah, they look great at this point. They look great.

Angie Cherubini:

Good.

Andy Lynd:

That’s the only, that’s the only, uh, new thing that I can think of this year.

Angie Cherubini:

That’s a big one

Andy Lynd:

Though. Apple crop looks good pieces. Look there, uh, plan to have the pumpkin patch plan, to have the maze plan, to have the cannons. None of that’s new it’s uh, it’s gonna be mark. I will say the market has new new items that are really cool. And the market opens here April. I don’t know, near the end of April open and, uh, looking forward to that, but the market’s got some great stuff this year that we’ve never had before, so,

Angie Cherubini:

Oh, I can

Andy Lynd:

I’ll make that the surprise. You gotta come find out.

Angie Cherubini:

There you

Pat Cherubini:

Go. <laugh> joining the email list to get notified.

Angie Cherubini:

Yes.

Angie Cherubini:

Join

Andy Lynd:

The email list to find out the secrets. Yeah. Well,

Pat Cherubini:

According to your ticket, your ticket it’s April to is opening day.

Andy Lynd:

Well, the ticker is correct. That would be this Thursday.

Angie Cherubini:

<laugh> Oh, that’s too funny.

Andy Lynd:

I’m in, I used, I used to do the email. I used to do the website changes. I knew all of this stuff. I knew it all as far as opening dates and, and hours and numbers like we were talking about earlier. Yeah. I, Debbie took that over and, uh, I just don’t know. You know, I know we open soon. I don’t know the date, but <laugh>, but I go to the sticker to find out I just go. There’s

Pat Cherubini:

A lot of things that used to be in my head. I just don’t have room for anymore. So I gotta put it out there and make room for, for something else. Well,

Angie Cherubini:

No, Andy’s just the face now. Oh, that’s what you can say is you’re just the face now, Andy.

Angie Cherubini:

Well,

Andy Lynd:

I, yeah, I guess when the news, when the news call it’s, they call me and they, or when the news calls the farm, I get a call from somebody at the farm saying the news people are coming. It’s like, okay, somebody can Front the camera, but I’ll be there if you need me. Uh, she will. But, uh, she calls me usually, so

Angie Cherubini:

That’s good.

Andy Lynd:

I like doing it. So it’s not a, not no big deal. <laugh> AngieWell, is there anything else that you can think of that you, um, wanna talk about? Anything in particular?

Andy Lynd:

Well, I think we’ve, I think we’ve covered to a lot about the farm and

Angie Cherubini:

Yeah,

Andy Lynd:

We’re quite successful. And a big part of that success is your expertise in email and website. Uh, just the marketing approach that takes place online. I remember when you said you really need to have a website, we need to work on this site so that it’s, uh, workable on a phone. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that’s a big, important thing that’s gonna be happening. And at the time I knew that was a thing, but I didn’t know it was important. Well, my goodness, if you hadn’t let us in that direction, uh, we, a lot of people calling us and not being too happy with us because they need a mobile site that, uh, uh, you know, if we were still doing the site, it wouldn’t be mobile friendly and we’d have a lot of frustration. So, uh, our success is predicated on us doing a great job of growing apples and being friendly to people.

Andy Lynd:

If you wanna be in the retail business and we pull that off, but our communications with our client base is so different than it used to be. And that’s, uh, that foundation for that is your expertise and your service us, which we need something we call Angie mm-hmm <affirmative>. And she’s pretty quick to, uh, to take care of our, either our problem or our meat or our, you know, whatever the situation is. Oh, you’ve been very helpful for 16 years now. So yes. Uh, I would wanna say that, but growing apples, it changes a little bit every year, uh, treating people right. Never changes and, uh, communi and changed a lot. And mm-hmm <affirmative> and, uh, we just, we appreciate your, your help in that. We don’t have anybody. We don’t have anybody at the farm that can do what you do. If we did, I’d say, Hey, Angie <laugh>, but yeah, we don’t yet. And, uh, I don’t know of anybody in the pipeline that, that has that kind of expertise. So we, we, we shop local when it comes to come to these services and you guys have done a fantastic job. So

Angie Cherubini:

Thank you.

Pat Cherubini:

Well, thank you. And, and, you know, to deflect that credit back to you guys, you did what we’ve said. You know, we didn’t tell you a secret, we don’t share with everybody else, but you actually took steps in the direction and you do email your, your people because you understand, you know, that that email makes you money and that’s why you’re in business. And there are so many people that just won’t take the action to do it, because it does take time. You have to sit down and think about it and you have to have the system to do it. But the fact that, you know, you’re out there on the farm, but you’re taking AC action implementing technology and, you know, that’s huge.

Angie Cherubini:

Mm-hmm <affirmative>

Andy Lynd:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We, one thing Angie, that we’ve not done too well, uh, we’re just not dedicated to it enough. I guess it’s taking videos and putting ’em on the website. We could educate people as to what we do. There’s a lot of interest in what we do. How do we do it really? And I’ve tried. Yeah. I’ve tried to do YouTube videos myself, but, um, you know, I’m holding the camera and talking and walking. Uh, I don’t take it too seriously, I guess, but that would be a next step up for us to do a lot of informing and educating as to how you grow apples, peaches, berries. Yeah. People are intrigued and fascinated and they want to know more. So really

Angie Cherubini:

Well.

Pat Cherubini:

I’ve seen

Andy Lynd:

You experts.

Pat Cherubini:

I’ve seen you pull your phone out and you’ve had some videos and you do great. And I think you’re right. People, you know, people love to hear that. They wanna see behind the scenes. They do the same with us. When we show a picture of what we’re looking at. Now, we get a whole bunch of people talking about it because it’s behind the scenes and, and people don’t know. So they do, you know, people do wanna learn new things.

Andy Lynd:

Yeah. Yeah. So I think that’s something, if I, if I could walk away from the production side a little bit, I would like to work on the education slash image slash you know what you said, the, the face, the face of Lynn fruit farm, I would like some of the young people to become the face of Lynn fruit farm, but at the, at the time, the present time, I’m that person. And I just happened to enjoy doing all the, uh, the news comes out or if I wanna do a YouTube video, love it. I love it. I just don’t dedicate the time to do it and do it well and do it consistent. I think consistency’s the key. Yeah. And I certainly have not been there in that regard so,

Angie Cherubini:

Well, we can definitely things

Andy Lynd:

To work on.

Angie Cherubini:

We can steer you in the right direction there. And I foresee, I foresee courses in Andy’s future on how to, how to, how to grow a, an apple tree or to, to grow Blackberry or blueberry bushes. I mean, these kind of things. I mean, you said people are, people are asking for that kind of information, then, you know, you need to, we know you’re the expert. So now you need to, you know, let people, let everybody know that you are the expert in that. And there there’s no reason why you can’t make a few bucks off of that too. <laugh>

Andy Lynd:

Yeah. Well, we’re working towards that, towards that end and, uh, hopefully we can be consistent with it. So

Angie Cherubini:

Yeah.

Andy Lynd:

As we’ve said with time, we’ll tell.

Angie Cherubini:

Yep. <laugh> well, one thing I do with everybody is I ask a question out my little question box here, and it’s, it’s random. It could be who know what it’s gonna be about. So I’m gonna pick one out

Pat Cherubini:

If you’re game,

Angie Cherubini:

Are you game

Andy Lynd:

I’m up because we edit I’m all GA I’m game.

Angie Cherubini:

Okay. <laugh> question free. Andy is how would you like to spend your elder years?

Andy Lynd:

Well, I, I hope to have about, uh, with, with eight children, I hope to have at least 20 grandchildren. <laugh> I don’t, I don’t expect to have 64 grandchildren, but there should be at least 20.

Pat Cherubini:

I think that’s an easy goal. I

Angie Cherubini:

I,

Andy Lynd:

That, well, we’ll see. We’ll see, I’ve got two great boys, two great grandsons right now or not great grandsons. There are wonderful grandsons. How about that?

Angie Cherubini:

There you go.

Andy Lynd:

There are some grandsons ju and uh, you to stack up some more there with them, but, uh, I don’t know. I just, I can picture not an extravagant, uh, lifestyle as a senior citizen, but stay close to home and enjoy family. I would say mm-hmm <affirmative> and continue. I wanna be that guy that goes into the market and just talks to people. I don’t wanna be that guy that’s are like, oh, here he, Yeah. Yeah. That’d be great. No, I do know growing up, uh, people would retire from the farm and then we, everybody would scream if they saw him coming. I don’t wanna be that guy. It could be inevitable, but stay close to home, enjoy family and enjoy the farm. That’s kind of what I picture.

Angie Cherubini:

That sounds awesome. Totally awesome. So that’s

Pat Cherubini:

All, all I got. I think we’ll really Alicia. We thank you for your time.

Angie Cherubini:

Yes, Sandy,

Pat Cherubini:

Your video was a little bit wonky, but your audio was perfect. So don’t worry about that. And, um, good luck this summer.

Andy Lynd:

Yeah. I realized that, uh, I was shaky on the, on the holding the phone. I could see myself moving all the time.

Angie Cherubini:

That’s okay. It’s mainly

Andy Lynd:

If the audio’s good. That’s

Pat Cherubini:

Yeah, it was fine.

Angie Cherubini:

It’s mainly a podcast. I mean, we still put the up very well. Thank you so much for being on here

Pat Cherubini:

And I think, well,

Andy Lynd:

You’re welcome. Thanks for the opportunity you guys.

Pat Cherubini:

Um, the last question, I mean, just we, we know, but I think we showed it. How do people find information about your farm?

Andy Lynd:

Well, that’s an easy one. Lend fruit, farm.com. Sign up for the newsletter and the E <laugh>. We’ve got a grower friend in Maryland that get there. He’s on the, the email list and five or six times a year. He says I got the elast. I got the elast you guys are awesome. <laugh> anyway, you go to the website, fruit.com sign or the email newsletter and watch the ticker.

Pat Cherubini:

There you go. There you go.

Andy Lynd:

That’s how you know, what’s going on.

Pat Cherubini:

Very good. Go pick bags and bags of apples this fall. Yep.

Andy Lynd:

<laugh>

Pat Cherubini:

All right.

Andy Lynd:

Well, that’s right. That’s right. Thank

Pat Cherubini:

You, Andy.

Andy Lynd:

Thank you guys. Thank you very much.

Pat Cherubini:

Thanks for coming and have a great see ya. Bye.

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