Side Hill Farmers Cooperative was formed in 2009 by a group of Madison County farmers, with the goal of creating a vertically-integrated local-food and meat-processing and -marketing business that sourced all meat and farm product from farms in the CNY region. In 2013 Side Hill Farmers Meats & Market opened in Manlius, featuring fresh locally-grown and natural meat, in-house produced charcuterie and deli products, made-from-scratch prepared dishes, and a local-foods grocery. The Cooperative is also currently building its own USDA-inspected processing facility that will produce a branded line of local meats for wholesale distribution.
The core of the retail shop – Side Hill Farmers Meats & Market – is the meat department, which practices whole-animal utilization and craft butchery, producing fresh cuts of locally-grown and naturally-raised beef, pork, lamb, and poultry, as well as in-house cured, smoked, and processed meats. The prepared-foods department produces daily from-scratch prepared dishes. And the local-foods grocery provides customers daily access to locally-produced grocery items, including dairy, produce, and other provisions. SHF staff are unusual in their culinary skillset (many staff members have attended culinary school), their intellect (counter staff need to be able to differentiate the carcass source, farm source, cooking suggestions, and ingredients of well over 200 individual meat cuts and meat products), and their passion for providing locally-produced and natural food to their local community.
Side Hill Farmers Cooperative is also part of the Growing Upstate Food Hub consortium, which has purchased a building in Canastota to establish a food hub for local-food distribution. Side Hill Farmers is constructing its federally-inspected processing facility within the Food Hub; this facility will be the base for Side Hill Farmer’s branded line of locally-produced wholesale meat.