Shawn Fiegelist recently opened City Folk’s Farm Shop in Clintonville. The shop is geared to those interested in urban farming. The shop is at 4760 N.High Street.
April 27, 2012
Those who want to grow their own food in an urban setting now have a one-stop-shop for supplies.
It’s called City Folk’s Farm Shop, and while it’s located at 4760 N. High St. in Clintonville, owner Shawn Fiegelist said in the month it’s been open, she’s had customers from all over Central Ohio.
“This is a store for people who like to grown their own food in the city, and people who like to be self-sustained,” the Tiffin native said.
Fiegelist, who moved to Columbus in the early 1990s and initially worked in ad sales for the Columbus Dispatch, said she’s like many small-business entrepreneurs: When she couldn’t find what she wanted in any store, she decided to open that store.
Like the customers City Folk’s is attracting, Fiegelist said she’s interested in having some control over her source of food, and knowing better what’s in the food she and her husband eat.
“I think it’s a growing trend,” she said.
But finding supplies for those following the trend wasn’t that easy. Fiegelist said she wound up doing a lot of shopping online or having to travel to farm-supply stores well outside of Columbus.
Now, people who want to provide organic feed to chickens they’re raising in their back yards can find it right in the city.
“That stuff’s hard to keep on the shelf,” Fiegelist said.
The three main product lines at the store are garden tools and supplies, feed and supplies for back yard animals, and “homesteading” supplies, she said.
Fiegelist said the store aims to be there for urban farmers in every season, from organic and heirloom seeds, soils and fertilizers for planting in the spring to supplies used in preserving food for the winter.
Joseph Swain, owner of Swainway Urban Farm in Clintonville, said he thinks the shop is a great benefit.
“It’s just pushing the back yard garden movement forward and giving people accessibility to supplies that aren’t readily available to people growing their own food,” he said.
Fiegelist said the store is a big supporter of buying local, working with Columbus- and Ohio-based companies such as One20 Farm, Swainway Urban Farm, Gregg Organics, Livingston Seed, Ohio Earth Foods, Price Farm Organics, Rain Brothers and Conrad Hive and Honey to provide products and supplies needed to live a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.
“One of the pillars of the business is we offer classes and education,” she said.
Recently, urban homesteading blogger Rachael Tayse taught 16 or so participants the ins and outs of raising chickens in the city.
The next class is set for 7 p.m. May 29 and will feature Marne Titchenell, a wildlife program specialist with Ohio State University Extension Service. Its title: “Attracting Bats to Your Back Yard.”
After her ad sales experience with the Dispatch, Fiegelist worked for some radio stations and ad agencies. Most recently, she was a research director for Time-Warner Cable.
“I’ve always been interested in how small businesses work,” she said. “I will tell you, you’re never prepared for it until you do it.”
Despite the challenges that have arisen in the 18 months to two years since Fiegelist began considering the idea that grew into City Folk’s Farm Shop, the owner said she’s glad she took the plunge – and glad she decided to do it in her own neighborhood.
“Clintonville seems to be a hot spot for it,” Fiegelist said. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s gotten good response. The people have been so nice and welcoming, and they’ve offered good suggestions.”