Moultrie County specialty farm bakery sees multiple benefits from Stratton campaign

Moultrie County farmer Bruce Condill, left, discusses foods sold at his specialty farm’s Homestead Bakery near Arthur to Andreas Essendorfer, a Bavarian entrepreneur, during  a May 2019 visit. Lt. Gov.  Juliana Stratton highlighted Homestead Bakery in the Cultivating Our Communities campaign. (File photo by Kay Shipman)

The Condill family sold dozens of gift boxes after Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton highlighted their Homestead Bakery as part of her ag campaign.

Long-reaching benefits will also grow from the statewide shoutout, according to Mac Condill, general manager of the specialty farm and agritourism business near Arthur.

“We are grateful and appreciate the shout-out and the opportunity to bring baked goods into people’s homes,” Condill said, “but I feel there’s more cross marketing happening.”

Stratton’s Cultivating Our Communities connects Illinois consumers statewide with farmers and businesses that grow, raise and process diverse food in the state. Homestead Bakery is operated year-round and part of the seasonal Great Pumpkin Patch.

“A (farm social network) community is already established, and now with the bakery, you can still get a taste of the farm delivered to your door” or to a relative or friend during the COVID-19 quarantine, Condill said. He speculated Stratton’s notice on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will grow the Great Pumpkin Patch’s 33,000 Facebook followers and expand awareness of what their farm has to offer at other times, too.

Condill even is using Stratton’s social media campaign as a teachable moment for budding high school entrepreneurs who he mentors. Since schools are closed, Douglas County CEO education students are moving to online efforts and a virtual trade show although students would prefer a more traditional event.

“We have to pivot to change and adapt,” Condill has told the students. “I can share it this way. The lieutenant governor used a virtual media platform. It’s a great example of business still going forward.”

In addition to shipping products ordered online, Homestead Bakery also offers curbside pickup from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the farm.

Video: Take a look inside Homestead Bakery