Maryland lawmakers and federal officials met in Talbot County to celebrate the expansion of one family run food service company, Teddy Bear Fresh Produce.
Teddy Bear Fresh Produce is a company that started out as a small market. Since then, it’s grown into a business with just under a hundred employees on its payroll.
Credited with helping to keep small farms alive on the shore.
“For local farmers, they like to have a local market.”
That’s where Teddy Bear Fresh Produce comes in. Starting as a small farmers market in 2010, now a small corporation supporting Eastern Shore farmers. Their continued success partly in thanks to almost a million dollars of state funding.
“It keeps family farming alive on the Eastern Shore.”
Maryland Senator Ben Cardin touring the business Monday, learning how they used the funding to support not just their business but also family farms during the recession.
One example, their industrial food to freezer system.
“It is fresh frozen, which gives them a market beyond just the growing season.”
“So that they can have a product available twelve months of the year.”
A sign of their continued success, plans for expansion, which means serving more local farmers on the Eastern Shore.
“By having Teddy Bear Fresh, you have a local distributor that can get your product to the consumer here, with less cost to you, so you make more profit.”
“The important part of that is making sure that these farmers are recognized and keeping them sustainable, by any means.”
This is something both Teddy Bear Fresh Produce Owner Mary Salins and Senator Cardin agree on.
We have a lot of small farming operations here on the Eastern Shore, and this gives them a chance for their future.