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Family is Central at Amherst Grocery Store Atkins Farms

By Kelly Church

With more than a 120-year history, Atkins Farms is locally-owned and operated Amherst, MA grocery store that grew from a small McIntosh apple farm in the late 1880s. The Atkins family planted their orchards, selling their apples at wholesale prices to people within 100-mile radius of the orchards. It wasn't until 1962 when the first retail space was officially opened and the shelves were stocked with much more than apples.

"Our shoppers will find the highest quality produce at low prices," Jennifer Adams, Director of Marketing and Promotions, said. "Atkins Farms has been working hand in hand with local farmers and business owners for several decades to showcase products made in the valley. Many of the farmers and other suppliers go back a long way with us; some even span generations."

Atkins Farms sells produce, fresh meats and seafood, beer, wine and hard cider. The store also has a bakery, flower shop and seasonal ice cream shop. Adams said there's truly something for everyone at Atkins Farms.

Atkins Farms also offers Savory Suppers, a unique meal prep option for those who want easy-to-cook meals during the week. Shoppers can schedule an appointment to visit the Savory Suppers kitchen located inside Atkins Farms. Shoppers choose from a menu of 14 entrees and Atkins Farms employees take care of all the meal planning, shopping, ingredient preparation and clean up. During the appointment, the meals are assembled and can be customized to a person or family's specific needs or tastes. Most Savory Suppers are ready within 30 to 45 minutes, unless it's a crock-pot meal.

"When you're finished, you will have up to 12 entrees to take home, freeze (or refrigerate) and cook them when you're ready, saving you time and stress at mealtime," Roger Frigon, Atkins Savory Suppers Manager, said. "Savory Suppers is perfect for busy families, young professionals and retired folks, or those who feel challenged in the kitchen."

Family is a huge element at Atkins Farms, from the food that is available to the employees that work there. The store's history is rooted in the Atkins family and all they've offered the Amherst community.

"I have worked at Atkins for over 20 years, and most of my coworkers are more than just coworkers," Adams said. "They are my family. Most of us have been here for 20, 30, even 40 years or more. We all take care of each other."

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