Oct 14, 2010 ellen leahy Uncategorized
If you haven’t heard, Borodino’s Vernak Farms Country Store (VFCS) on East Lake Road has great pizza. This is because Chris and Charlene Vernak are from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, and believe it or not, pizza and subs are to Jersey as sausage sandwiches and salt potatoes are to CNY.
Starting this month, Vernak Farms will not only be known for pizza, but also, compound pharmaceuticals and “Barbie,” too, as it adds a pharmacy complete with prescription drugs, analgesics, vitamins, sundries and toys.
Compound pharmaceuticals are specialty made products that don’t fit in the normal pharmaceutical drug lines Charlene said. These are the exceptions to the rule. For example, specific hormone replacements, pain management creams and even lollipops for pain management used with hospice patients. Specializing in these products will broaden Vernak Farms’ reach, by diversifying their business, so they don’t have to depend on one sector of the market, and at the same time provide the locals Rx needs, including delivery.
Charlene is a pharmacist. While growing their Spafford based market, she worked in the village as a pharmacist at the P&C and CVS. She said opening a pharmacy puts them in a different buying group, so they can bring in more items, at a competitive price.
The Vernak’s can’t say enough about how the residents of Spafford have supported their business.
“People have really gone out of their way to support the market,” Charlene said, adding that many of their suppliers have also made a special effort to help them out, too.
Her mom Claudette “Cookie” Strnad also moved to the area, and together with her significant other, longtime resident, Curt Lederman, they do odd jobs for the Vernak’s, which sometimes includes babysitting for Mary, 8, and Catharine, 4.
“Honestly, I could never pull off my life without them,” Charlene said.
Mary and Catharine also help out by aiding in selecting the store’s candy items. For example, Mary picked out the gummy tarantulas, a featured treat for this Halloween.
Just as the locals have gone out of their way to support the Vernak’s store, the Vernaks support local businesses. “We try to do local as much as possible,” Charlene said noting Patience Brewster gift cards, Wren’s Den soaps and lotions, local honey and maple syrup as well as New Hope Pancake flour.
The Vernak Country Store focuses on bringing quality products to their neighborhood. They are carrying, Nature’s Made Vitamins, which Charlene said is the number one selling American made vitamin that has been tested time and time again for purity, potency and efficacy.
One can find Rao’s Pasta Sauces, Boars Head cold cuts, Ithaca’s purity ice cream and many other goodies in and among the everyday items such as milk and eggs.
Another unexpected aspect of the business is that the prepared food really took off, so much so, they closed down their wine room and transformed it into a full kitchen over the summer. In all the build out, Chris has been hands on in many aspects of the construction.
Now that they are ready to roll with expanded products and services, they are also a bit exhausted from all it has taken to transform their little market. Like, most small business owners, they said they were undercapitalized from the start and have put everything they have into the business including working every day. This fall they retracted their hours a bit to get some quality time with their little girls. The market now opens at 10 a.m. weekdays, and closes at 7 p.m., so they can be together for “off to school” and can have dinner together after the market closes on school nights. The hours are extended on weekends to 8 p.m.
The Vernak’s will celebrate their new additions with an open house over the weekend of Oct. 24 that includes a mega-coloring contest, free give aways and more.
Contact: 673-9327 Vernakfarms@gmail.com.