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Side Hill Farmers to expand after an explosive first year in Manlius

Butcher assistant Dan Putnam and head butcher Kevin McCann cut into some freshly-delivered beef at Side Hill Farmers in Manlius, which is expanding this summer. “We probably can get eight or nine steaks out of here, maybe some brisket and short ribs too – lots of different items. It’s somewhat time consuming and pretty intricate,” McCann said.

Butcher assistant Dan Putnam and head butcher Kevin McCann cut into some freshly-delivered beef at Side Hill Farmers in Manlius, which is expanding this summer. “We probably can get eight or nine steaks out of here, maybe some brisket and short ribs too – lots of different items. It’s somewhat time consuming and pretty intricate,” McCann said. Allie Wenner

‘Just what Manlius needed’

When Side Hill first opened its doors in the plaza behind Sno Top last July, there were three employees and a lot of meat - and that was about it. But over the last year, it has expanded to include almost a dozen employees. Side Hill now also offers more varieties of meat, including beef, pork, poultry and lamb in addition to prepared dishes, such as soups, slaws and sandwiches and a small grocery market, comprised of foods filled by local farmers, many of whom live in Madison County.

According to McCann, it wasn’t difficult to find farmers interested in selling their products at the store. In fact, for many of them, Side Hill was exactly what they had been looking for.

“From the time we first opened our doors, there were about four farmers a week coming in and saying, ‘I’ve got this, I’ve got that,’” McCann said. “Farmers, for a number of years now, have been trying to find better ways to direct-market their product without the middle man and better profit on all of their hard work.”

This enormous interest in the shop has allowed for McCann, Managing Chef Greg Rhoad and Chef Emily Prial to be selective when it comes to offering the best of what Madison County has to offer: milk, yogurt, eggs, butter, produce, jams, jellies, salsa, sauces, honey, granola, coffee and tea are just some of the items stocked on the shelves. The store is filled with pictures of animals on some of the farms whose products are sitting on those shelves, complete with the names of the farmers, the address of the farm and what they produce.

“This whole thing was started to develop and promote economic growth within Madison County and Central New York as a whole,” McCann said. “So these relationships, and working with our farmers is at the very core of what we’re trying to do.”

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