Feeding Crane Farms Shuts Down Natomas Operation


Feeding Crane Farms opened a weekend, roadside produce stand in Natomas last month.

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
updated 6:40 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2013
Feeding Crane Farms, one of the leading produce suppliers in the Sacramento region’s farm-to-fork movement, has shut down operations due to mounting costs.

“When we set out to start the farm we realized starting a small business is a risky undertaking, and starting a farming business is even riskier,” owner Brian Shaad wrote in an e-mail message to THE NATOMAS BUZZ Monday evening. “Unfortunately because of increasing costs and financial liabilities the farm has no choice but to close down.”

The Natomas-based farm announced its abrupt closure via social media with a post on its Facebook page early this morning:

Dear Sacramento

Unfortunately today we have to announce the closing of Feeding Crane Farms. What began as a small collaboration between friends, quickly grew into something much bigger and more wonderful than any of us could have imagined. We enjoyed the opportunity to provide food and jobs for our wonderful community, and to be a part of Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork movement.

To our customers and supporters, thank you for your loyalty, friendship, and business, and most of all your continued enthusiasm. We wish all of you the very best. And to our growing local farmer community, thank you. Without you our city’s food fast growing revolution would not be possible.

Today’s Facebook message was the first in more than two weeks and came as a shock to customers who left comments such as “Why?”,  “I loved your produce.”, and “Sad news.”

Feeding Crane Farms opened was the largest certified organic farm in Sacramento. It had sold produce at the weekly farmers’ markets, including the one in Natomas, to Raley’s and several Sacramento restaurants. Feeding Crane Farm produce was also a mainstay in home-delivered Farm Fresh To You produce boxes.

Just last month, Feeding Crane Farms opened a weekend, roadside produce stand in Natomas.

“We did everything we could to ensure the farm’s success but at the end of the day it was a questions of simple economics; there was no way the farm could be a profitable business,” Shaad said. “It’s a very unfortunate outcome to what was nothing more than an intention to do good.”

The company’s website has been taken down and nothing had been posted on Twitter by Feeding Crane Farm since Oct. 27.

Shaad said his other business Lulu’s Kitchen is not impacted by the farm’s closure.

“… it’s business as usual,” he said.

Feeding Crane Farms produce on sale at the Raley's store in Natomas.

Feeding Crane Farms produce on sale at the Raley’s store in Natomas.

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