Hoffman Certified Organics

The summer market crew, including Natalie, Stephanie, Ben, Jon, and Don.

We are Ben and Don Hoffman and we are Hoffman Certified Organics. We specialize in 100% USDA Certified Organic Pasture Raised Chicken. It’s a mouthful, but it’s all important. We saw a gap in our local market for organic meat products that are raised as nature intended. As backyard chicken owners for most of our lives, we saw the market gap as an opportunity to not only start a family owned local business, but also provide our community with a trusted resource for a humanely raised meat product.

Hoffman Certified Organics

Dotsie loving on one of the Hoffman’s new mangalitsa piglets.

We couldn’t do what we do without the women we love.  All five members of our family business have a specific role to play to keep things running smoothly. Ben and Don do most of the hands on farm maintenance and animal care – feeding, rotating livestock, planting pasture, farm infrastructure, and business management. Stephanie keeps our paperwork and accounting up to date along with doing daily farm chores. Natalie takes care of our marketing and communications. Dotsie helps care for the livestock and does mid-day food and water checks. We are all hands on deck during the summer farmer’s market, which brings me to another very important member of our farm. Jon Dove is our summer market chef and he’s an integral part of our business. It’s thanks to him that we were able to expand our participation at the market to include a hot food option to our market guests. Jon and his growing family have become part of our Hoffman family and we’re lucky to have them!

Our market research indicates that there is a steadily rising market of shoppers who are returning to their “roots” and realizing the benefits of eating locally grown foods. We recognize the farmer’s market as a place where customers truly understand and appreciate the extra mile we go to provide them with a quality local product. Farmer’s markets rank highest when it comes to trustworthiness. Not only do people trust the product more, they trust the people who grow it. That’s important to us as a business and we feel that our customer’s high expectations keep us honest, accountable, and ultimately help grow our business on a foundation of ethics. We appreciate the high standards to which farmer’s markets and their customers hold the vendors.

We love and care about the happiness of our livestock. And no, we’re not just saying that. We play with them, pet them, massage them, and hand feed them. If a chicken seems sad, lonely, or if it’s being picked on by the rest of the flock, we spend more time with that animal, hand feed it to make sure it grows and try to find a group within the flock that will accept it (chickens are a lot like middle school girls, really). The happiness of our animals is our #1 priority. Even when we’re picking them up to load them into their processing crates, we pick them up one by one and massage them as we load them. This keeps their heart rates down and makes for a more stress free experience for them. We get pooped on a lot because we relax them too much sometimes.

Our products are humanely processed and our processors are federally inspected. A Federal USDA Inspector is on site for each and every processing day to oversee the proper handling and processing of our livestock as USDA Organic Guidelines require. Ben and Don even “stand watch,” if you will, to ensure that the chickens are checked anti-mortem and post-mortem for acceptance by the USDA. It’s not our goal to make our USDA Inspectors happy. It’s our goal to blow them away. We take pride in how our product looks. Ben and Don inspect every single package to ensure a proper vacuum seal and that the products look aesthetically pleasing. If a package is found with a broken seal or if it has a little too much water or if it didn’t get trimmed as well as the boys prefer, they immediately start calling dibs on that package. We ONLY sell our customers our very best products. A product that isn’t 100% as it should be gets put into our own freezer. We take our own “no good” packages and reserve the good stuff for you.

Locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy to enrich the community as a whole. Instead of helping a big corporate CEO get rich, you’re helping the local mechanic make a donation to his son’s school for a new football field. You’re helping the locally owned restaurant owner grow and create new jobs. You’re helping the owner of the local bicycle shop fund a city-wide bike race that links neighbors and businesses and forms new economic and social relationships. Supporting your local farmer’s market is the same as the above answer, but offers even more. Farmers markets offer some of the freshest and most unique foods you’ll find in your area. The products at the farmers market aren’t highly processed or pumped full of preservatives. Farmer’s markets offer those unique off the wall items that your big box supermarket won’t carry (chicken frames, red carrots, watermelon salsa, etc…).  We see the efforts that our Fort Wayne’s Farmer’s Market has put into helping us grow our business. By highlighting vendors on their webpage and social media pages, creating promotional videos for their farmers, and taking advantage of local advertising opportunities, they are working hard to become the foundation for your success within their market. Our local market managers understand that our success is their success and they are champions at helping each vendor make that success attainable.

Grow, grow, grow! We’ve gained so many repeat and loyal customers during our first year with FWFM. We hope to continue gaining new loyal customers! We would love to be one of the first businesses people associate with the farmer’s market. We hope to keep expanding our product line and help drive more foot traffic with our expanded summer market menu. We have high hopes for the merging public market and we are excited to be joining the market during such an exciting time of growth and expansion!