by Frasier Block
As the world continuously pushes towards supporting local and sustainable farms, Charleston has proudly been doing its part. The expanse of our cherished, lush, and unique land in the Lowcountry has attracted a great deal of farmers who are taking advantage of the people’s desire to shop locally, providing us with an assortment of fruits, vegetables, and various other “farm to table” foods. So strong is the market for local grocery shopping in Charleston that it has attracted farmers and entrepreneurs from all over the country. One such group is Storey Farms hailing all the way from Chicago to set their stake in the land of Johns Island, providing chicken and duck eggs for local restaurants as well as individuals at the Johns Island Farmers Market.
Jeremy Storey and Johnny Rolf are the partners behind Storey Farms. The two first met in Chicago where they both worked at Alinea, a highly esteemed, world-renowned restaurant. During their shifts together they became close, sharing the same ideas about their future. Though they both enjoyed their jobs and made decent money, Jeremy and Johnny always dreamed about life outside of the bustling city and getting back to their roots as they coincidentally grew up in the same small town in Indiana. As they tossed around ideas about escaping their current lifestyle, Jeremy proposed the idea of buying property and starting a farm. Johnny was immediately on board and with a goal in sight, they began planning for their future.
Jeremy found a piece of land on Johns Island that was perfect for their needs, though it needed some clearing up before it could be used. In an interview, Johnny said that he was dropped off to the property with nothing but a suitcase and a guitar in November of 2013 and immediately got to work. Their original idea was to raise quail and sell the eggs; however, as soon as Johnny became acclimated to the Charleston market he noticed there was a huge demand for local chicken eggs here. After the slight change of plans and the land being cleared, Jeremy moved down and they both got to work building coups for chickens as well as ducks for variety.
Though it’s hard work at the farm with long hours and labor intensive tasks, the two have managed to create quite a name for themselves in the Charleston area. They sell their eggs to a considerable amount of restaurants and though they don’t do on site individual sales, they do participate in the Johns Island Farmers Market weekly to reach out and connect with the community. The farmers market allows them to take a break from the farm and connect with the locals, a rewarding and refreshing experience. Not only do they enjoy giving back to the community, but they also make connections there that open opportunities for future business endeavors.
The first year can either make or break a small business and judging by the success they’ve already had, it looks like Storey Farms is here to stay.
Enjoy their fresh, delicious free range chicken and duck eggs, along with neighboring farmer Celeste Albers' Grade A Raw Jersey Cow milk at their stand each Saturday at the Johns Island Farmers Market, 3546 Maybank Highway.