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Snyder’s Family Farm

Success Stories • May 28, 2024

Hosting Tens of Thousands in Their Own Backyard

Rural businesses, organizations and communities are the cornerstone of Canada’s economy. To ensure rural Canadians are positioned for success, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), has partnered with Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) across southern Ontario to provide access to the tools and support these businesses within their communities need to succeed.

In Bright, Ontario, as part of Blandford Blenheim Township, Snyder’s Family Farm LTD., owned by Meghan and John Snyder, received support through Community Futures Oxford to build a 2,500-square-foot Gift Emporium. According to Meghan Snyder, it was the missing piece of the puzzle for their gift market season. “The Gift Emporium is crucial to the farm experience with local artisan products, giftware and homemade bakery items available for purchase, becoming an essential guest space,” said Meghan Snyder. “The support and funding from Community Futures Oxford came at a pivotal time for our rural business empowering us to employ more great people from Oxford County,” she added.

Within the community, Snyder’s Family Farm works with local artisans to create valuable partnerships. “The Gift Emporium addition has better positioned us for all three seasons – building on the Christmas gift market season in addition to the 30,000 Christmas trees on our farm,” Snyder said. With 150 acres of crops and their fall Fear Farm, Snyder’s Family Farm employs 170 seasonal employees.

“We’ve experienced exponential growth in the past 15 years. We are not in the business of selling pumpkins – it’s all about the experience,” Snyder said. “Our repeat visitors expect us to innovate each year. We create for people in real life, what they’d see in a book.” This is why the Snyder’s barns are red—just like in storybooks. She also said she loves when guests see a sheep for the first time or roast their first marshmallow at the farm.

Snyder said it can be challenging to constantly evolve, adding culinary and Instagram-able experiences and displays, and pushing themselves to continuously learn and improve. “Our business is creating family memories. Every year we host tens of thousands of guests in our backyard.” 

She advises other business owners not to be afraid to innovate, because visitors expect it. The Tourism Innovation Lab mentor says she and her husband are laser-focused on growth, reinvesting in the local economy. “We are proud to be in Oxford County forming great partnerships,” she said. 

Small and local businesses—like Snyder’s Family Farms—are the lifeblood of rural communities in southern Ontario and across Canada, and with investments from the Government of Canada and direct-to-business supports through CFDCs, rural entrepreneurs are reaching their potential and turning possibilities into realities.