Wild Thymes Farm
Exceptional Specialty Foods
In 1961, returning to Manhattan from a weekend in the country, my parents, Enid and Fred Stettner, found themselves driving on a beautiful quiet country road in the northwest corner of the Hudson Valley. They drove upon an early 19th century colonial clapboard farmhouse surrounded by rolling hills, creeks, a pond, big red barns, and a spectacular view of the mountains.
They bought the farm (it took some convincing because the farm was not actually for sale at the time) and added 400 acres, horses, cows, sheep, and chickens. In 1970, after nine years as weekenders, Enid and Fred, in search of a lifestyle change, packed up my sister, brother, and me, gave up their careers (Dad was a film producer and Mom, a fashion designer) and moved from Manhattan to live full time at the farm.
In the 1980's, with us in college, Mom developed a plan for a food business she had dreamed about for many years. A self-taught cook, her life on the farm had nurtured her creativity in the kitchen. She introduced a line of 25 different herb and fruit vinegars, including such exotic flavors as opal basil, hot pepper, and blueberry. Using her homegrown herbs, she bottled them by hand in the colonial saltbox that she and Dad had restored down the road from the main house. They began selling them at Farmer's Markets and Craft Fairs throughout the Hudson Valley. It wasn't long before her products were "discovered" and she was pursued by some of the nations premier gourmet retailers. Her products, marketed under the "Wild Thymes" label, developed into one of the hottest new businesses of the late 80's and early 90's.
In the mid 1990's, her success encouraged dozens of competing products. It was time to expand the business. As someone who has always tried to be a pioneer and a trendsetter, Mom took time off, and traveled extensively throughout the world with me (her eldest daughter). We returned to the farm with inspiration and great new ideas and came to the realization that we would be a great team to launch a new food line. We were both creative cooks, Mom had the manufacturing experience and I had the marketing and sales experience necessary to build the business to the next level.
We decided the time was right, so I joined the business. Like my parents before me, my husband and I had very successful careers but wanted to make a lifestyle change, so we packed our bags and moved to our own farm in the Hudson Valley. Mom and I brought all of our talents together and teamed up to establish a truly family-owned and run business. Mom focuses on new product development and oversees manufacturing, while I direct sales and marketing and recipe development.
Together we redefined the company, developed a new look for the label, and introduced an entirely new product line consisting of BBQ sauces, chutneys, dipping sauces, marinades, vinaigrettes, salad refreshers, and cranberry sauces. It was literally like starting over. We spent hundreds of hours perfecting the new recipes.
Our timing was perfect. We have filled a niche in the market for gourmet condiments that are innovative, distinctive and sophisticated in their combinations of flavors, healthy, and very simple to use. As two working mothers, we understand the need for deliciously healthy foods that can enhance a meal in a matter of minutes. We wanted to help mothers solve the eternal problem of getting a delicious, healthy meal on the table in fast food preparation time. Our products are 100% natural, cholesterol, trans-fat and sulfite free and low in fat, salt, calories and carbohydrates. The majority of our products are also naturally gluten free.
Wild Thymes products are now sold at the premier natural and gourmet markets throughout the country and here at www.wildthymes.com. Although we've grown from our early days in the saltbox house, our products are still made in small batches and we have maintained the integrity of our products.
Our hope at the end of every day is that our customers enjoy the products as much as we enjoy making them.
Enid and Ann in the kitchen