WILLIAMSBURG — A group of Michigan investors have purchased Hoxsie’s Farm Market, 6578 M-72 East.
John Kroupa, managing partner of Peninsula Cellars winery on Old Mission Peninsula, is working with downstate investors John Carlson and Greg Lobdell, who run North Peak Brewing Company, part of Northern United Brewing Company. The three have known each other for years.
“We bought it under the company Nomad Properties,” said Kroupa, related to Nomad Cidery.
“We’re going to maintain the farm market aspect and all the agritourism piece that the Hoxies built up over the years.
“We’re going to add a winery and have hard cider, and add that piece in as well. And then further down the road, who know what we might like try and do. We talked about having a wedding venue in the old barn.”
Denny and Judy Hoxsie decided in 2017 to sell their market, house, barn, outbuildings and 37 acres. The Hoxsie family has been part of the area’s farming community about as long as there has been a community.
“My great-great grandfather laid out the village of Acme,” Denny in 2017. “I’m fifth generation farming here.”
He and his wife moved to the farm on M-72 in 1971 after Denny finished his studies at Michigan State University. They worked the farm with Denny’s brother until 2000, when Denny and Judy took over the entire operation.
They’ve concentrated the last six years on growing pumpkins and other autumn produce. The couple tapped into the burgeoning agritourism industry by attracting commuters and local tourists in the fall. They also encouraged school tours, which keep the operation bustling midweek.
“Our fall business grew a lot,” Denny said. “We did our best to grow it.”
Under the Hoxsie’s management, the market employed five part-time workers for the few weeks it was open each fall.
Kroupa said he plans to continue the agritourism focus basically unchanged. Some remodeling at the market now is in progress. The new owners are in contact with schools about tours this fall.
The Hoxies still are working on site, and will remain to ensure a smooth transition, to continue farming and give guidance, at least through this calendar year.
The township already gave its blessing for Nomad to apply to the state for the required licenses for a winery, said Kroupa.
“Hopefully by the fall we can be working on the tasting room and wine production,” he said.
This will be the first retail location for Nomad Cidery, which currently sells to restaurants and bars for draft dispensing. They intend eventually to begin also distributing hard cider in cans.
Kroupa is a sixth generation farmer and is is cider maker at Nomad Cidery.
Northern United Brewing Company also operates Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales.