BALLSTON LAKE — At Lakeside Farms Country Market and Restaurant in Ballston Lake, it’s all about family.
The business started when Robert Pearce bought the Schauber Road farm in 1948 for its 19th century barn and cider press. Today, the place is run by third-generation brothers Rich and Jeff Pearce and has grown to include a restaurant and market, a pavilion for special occasions and a gift shop.
Beyond the cider and cider donuts, which Lakeside Farms is well known for, the family offers a variety of locally grown produce. Among the items for sale are eggs from a farm in Schuylerville, Battenkill milk, local honey, maple syrup from New York and Vermont and New York cheddar cheese.
Lakeside Farm isn’t just about the local produce and products. It’s also about the food! Lakeside Farms really began to diversify in the early 1980s, when it sold sandwiches and pies in the store. When that became popular, the business expanded to offer a breakfast menu in 1990, and then a full-blown dining area was created in the late 1990s.
It was also in the late 1990s when the Pearce’s built a pavilion for special events. Today, the pavilion is used for large celebrations including graduation parties and weddings, as well as Class Reunions and an annual antique show.
The Ye Olde Farmhouse Gift Shoppe at Lakeside Farm is split into several theme rooms, including a children’s room and an Adirondack section. The Gift Shoppe offers a large variety of items including curtains/valances, specialty kitchen items, seasonal decorations, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments and clothing.
Pearce said the response to the gift shop has been strong. “A lot of people were in there last year because they were interested in seeing what we did with the house,” he said.
Between the gift shop, the pavilion, the restaurant and its famous cider and cider donuts, Lakeside Farms is primed to be a family favorite for generations to come.
“It’s been a generation-to-generation type of thing. Parents bring their children here, and their children bring their children,” said Pearce.