• Norm's Farms Ambassador Series-Country Farm and Home

June 09, 2020 0 Comments

Country Farm & Home Supply in Pittsboro, North Carolina is one of the first stores to sell our elderberry product line since operation. I recently sat down with the owner, Melinda Fitzgerald and was told the history of her family’s business. Melinda’s father Dallas Fitzgerald purchased the store in 1993 but for many years before that the business was known as The Farmer’s Exchange. Since the 1950s farmers brought their grain there to be milled, exchanging grain for finished animal feed. Rail cars transported fertilizer, lime and coal for the farmers and the feedstore proved a vital piece of the community.

Nowadays, customers walk on tongue and groove oak floors, smell the grain and are reminded of store visits when they were children. Many longtime customers reminisce about working there as teenagers, back when the feed bags were 100 lbs.


Melinda had taught middle school science for 13 years when she decided to get involved in the family business. She retired from teaching and began working with her father Dallas in 2008 and in 2014 she purchased the store and the surrounding lot from him. With the new ownership came a few new changes. Melinda sought to integrate organic farming practices and products in Country Farm & Home Supply.

In a bid to gauge and understand the interests of her customers, Melinda began pre-selling products before carrying them in-store. One of her customers, Hillary Heckler, was working as the farm manager for Central Carolina Community College there in Pittsboro. She was integral in building CCCC’s Sustainable Agriculture program and Melinda enlisted Hillary’s help in determining what products to bring into the store. She benefitted from her knowledge and expertise, eventually offering Hillary a job. Hillary joined Melinda’s staff, and since then her knowledge of agriculture and sustainability has been a great addition to Country Farm & Home’s services.


Although the hammer mill is long gone and all that remains of the railroad is the old trestle behind the building, the staff has worked hard to preserve the bones of the old feed store and the history that makes Country Farm & Home Supply a part of the Pittsboro community. Today you will find a vast selection of local and organic products along with the chickens, fencing, and farming supplies. Among those supplies are our Norm’s Farms elderberry products. Melinda and the rest of her team at Country Farm & Home Supply are great advocates for our products and believers in the power of our elderberries. At the onset of COVID-19 Melinda stocked up on our elderberry supplements, not only for her customers’ sake but for the sake of her employees.

We are happy that Norm’s Farms is able to be a reliable supplier of high quality elderberry for Melinda and her customers. It is because of small businesses that communities continue to grow together and we are honored to share their story with the rest of you.

Ira Planer





Learn about the wonders of elderberry

elderberry supplement trio with ripe elderberries in the fore ground