Way Fruit Farm Expands to Downtown State College PA

A sixth-generation family business serving the region from its location in Stormstown will soon have a greater reach with a second location.

Way Fruit Farm opens a second store in downtown State College at 252 E. Calder Way in late July. Jason Coopey, owner of the farm, said he and his wife, Megan, thought about trying to do something else and slowly expanded the farm’s capacity to do so. They recently added a new cider press, more cooling space and other things so they would be ready if the opportunity ever arose, he said.

“We have been very lucky and very, very blessed to come through the pandemic. We made deliveries and we started getting a lot of deliveries from students, especially in the fall and winter when they are here. Parents just send child care packages, so I said, ‘Hmm, there’s obviously a demand in town.’

Additionally, their location in Stormstown can be a long trip for some and with rising petrol prices, Coopey said it might be easier for some customers to meet them downtown rather than come to the farm. He also hopes they can win more customers in this area, including more Penn State students.

The opportunity to do something new came amid the pandemic when they noticed more and more empty storefronts in downtown State College. A friend from high school told Coopey he had a few open spaces if they were interested.

“We looked at this place, it just looked very perfect,” he said. “…It didn’t take a ton of work for us, and, you know, we put our touches to it, but it didn’t require a major renovation. And so that seemed to work perfectly for us, and so we thought, let’s just try to bring that downtown.

The two-story space sits on the corner of McAllister Ally and College Avenue. He hopes this will expand their customer base and better serve their existing customers in the region. The upstairs will have a farmer’s market atmosphere, showcasing the fresh produce that Way Fruit Farm is famous for, such as apples, peaches, strawberries and sweet corn. There will also be a bakery – where they’ll have their apple cider donuts – and a small kitchen that will serve lunches and dinners.

Downstairs there will be plenty of available seating and other “goodies”, like a wall of soda. He envisions the downtown location as a “miniature version” of the Stormstown location, where they will bring in their top sellers.

Both Jason and Megan grew up in Center County but were gone for about 10 years. They came back out of love for the region. He fears the town center will lose its charm, with many local businesses leaving and being replaced.

“Downtown is such a cool, low-key place, but I think it needs people to keep rejuvenating it and keep bringing back these local businesses that were, you know, some of which were lost before the pandemic. , then definitely post-pandemic,” he said.

“We are delighted to help the Central region develop and keep it unique. That’s what I think this city has always been built on. That’s what makes State College, State College.

David H. Henry