Spotlight on area farmers and artisans in their gift shop and activities

With its small red barn decorated with garland and bows and the warmth of Christmas lights glowing through the windows, the new country store and creamery on Kenton Road looks like it belongs in the pages of a storybook.

It sort of does.

Tracie Reinhart, owner of Wallflower Farm Country Store and Creamery, has lived on the farm in north Dover with her family for more than a dozen years. Recently, she has invited others to enjoy the farm by starting a small business and writing a children’s book featuring the farm’s animals.

“I want people to come here and feel kind of at home,” Reinhart said. “I think that’s what’s most important to me.”

Wallflower Farm Country Store and Creamery opened to the public Nov. 30. When visitors step inside, they will find an old-fashioned ice cream counter that boasts nine flavors from Hopkins Creamery, displays of homemade crafts for sale and a corner space where kids can play and read.

On a bookshelf in that corner is a book titled Cocoa’s New Family, which Reinhart and her sister Gwen DelCoglin wrote to help children and families learn about adoption through the voices of animals on Wallflower Farm.

“Parents sometimes just come and sit and relax and read to their kids. That’s kind of what I want this corner to be,” Reinhart said.

It was after adopting her own daughter that Reinhart started dreaming of a new future for Wallflower Farm and for herself. She said she wanted to create a space where local families can get a taste of farm life and support community small businesses.

“I loved sharing my farm with people,” she said. “[And] I always wanted to support local farmers, local artisans in particular.”

In the past year, Reinhart and her family have been working to make that dream come true.

First, she knew she wanted to sell ice cream, Reinhart said.

“Dairy farming is hard and that industry is struggling right now, so any way that I could support a dairy farmer would be important to me,” she said.

The farm gets their ice cream from Hopkins Farm Creamery, which sends it north from their dairy farm in Lewes. The thick, creamy taste brings back memories. Reinhart said she used to visit the creamery often when her parents lived near there.

Next came a small, community-based Christmas shop.

Christmas trees from Don’s Christmas Tree Farm in Greenwood line up outside the store, and crafts inside range from ornaments to jellies to wreaths, all from local vendors.

“We’re open to anybody who wants to show off what they do,” Reinhart said.

Since Wallflower Farm is home to goats, horses and chickens, Reinhart wanted to find a way to make something from the animals that she could sell in the shop. She started making two types of goat milk soaps: one with just goat milk and all-natural scents, and the other designed specifically for deer hunters, called Buck Naked.

For the latter, Reinhart substitutes deer fat for palm oil from a deer processor and uses activated charcoal to take away any scent since hunters often want to avoid perfumes, she said.

The family may sell honey products in the future as they bring bees to Wallflower Farm in the spring.

While the country store and creamery will likely evolve with the seasons, Reinhart and her family said it’s important that they keep things small.

“I always wanted to stay very small and home-like where families can come and experience a little about what farm life is,” she said. “Kids can feed chickens, they can feed goats, they can feed our horses, they can have ice cream. They can just come to enjoy [and] sit out by the bonfire as a family.”