By Michaela Morris
Barrett Edens traveled the country in search of birdies, then came home to the cows.
Farmhouse Market and Coffee in West Point was born out of the his experiences on the road as professional golfer and his family’s long history of cattle ranching.
The butcher shop and coffee bar opened its doors in a former bank building in October and has developed a loyal following for locally-raised beef and pork, tasty coffee and creative daily specials.
“It’s worked out really well,” Edens said. “The amount of support from West Point has been amazing.”
Beef and coffee might seem a surprising combination, but complement each other quite well.
“Coffee goes really well with beef,” Edens said. Their daily specials have included a steak sauce with coffee and a coffee-based rub.
But Farmhouse Market is a unique place, he said. It offers locally sourced dry-aged beef from Edens’ family farm in Okolona and free-range pork from Homeplace Pastures in Como, as well as USDA Prime and Wagyu beef, specialty, single-source coffee and locally made gifts.
“You can drive through and get your latte and two pounds of ground beef,” Edens said.
When he opened in October, Edens initially resisted cooking, but his customers kept asking him what was for lunch. Bowing to public demand, he began offering one special each day, along with breakfast biscuits and toast. Some of the favorites have included a Mac and Cheese burger, steak quesadillas and Philly steak sandwiches. Smoked briskets and short ribs have been a hit, selling out every weekend.
“Everything comes out of our own case,” Edens said.
Edens loves to keep it as local as possible. The milk for coffee comes from Beason Family Farms in Philadelphia. The shop offers handmade wooden spoons and candles from the Blackford Family in Prairie, Delta Blue rice and Double D Farms honey, jams and jellies.
His appreciation for locally produced foods developed in part through his travels while playing golf for Mississippi State and then on a professional tour. His journey took him to cool towns with intriguing food shops and coffee bars.
“In Mississippi, we don’t have a lot of that yet,” Edens said.
When he decided his future wasn’t on the fairways, he leaned on family tradition.
“We’ve been in the cattle business forever,” Edens said.
Edens’ passion for eating local began about four or five years ago when he began focusing on his health. His family started raising a few cows for their own table, focusing on sustainable practices with cows grazing, not just eating grain.
“It was amazing how much better it tasted and how much better we felt,” Edens said.
It takes more resources to produce beef that way, and the finished product costs more.
“I had to convince people (locally, sustainably produced beef) was worth the extra money,” Edens said. “Luckily, I have a lot of friends.”
One of the great challenges for executing his vision was finding an experienced butcher. Edens’ background in cattle ranching didn’t include the art of being a butcher. He connected with Rick Baldwyn, who had worked with his father to run a family grocery store in West Point for years. Pappy Baldwyn frequently visits to share his secrets of the trade.
“They have 68 years of experience,” Edens said. “It’s been a lot of fun to learn from them.”
While the coffee doesn’t have Mississippi roots, it does have a special story and connection with the farmers who produce it. The coffee comes from Seeds, a Birmingham-based not-for-profit coffee company. Its single source roasts are produced through sustainable fair trade partnership.
“They do a great job of supporting farmers,” Edens said.
Business has done well, and Edens is already considering expanding the kitchen as well as the product lines.
“I’ve got more ideas than I have time for,” Edens said.