Willey Farms: Local History & Passion For People

The history of Willey Farms in Townsend, Delaware reminds me of one of those cute, inspiring videos you might see before a Pixar or Disney movie. It all began with a farm and an old baggage cart in 1975. Donald and Irene Willey would pack up the produce from their farm and sell it on an old airline baggage cart at the end of their lane. A year later, their success allowed them to upgrade to a pole building roadside stand complete with a passionate sales team – their six children and a few nieces and nephews. The family business continued to grow exponentially through the years, establishing relationships with farmers in Georgia and South Carolina opening up the opportunity to provide sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe when it was still out of season in Delaware. With each year, the demand for additional products grew rapidly and Willey’s expanded to pole building 2, 3 and more. Today, you can’t miss the considerable Willey Farms location while driving through Townsend along Route 13. Currently managed by 2nd generation family members, Chris Willey and his wife Sarah, friends and family still refer to the expanded location as “the stand” or “the market”.

I truly enjoyed reading the success story of Donald and Irene Willey because time and time again I’ve heard heartwarming stories of their kindness and support of other struggling local farms throughout the years. In addition to the kind stories of the past, I’ve never had an unfriendly or poor experience at Willey Farms myself. We go there often, stopping in for Beaverdam dog food, the healthy all-natural items that you cannot find at the chain grocery stores, produce and gardening supplies. They also sell the “not so healthy but delicious” premium chef’s choice cut bacon from Kirby & Holloway. If you try it, I promise you’ll never forget it!

A niche market to Delaware with a unique personal touch, Willey Farms has grown to six departments, each serving a different convenience to the consumer.

Quality Fresh Produce Willey Farms Produce High quality, fresh produce is always available at Willey Farms. It is from various local farmers when in season and from farms around the world when unavailable locally. I love to cook with fresh vegetables and I can verify that the produce at Willey Farms is much more robust than the vegetables and fruits at nearby chain stores. In fact, I’m pretty sure they last longer too. Once you purchase the massive local asparagus from Willey Farms, you’ll never want to purchase it from a chain store again!  

Garden Center and Nursery Willey Farms Garden Provides a variety house plants, vegetables, trees, annuals, perennials and more for every level of gardening skill. Soil, guides and tools are also available. Have a question, the friendly staff is more than happy to assist you.  

Natural Foods Wide selection of grocery choices including organic, preservative free, gluten free, dairy alternatives and sugar free options. Includes Bob’s Red Mill products, local honey, coconut milk, vegetarian options, meat and fish.

Candy Willey Farms Deli in Townsend, Delaware& Gourmet Foods Old fashioned candies and sweets, galore! You’ll feel like a kid in a candy shop again.

The Deli The deli offers meat and cheeses, sliced to order. Many do not know that they also make subs, sandwiches, hot entrees and side dishes. You can order in advance while you are passing through or pick it up after you shop!

Home Accents & Décor When you walk through the Willey Farms’ home décor section, you feel right at home. From homemade candles, your favorite Yankee Candles, humorous signs, greeting cards, furniture pieces from This Site, paintings and the latest seasonal décor, you’ll want to walk through the section whether it is on your “to-do” list or not, the best part is that you’ll even find tools that you would normally buy from a hardware store

There is More! Willey Farms also provides fruit baskets and party trays, homemade on site by their in-house chef. You can order hot entrees and sides made from scratch right from the Willey Farms kitchen.  

Weekly Specials at Willey Farms:

  • Wednesday: Seniors receive 10% off
  • Thursday: Receive $1 off Willey Farms sub order

What other people are saying about Willey Farms:

“We try to hit Willey’s every week! We love the selection of produce, and all the local and organic items. Also love browsing all the candies, snacks, specialty items, jams, honeys, etc.” – Vicky F. via Facebook Reviews

“A true treasure. My favorite local place. I am a believer in fresh, grown from the ground goodness, and Willey’s has it. Plus fabulous home decor, an old time candy shop, a great hot/cold bar and deli, and more. This place is the best Townsend has to offer.” – Nicole A. via Facebook Reviews

“I have been going to Willey Farms since I was a little girl, everyone is very helpful and nice , and they have the best produce around!! Love going around November and December, they have beautiful decorations for the Holidays!” – Sheila K. via Facebook Reviews

“My wife and I shop at willies form every Sunday we buy our produce their soups that they make we also buy plants candles & gifts from the their store service is excellent they’re very knowledgeable staff they are friendly and helpful prices are extremely good a must stop for all your gardening needs and your culinary needs also very large selection of small gift items and candles, etc.” – Charlie G. via Yelp Reviews

“I learned quickly when I moved to Delaware, that you don’t buy your produce at the grocery store. You buy it at a farm stand. {But} calling Willey’s a farm stand is not quite right–this is a huge establishment on Route 13 between Townsend and Odessa.” – Gwenydd D. via Yelp Reviews  

Willey Farms is located at 4092 Dupont Pkway, Townsend, Delaware 19734 Phone number: (302) 378-8441 You can receive their award winning newsletter via email here. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter   Tell us why you love Willey’s in the comments below! Thank you for reading Live Delaware! Feel free to share your comments in a discussion below. If you have a favorite local business, event or non-profit, we’d love to feature them. Tell us why you love them here.

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