A fourth generation of Whitcombs opened a farm store and creamery on the family farm here Oct. 7, to the apparent delight of scores of visitors, samplers and buyers who streamed in and out from late morning until mid-afternoon.

For sisters Carrie and Holly Whitcomb, the "Open Creamery Day" marked another milestone in their efforts to diversify and grow their business, the center of which is the farm, with 100 Jersey and Guernsey milk cows that they graze on 150 acres along Birches Road.

The Whitcomb family has lived on and worked the land there since Eben and Nellie Whitcomb bought “the old homestead” at 165 Birches Road – where the new store is located – in 1917 and sold their butter at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

In 1951, Colby and Lois Whitcomb bought Springdale, the farm next door at 205 Birches Road, where their son Walter, now Maine commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, grew up. Lois and Colby grew a market garden, had an egg delivery route, and sold sides of beef and lamb along with their milk.

Today, Walt and wife Nancy live in the old homestead, where their daughters’ new farm store was built this summer on a former basketball court in their front yard. Carrie and Holly are following in their grandparents’ footsteps, direct-marketing their farm products to the community.

Farm manager Carrie, who now lives in the Springdale farmhouse, said she’s been talking for years about building and opening a store. “A deal” on some gently used coolers in the spring spurred her to action, and construction commenced over the summer.

The store serves as an outlet for the pasture-raised beef and rose veal they sell under the Springdale brand, as well as for the cheeses they’ve been producing since 2015 in a creamery down the road.

The farm sells its milk to Oakhurst Dairy, and to cheese makers Appleton Creamery, Lakin’s Gorges Cheese Co. of Waldoboro, and Crooked Face Creamery of Norridgewock, whose owner, Amy Rowbottom, was offering samples and selling her cheese as part of the Springdale grand opening.

Making cheese had been a long-time dream of Carrie’s – 10 years in planning “in my head,” she said. Then a house at 75 Birches Road went on the market that looked just right for a creamery. “I said ‘Yes’! We’re buying this house!” And she and Holly did.

“It was a simple conversion,” Carrie said. The house already had an office; they installed a washable floor, made the walls washable and purchased the necessary equipment.

In 2016 they hired a part-time cheese maker, upgraded to a 20-gallon vat, and tripled their space by expanding into the attached garage. They produce fresh and aged cheeses, specializing in fresh cream cheeses.

Holly, who works at athenahealth in Belfast, lives in the house, pitches in with farm operations in early mornings and on weekends, and keeps chickens in a rolling coop in the yard.

Walt helps out on the farm when he can, and Nancy pitches in as retail staff in the new store and at farmers markets – Carrie sells Springdale meat and cheese locally at Belfast Farmers Market and United Farmers Market of Maine, as well as at farmers’ markets in Camden, Boothbay, Bath and Portland.

Carrie takes the lead in charting business direction, “but it’s a team effort,” she said. “We can’t do it without everybody.”

The farm store is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays, and whenever the “Open” flag is out. Customers are welcome to call ahead, at 342-5135, to check business hours. More information is available at springdalejerseys.com.