Business Trends: Kuipers Farm to Add Train, Country Weddings and Banquets

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Apple season, pumpkin season, Christmas season … and now, maybe, wedding season.

You have to give some credit to the Kuipers family for keeping a seasonal farmstand and orchard business, not only surviving in a tough economy but thriving and expanding.

The most-recent addition came to light at last week’s Kane County Board meeting, where the county approved an amendment to an existing F-2 zoning district to allow a riding train and to allow social events — weddings, receptions, family reunions and the like — to be hosted in an existing building on the orchard property at 0N145 Watson Road, in Kaneville.

“Every year, they end their season, saying, ‘What can we do next year?’ And it’s just one thing after another,” County Board member Drew Frasz said after last week’s meeting. “What they’ve done with the buildings out there is phenomenal. They have all these beautiful buildings, and they want to put them to use during their off season, because their season is just September through December. There’s this big trend now, with country weddings and farm weddings, and all that. It’s a natural fit, because they have all the infrastructure in place.”

The approved zoning change includes the OK for “an amusement-park-sized train.”

Wade and Kim Kuipers opened their family farm as a pumpkin patch in 1998, and later purchased the 160-acre apple orchard known previously as Pine-Apple Orchard, according to the Kuipers Family Farm website. Pretty soon, “folks began coming several times a season to pick apples, then back for pumpkins and fall hayrides and then again in December for that perfect Christmas tree,” the website says.

“Running, climbing, adventure, fresh air and kid-powered fun is growing here by the bushel! ”

According to the Kuipers Family Farm website, rides include the Jumping Pillow and the Johnny Popper Train, each of which cost $2 and $4 pony rides on weekends during the fall season.

The website talks about rustic weddings, as well as hosting field trips, class reunions, corporate mixers, family celebrations and community events.

Rustic weddings are a trend these days, in part because they “are often easier to plan, cheaper and more creative than city nuptials,” according to Northern Virginia magazine. One of the latest trends is “barn-door decor,” according to rusticweddingchic.com. And mismatched, smart and casual groomsmen suits are among the top five groomsmen trends for 2014, according to chicvintagebrides.com.

Who knew?

Well, OK, apparently, the Kuipers family.

 

Screen shot from Kuipers Family Farm.

Screen shot from Kuipers Family Farm.

 

 

 

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