Diverse certified organic vegetable farm selling to green markets and CSA (community supported agriculture) in Southold, NY
Founded ~1940s Kim Poy Lee, Hugh K. Lee and father, George Kim Lee supplying New York’s Chinatown and expanding over the years to serve the East Coast markets
Family farm, privately held
The company is focused particularly on Goal #2, to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030: to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture for all
Sang Lee Farms stated mission is to “provide the highest quality vegetables and exceptional service for all our customers.”
Sang Lee Farms has seen an increase in demand during the pandemic. Based in Southold, NY, normally a quiet community during the winter and spring months, the farm stand was inundated with city dwellers from NYC populating homes normally visited in the summer. The farm’s manager was able to quickly retool their website to allow for curbside pickup. Local farms in the larger New York metropolitan region are fairly digitally savvy, having mastered Instagram and visually rich websites to appeal to residents and farmers market customers who want to have a stronger connection to their food source.
Sang Lee Farms, Inc. was established in the mid 1940’s by the owner’s Uncles, John (Kim Poy Lee), Hugh K. Lee and father, George Kim Lee. Following George’s return from his Navy tour of duty during World War II, the farm began supplying New York’s Chinatown with quality Asian produce grown in Melville, Long Island then later in the 1950s to include production in Hobe Sound, Florida.
First Business Model
Sang Lee Farms would sell Asian produce wholesalers in Chinatown, NYC.
Through the 1970’s, ’80’s, and ’90’s, production and wholesale distribution expanded to Asian markets along the eastern coast from Montreal, Canada, to Miami, Florida, with many cities in between.
Second Business Model
From the 1990s through the 2000s Sang Lee Farms moved to its current location and evolved the business model from wholesale to retail, beginning humbly with a farm stand and then slowly shifting over to provide more variety of offerings, including flowers and other types of vegetables, becoming certified organic, and then starting a CSA (community supported agriculture).
Sang Lee Farms offering of over 100 types of organic produce are in high demand as they are one of the few local sources for Organic food. The recent shift from farm stand to offer curbside pickup enabled the farm to manage their sudden surge in demand from newly relocated city dwellers to the outskirts of the North Fork, Long Island.
Small Farms in N.Y. Are Experiencing a Surprising Boom. Here’s Why. in The New