Jeff – the dreamer aka “Dad”
Jenny – the crazy cook
Denise – the sensitive rebel
Jeff, the son of a dairy/sheep farmer spent his childhood on Grandpa Wells’ old dairy farm along with Mom, Dad, and his three sisters in Honeoye Falls, NY. At the age of 12, his family downsized and moved to the beautiful hills of Naples, NY. Grandma and Grandpa Merrill sold their farm to Jeff’s parents, as it was the perfect location to raise sheep amongst the rolling hills and the gorgeous swamp located on the farm. Jeff left the farm at age 17 in search of new adventures. The U.S. Army promised him just that. So off he went to basic training at Ft. Dix, NJ. Later he got his first orders to take a short tour of Germany. But shortly after arriving in Mainz, Germany he met Claudia, his future wife, and was enchanted by her German ways. So his short tour of 18 months, quickly turned into 35 years. They built their life and family together in Claudia's hometown.
Jenny was born in Wiesbaden during her dad's first tour of Germany. She was only six months old when her tiny toes first touched American soil. Her mom and dad were trying their luck as a fresh young family, attempting to survive this new civilian world. At the ripe old age of ONE Jenny joined her parents in their journey back into the Army, heading back to Germany for a second and eventually last tour. Her mom and dad liked Germany so much that they decided to stay this time around. Jenny was subjected to the influences of two cultures and two languages. Which should later in life prove to be very helpful as she decided to start a career in the hotel industry. After working in the industry for 6 years she decided to start a new career and began working for an international currency exchange company at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Almost 10 years later she fulfills her lifelong dream of moving to upstate New York and going on a new adventure with her family into self-employment.
Denise, like her older sister Jenny, was born in Wiesbaden but during her father’s second and last tour of Germany. Denise was born just in time to see her father get a so-called “European Out” and start his first civilian job in Germany. Denise was also subjected to the influences of two cultures and languages. She followed her sisters' footsteps into the hotel industry and later became the banquet assistant manager for a new Hotel in Mainz, Germany. After thirteen years in the industry, she was ready for a change and a new beginning.
A series of painfully unfortunate events took place that changed their lives forever! Beginning with the loss of wife and mother, Claudia, in August 2012, followed by Jeff losing his job due to the company shutting down its location in Germany. During this time, a very dear family friend suggested that he return to his old family farm and invest his savings into establishing a family business on the farm. The idea was registered and packed away until one star-covered night in September 2013 while sitting around the campfire with “the girls”. Jeff told his girls about the idea. Jenny and Denise took a quick breath, looked at each other, and grinned. Seconds later the crisp clear silence in the night was broken. It quickly turned into a chatter of ideas, bouncing back and forth. Within minutes it sounded more like a full-fledged business plan being chiseled into stone. The night was long and filled with emotion, passion, and dreams of a new beginning. The morning followed and just when one would think that everyone had slept on it long enough to realize what kind of hard work they were planning for themselves, the chiseling chatter continued. While telling friends and family about their plans, Jeff and the girls were greeted with such overwhelming positive responses, which only confirmed their true belief that this was a plan that can and will work and so the H.R. Wells Family Farm was born!
As life often goes, their dream will remain a dream but despite some unforeseen bumps in the road, they were far from giving up. What was once their “Plan A” has been put on the back burner. This does not make their new “Plan A” any less exciting…
As Alexander Graham Bell’s once said …
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us” Source: BrainyQuote.com
They have found their open door and have embraced it as their new Plan A. So in June of 2015, they purchased the old general store in North Cohocton, NY, and celebrated their opening day on 4th of July 2015 as The Olde Country Store and More ~ 1849.
And life goes on…
At the end of 2022, eight years of hard work has slipped through the corridors of time, bringing with it growth and success, dotted with tears of joy and frustration. Jeff had turned 62 in September of the previous year and wished to slow it down a bit, so he has entered his well-deserved early retirement. With that, he has passed responsibilities of the business over to his daughters / business partners, Jenny and Denise. Jeff will continue volunteering his time to manage the Green Heart of the Finger Lakes® portion of the Olde Country Store and More – 1840, LLC and will always be there for his daughters.