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Where: The Funny Farm
Address: 3707 N. Hermitage Road, Transfer, Pa.
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
By Erin Kouvas
The Funny Farm in Transfer, Pa., isn’t our normal restaurant establishment type of review. It is something that is almost hard to put your finger on as it seems to be shifting and shaping itself as we sit here reading this. Let’s say, for the ease of this review, that it is a market for fresh produce.
OK, so now that we’ve labeled it, it is so much more than that. Let’s start at the beginning.
Vincent’s family goes back four generations. That’s more than 100 years being in the auction business.
Vincent is really something of a “jack of all trades,” rather than just an auctioneer. His baby, The Funny Farm, is a place that he’s created to showcase his love of art, music and all things that celebrate life in all of its mysterious forms.
He admits that right now, it’s still requiring a large investment of time and he hopes that local artists, musicians as well as local farmers and restaurateurs will call it at least their part-time home. The Funny Farm is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
The market, which is the mainstay on Fridays, features local farmers and has all kinds of fresh goodies. They feature whatever the crops are offering, based on the season. The only thing that he has to reach out of the immediate area to Pittsburgh for, sometimes, is the citrus.
They plan on staying open through the fall, as long as they have fresh produce to offer. On Saturdays, you should be able to see a band performing on the Funny Farm Stage. Vincent welcomes in local bands to play there and all they have to do is plug in. He even has extra guitars for them to use. This part of the Funny Farm is special to him, as the property that the Farm is on has hosted huge acts in its past, for example, the Rat Pack, the Beach Boys and The Pointer Sisters.
People who have lived in Transfer for many years are always telling him someone famous that had stopped through on this property at one time or another. Vincent feels that though that building burned down, the property itself still holds the magic of those former days.
Vincent’s main business is the horticulture business, and he has access to fabulous plants that he sells there at the Funny Farm market. His business doing that is nationally based and he travels all over the country and brings these finds back with him to Transfer.
When he’s not doing anything else, he has a T-shirt design business and you can easily have any type of T-shirt that you want made for $10 while standing at the Farm.
Although Vincent is obviously creating the foundation for The Funny Farm, he wants it to be known that it is the people that make it really special and real for him. His manager Larry Strosser, who does so much. Joseph, the Haitian Sensation, makes his outstanding Caribbean jerk chicken and black beans and rice every Saturday.
June Bruckner, who does farm to table as a local chef, is also a large contributor at The Funny Farm. And of course, his loving wife, Tammy, and their son Maxwell. Having been born and raised in Transfer, Pa., Vincent and the rest of the The Funny Farm crew are celebrating their hometown through farm to table and local musicians and artists.
They hope to see you there.
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