When Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his partner, Dr. Brent Ridge, moved in 2008 to Beekman Farm, in Sharon Springs, they had no plans to start a business there. Kilmer-Purcell, a TV personality and memoirist (The Bucolic Plague and I Am Not Myself These Days) and Ridge, a physician and the former vice president of healthy living for Martha Stewart Omnimedia, just wanted a place to get away from it all. But the spirit of the property’s original owner, William Beekman, must have reached out to them. Beekman, a Revolutionary War boy soldier who built the property in 1802 for his wife and 10 children, ran a successful on-site mercantile and was so renowned for his integrity that he was appointed Schoharie County’s first judge and, later on, a state senator despite his lack of formal education.
Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge started off slowly, keeping a herd of goats for the fun of it and using the goats’ milk to make nutritious, beneficial bacteria-abundant gourmet cheeses as well as lactic acid-rich, naturally exfoliating soaps. Then they added beehives and planted fruits and vegetables. Today, Beekman 1802, the company they founded, makes a range of soaps, hair- and skincare products, flavored honeys, artisanal cheeses, and sweet and savory food items; sells products by glassblowers, ceramicists, metal- and ironworkers, chefs, perfumers, textile artisans, and craftspeople; employs over 180 people; and has been recognized by Nasdaq as a successful lifestyle brand, offering only American-made goods.
Beekman 1802’s lineup of homemade holiday goodies is extensive, and suitable for gift-giving, stocking-stuffing, or keeping on hand for company. Try the Artisan Cheese Gift Sets, Generous Fruitcake, Boozy Jellies, Artisan Jams, or Balsamic Drizzles. Or go for sweets, with Buttercrunch Toffee, Bourbon Maple-Glazed Pecan Pie Bars, Chocolate-Covered Caramels, or Goat Poop—malt balls covered in caramel, buried in a pretzel, and then covered with Belgian chocolate.
Order online, visit the shop at 187 Main Street in Sharon Springs, or arrange a farm tour by calling (888) 801-1802.