Cupola Hollow (Dunai Farm) History
Cupola Hollow Farm is also known as Dunai Farm has been in the Dunai family since the early 1900s. The dairy farm was purchased by Lucaz Dunai and his wife Celia, both Polish Immigrants. Lucaz continued to operate the dairy operation and expanded the farm to include growing tobacco. The Connecticut River Valley is famous for its fertile soil and the ability to grow an exceptional tobacco crop.
In 1963 The Farm was passed on to Lucaz’s only son Francis and his wife Marilyn who continued to operate the dairy until the late 1970’s when dairy farms began to disappear in Connecticut due to the falling milk prices. Dairy cows were replaced with beef cows and tobacco was replaced with vegetables.
In 1976 with the unexpected passing of Francis, his two daughters Donna and Kathy decided to carry on the family tradition and began to operate the farm.
Donna went to school to pursue a culinary career and Kathy remained in town and worked and worked the farm. An old Model “A” garage was transformed into a sales area and fall mums, pumpkins, gourds and scarecrows were plentiful! In the winter Christmas wreaths and winter decorations were sold.
In 2004 the girls sold the farm’s development rights to the State of Connecticut, American Farmland Trust and the Town of Suffield, to ensure that no homes will ever be build on what was felt to be one of the most beautiful settings in West Suffield. This not only protects ever decreasing farmland from development, but also provides a location to enjoy nature and count on for growing fresh fruits and vegetables for generations to come.
In 2005 looking toward the future, The Dunai Girls applied for a State of Connecticut Farm Reinvestment Grant. In 2007 they were actually awarded the grant to help them build a new farm store building. The historic Model “A” barn was demolished making way for the future. The future of the farm depends on the next generation and in 2007 Kathy’s two daughters Amanda and Ashley joined the team. Definitely a new path was about to be charted and new challenges were met.
The girls learn fast and work hard. One year later the building was a reality (not without a few bumps in the road). Today, the resources now exist of a commercial kitchen and a retail farm store to market the products.
In 2009 the Girls decided to further expand the viability of the farm with a new venture, thus Cupola Hollow Farm CSA LLC was created.
Today, the farm takes their unique products on the road to attend 2 farmers markets in Suffield and in Collinsville CT as well as selected local events such as the May Market in Suffield and The Suffield Fire Department Harvest Craft Fair in November. They continue to operate the CSA and welcome customers to the retail/wholesale operation at the farm store in West Suffield.
The Dunai family continues to have a strong relationship with the land as well as the community and encourage anyone if you are going by, please stop in and say Hi as for certain they are not going anywhere and would love to meet you!