NORTH SMITHFIELD – Shoppers at Goodwin Brothers Farm Stand will soon have a little more elbow room thanks to a planned expansion that will add two more bays of space to the open air produce shop.
Owners Robert and Paulette Goodwin applied for a special use permit for the project, which was granted unanimous approval by members of the Zoning Board.
Speaking of behalf of the applicants, Aimee Goodwin Lombardo told zoners that the property has been farmland for as far back as she could find records of North Smithfield maps.
“Not all farmland gets to survive this long, and it’s a really beautiful feat, I think, that this farm is still surviving and thriving today,” Lombardo said. “It’s a wonderful site.”
The barn, a 960-square-foot structure situated on a 51-acre lot by the intersection of Providence Pike and Greenville Road, serves as a shopping and display area for the farm’s produce. The custom-built heavy timber barn was constructed around 2000, Lombardo noted, and features three bays sealed by large garage-style doors, which are left open during business hours to create an open-air shopping experience.
“All those timbers, all those beams, all those columns are custom-sawn woods with custom siding,” Lombardo said. “It’s really a beautiful piece.”
The addition, she noted, will see two more bays added to the west side of the current building.
“The idea is that if you’ve never seen this building, in five years from now when it’s all built, those two bays look identical to the ones that are there already,” Lombardo said. “It should be seamless.”
The reason for the project, she said, is simple: more space for customers.
“A little more elbow room is needed,” Lombardo said. “That’s really what it boils down to. We’re just looking to improve the customer interaction.”
The business’s 14-space parking lot, which provides more than what’s required by the town ordinance, will remain as is, and Lombardo noted that the project is not expected to have any impact on traffic or customer flow.
“I don’t think the extra square footage means you’re going to get 100 extra people,” agreed Zoning Board Chairman Robert Najarian. “It just makes it easier for those who do frequent to shop in a more open area.”
Zoners noted that as a simple expansion, the project will have little impact on the surrounding area.
“I think this is a heritage site for North Smithfield,” Lombardo said. “It seems to be a place that most of the local residents know of and go to for their produce.”
The business is currently open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. except for Sundays, when it closes at 5 p.m. Through October, Goodwin Brothers is offering free hayrides on Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, with rides leaving the store at 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and lasting approximately 25 minutes.