Strawberry stand owner follows in grandfather's footsteps
It is strawberry season, and nobody knows this better than Kylee Hagen, whose hands were stained red from handling produce at her stand located across the street from St. Mary's Church in South Dartmouth on June 14.
Despite a late start to the day, Hagen couldn’t keep up once customers started swinging by. As soon as she was finished putting quarts of strawberries out, she'd run out and had to fill another flat.
The 20-year-old lives just up the street, but drives all the way to Quonset View Farm in Portsmouth, Rhode Island to get the succulent fruit right from the growers' farm.
Working the farm stand has been something her family has done since her mother was a young child.
Her grandpa, Paul Silvia, ran the stand for years before passing away, and Hagen began following in his footsteps last summer.
“It’s how I remember my papa and it’s just what he’s always done and it’s fun sitting out here,” Hagen said.
She’s doing it out of an unlikely vehicle too. The stand is operated out of her hippie-style van — an idea she got from her mother.
The van holds special meaning, as it is painted with representations of her family. A butterfly with her brother's eye adorns the driver's side, and since her mother loves New York City, a picture of the Twin Towers are also displayed.
For Hagen, the best part of it all is keeping her grandpa’s legacy alive, while also meeting new people.
“I just like talking to the people,” Hagen said. “It’s fun that I get to meet so many people throughout the summer. I do have customers that come every day. I don’t know their names but we just talk to each other like we know each other.”
The stand can be found beginning at 9 or 10 a.m. throughout the summer.