• Book a Garden State Farm for Your Next Event

     
    FROM THE Spring 2015 ISSUE
     
  • Book a Garden State Farm for Your Next Event

     
    FROM THE Spring 2015 ISSUE
     
  • Book a Garden State Farm for Your Next Event

     
    FROM THE Spring 2015 ISSUE
     
  • Book a Garden State Farm for Your Next Event

     
    FROM THE Spring 2015 ISSUE
     
  • Book a Garden State Farm for Your Next Event

     
    FROM THE Spring 2015 ISSUE
     

FARMS HAVE LONG BEEN THE BACKBONE OF AMERICA, and there’s something both historic and patriotic about walking along land that has been owned and worked on for generation after generation. Farms are typically comprised of a barn, acres of land and the family’s private home. Many of New Jersey’s historic farms have opened up some of their space to hold meetings and events. While weddings and parties are always popular, recently, corporate outings, business meetings and teambuilding exercises have become more commonplace.

Perona Farms, Andover Township

Tracey Ivaidi, co-owner of the fourth-generation Perona Farms, says meetings and seminars are normally held during the week. “The latest technology, world-class cuisine and impeccable service make Perona Farms the perfect location for a business event,” she says. “We have been in business since 1917, all under the same family, with a fifth generation now getting involved.”

Perona Farms offers a newly renovated rustic barn that was originally built in the late 1930s, with space large enough for 30 to 300 in the main building and 130 to 180 in the barn. “We regularly host local businesses and nonprofit organizations, schools and sports banquets,” Ivaidi says. “We do everything from breakfast meetings to full-blown formal fundraisers.”

Meetings run anywhere from $30 per person and up, depending on the length of time the room is utilized, food options, etc. “As far as additional perks, everything is customized depending on what our client is looking for,” she says. “Our grounds are huge, and some companies have even had events outdoors, cocktail style.”

Stone Rows Farm, Stockton

Stone Rows Farm is a 216-acre farm with a private setting away from the fast-paced world of corporate America. “Our rolling fields, wooded areas and landscaped farmland allow you the freedom and creativity to design your own sales meeting, marketing retreat or teambuilding exercise that will bring out the best in your employee,” says Carter Olcott, events director for Stone Rows Farm. “In addition, we are in close proximity to hotels, fine dining and nightlife, as well as tubing, rafting and kayaking on the Delaware River, which is right down the road. We also have access to the best caterers and event rental supplies in the area.”

The farm offers several buildings on the property that can serve as meeting places, highlighted by a 3,200-square-foot reception barn that can host up to 180 people. The barn comes with wagon stages, enhanced event lighting and full electric. “There is also a 1,500-square-foot after-hours barn with a bar and a loft. We also have a 2,500-square-foot main barn that can be used for meetings and team building exercises,” Olcott says. “Lastly, there are two houses on the property. The main house is a stone dwelling that dates to 1743 and has been fully modernized with gourmet kitchen, five full bathrooms and can sleep 18 people. The second dwelling is a renovated cottage that has two full bathrooms and can sleep 10.”

Stone Rows Farm has hosted companies such as Billionaire Boys Club, which shot its fall catalog line at the farm, and is a regular meeting venue for companies such as Foley CAT, Sutchworks Inc and D2 Apparel. “When you rent out Stone Rows Farm, you get access to 95 percent of the property. This includes all of the meeting spaces and the ability to sleep up to 28 guests and a 24-hour on-site manager to assist with daily needs during your stay,” Olcott says. “There are no noise restrictions or curfews to abide by and guests are welcome to utilize our bass pond or stroll the 1.5-mile walking/running loop around the property.”

The staff can also help facilitate team-building exercises, with an array of resources for local activities such as hot air balloon rides, skeet shooting and mountain biking. And it works with a number of caterers who can accommodate parties of all sizes. “We work with several local gourmet caterers, from the best smoked barbecue to the finest custom prepared dishes,” Olcott says. “We also welcome clients to bring in their own catering that they prefer or we can recommend companies that we have worked with in the past.”

Alstede Farms, Chester

In 1982, Kurt Alstede, a first-generation farmer who hoped to grow food in a local and responsible way, founded Alstede Farms. Today, three generations of the family work together to produce fruits, vegetables and flowers grown using only sustainable and USDA-certified organic production methods. “Our farm offers a great setting for corporate and business events and it offers a great way for people to connect with the beauty and bounty that our permanently preserved farm offers,” Alstede says. “We have a beautiful barn called Harvest Hall, which is nicely finished and decorated with antique farm tools and a great rustic appearance. It’s set back in the rear of the farm, so it allows for a very casual, intimate and rural setting for a corporate meeting or outing.”

The barn can accommodate up to 160 inside, but big doors open up on its southern exposure so during warmer times of the year outside tenting is available with extra seating. Large screens are available for PowerPoint presentations and plenty of power outlets are included for workers to bring their own personal computers. “Catering is available with everything from coffee and housemade apple cider donuts to a pig roast. We have our own in-house catering team with a full menu utilizing all the fruits and vegetables we grow on the farm,” Alstede says. “We also have daytime and evening campfires for those who want to get a more rustic feel.”

With 365 acres of land, including 300 acres growing fruits of vegetables, Alstede notes it’s a unique venue to host a meeting or event. “We can even incorporate a hayride, corn maze or pick-your-own adventure, depending on the season,” he says. “It’s a dynamic place to be and offers so much more than just a typical hotel meeting room setting.”

DiMeo Pick Your Own Blueberry Farms & Blueberry Bushes Nursery, Hammonton

For those looking to hold a memorable event, DiMeo Pick Your Own Blueberry Farms & Blueberry Bushes Nursery is the ideal setting, says owner Anthony DiMeo III. It regularly hosts corporate retreats, yoga classes, artist gatherings, nonprofit gatherings and all types of meetings. “This is an original, nontypical spot offering an ultra-upscale blueberry farm experience with fire pits, an illuminated forest at night and so much more,” he says. “In addition to being a perfect farm wedding venue, we now offer a new Agritourism Center on our blueberry farm that offers 2,100 square feet of meeting space.”

The white barn building features beautiful windows with panoramic views of the organic blueberry farm, 12-foot ceilings, heat, airconditioning, plus plenty of parking spaces and the ability for guests to take a walk back along the Hammonton Creek behind the property. “Our picturesque family blueberry farm is surrounded by the gorgeous Pinelands Forest with the Hammonton Creek running right through our backyard,” DiMeo says. “We can host sit-down events up to 100 people indoors, and up to 150 outdoors, where patrons can host the perfect corporate retreat. The average meeting or event fee is $2,500 for the entire day, which includes setup and breakdown the day before and after.” What’s more, every guest departs with a memorable gift: an organic blueberry bush that includes planting instructions.

Jack’s Barn, White Township

Jack’s Barn has the designation of a historic landmark and although it has been welcoming weddings, artisan shows, fundraisers, antique shows and private parties for years, it has only recently transitioned to include corporate meetings. “We have a 9,000-square-foot rustic barn space with good lighting, two bars, dance floor and new ADA bathrooms; it’s a great space to do almost anything,” says owner Darren Muso. “We have rustic, handmade wood farm tables, but if someone wanted to bring in regular conference tables, we have rental companies that can help.”

Capacity is 99 people, but a tent can also be set up outside to hold an additional 25 (124 total). The farm also boasts an antique shop, so people can take a break from meetings to explore a bit of history. “If companies are looking for a more laid-back and relaxed feeling for their meeting space, this is something that is cool and different,” Muso says. “It’s like a walk through time—a great reminder of the past.”

Retreats and off-site meetings present wonderful opportunities for groups to collaborate, strategize and build relationships away from their normal office environments. With proper planning, these sessions can be highly effective and even pivotal in setting a new direction. However, off-sites may present some unforeseen challenges that can quickly deflate the energy in the room if not anticipated and addressed in advance.

 

Highfive video conferencing is “a reimagined meeting room experience built for organizations with multiple offices and remote workers, partners and customers,” says Chris Heinemann, Highfive’s senior director of corporate marketing. 

Highfive’s premium service is equipped with a 4K HDR Dolby camera and a high-fidelity audio microphone powered by Dolby Voice. With a CPU built into the camera, setup is easy and requires customers to place the camera on top of the television or on a wall mount.  

 

Aparium’s newest property celebrates Montclair’s art, culture and creativity.