Halas Farm Market History

Halas Farm Market …Four generations of hard work and dedication

A few thoughts come to my mind as I sit down to write this. First, great things do come from humble beginnings, and all things are possible with belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, dedication & family.

Very few family business’s successfully transition to the next generation. Statistics show that a mere 30% ever successfully pass to the 2nd generation, and 12% to the 3rd. Halas Farm Market has thrived and survived throughout 4 generations, spanning 90 years and ever so changing times.

The Halas family business was founded in the year 1925 under the watchful eye of my grandfather Joseph Halas Sr. It began as a self sufficient Dairy Farm ,located on Bear Mtn Road in Danbury CT. We had 30 cows at the start and produced milk, cream, eggs & dairy products.

My grandfather was a Czechoslovakian immigrant who married and had 5 children who all worked the family business at a very early age.

Lets go back to the year of 1945. The average car cost $1250 and gas wasIMG_8724 21 cents a gallon, bread was 9 cents a loaf, milk 62 cents, & the average salary was $2900.00 per year . It was also a time when the United States was engaged in World War II and 1945 was a major turning point in the War. My father Paul Halas Sr. was 19 years old when he went off to serve in the War. His brothers, John then 27 served in the Philippines and Ludwig who was 23 served with the U.S.Marines in the Pacific.

My father’s brother Ludwig sadly died at the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945 . My dad, Paul Halas Sr. became a sergeant and returned to the family farm after the war . He married in 1949 as he continued to work the Dairy Farm. He took an integral roll on the Farm as my grandfather never recovered from the loss of his son in Iwo Jima. In 1947 my grandfather sold the land to the Federal Government to be used as property for the Danbury Correctional Center.

My father continued with a home dairy delivery route until 1969. The Family Farm Market on Pembroke Road was then founded on an 80 acre tract of land

Taking you back in time just a bit, when my father was 7 he was quite the entrepreneur. He resurrected his own roadside farm stand where he would sell home grown fruits and vegetables to passerby’s. He was ecstatic to return to his roots when in 1969 Pecks Farm Stand became available for purchase. He became partners with his only sister, Margaret Kelley, known to all as “Aunt Peggy”.

My father and mother “Mary Gertrude”, went on to have 10 children of their own 7 girls and 3 boys. I am the youngest of the ten. We all worked on the farm. My older brother Richard was the next in line to help run the family business. He was enrolled in college and taking classes in Horticulture when he was diagnosed with leukemia at the young age of 20. He passed away in 1977.

I was now 11 and my love of farming was rather evident. Where ever my father went I wasn’t too far behind. I wanted to take it all in, learning every aspect of the business.

familyUpon graduation from high school I honored the wishes of my mother and father and went off to North Eastern University in Boston Mass. They insisted that I receive my degree before I could take part in the family business. I went off to college and came home most weekends to be on the family farm. In 1989 I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. I immediately dug my heels in to the family business. I wanted to carry forward our family legacy .

Early in 1990 my Dad stepped back , although never too far, and I stepped into his shoes. I saw the need to improve the ecology of the land with the growing trend toward organic practices. I then started to institute sustainable practices to improve soil conditions by a regimen of sustainable field management. I applied my engineering background and erected a state of the art Greenhouse which stands as the centerpiece of our business today.

My father and I spent all of his remaining years together working the family business up until his passing in 2005.

I restored the 250 year old home beside the Farm Market to its Historic Roots and now live there with my wife and three children . My children are the fourth generation of Halas’s to work on the family farm. I along with my family stay true to the 90 year legacy of our previous generations.

– Michael Halas

Our Halas Farm Family

Listed below our awesome team members!