Venture west along Route 165 in Canfield, Ohio, not too far from the Mahoning and Columbiana County border, and gently rolling hills and open fields provide the backdrop for this vast and tranquil landscape.
It’s in this area 60 years ago where Bort’s Farm Good Meats was born. Bort’s meats sold off grocery store shelves and became a household name, not just in the Mahoning Valley or Northeast Ohio, but across the entire Midwest. It was on this farm a young boy helped his grandfather measure out spices for sausages and kielbasas and working the thermostats on the smokers.
For Joe Rzonsa, Executive Chef of Blue Wolf Tavern, even at this early age, it became clear he had developed a passion of working with fresh ingredients and turning them into works of food art. It also solidified his interest for something else that he holds near and dear to his heart to this day. Not far from the farm would be a place where farmers and the agricultural community gathered to showcase their goods and have their hard work and dedication recognized.
Why the Canfield Fair Came to Be
There’s nothing quite like the Canfield Fair. The end-of-summer tradition began way back in 1846 and has grown into the largest fair in Ohio and third biggest in the country. It’s where you can see 4-H animals, experience thrill rides, enjoy the sights and sounds of top music performers, and of course, sample a vast array of fair cuisine. Before all of that though, the Canfield Fair was known purely for fresh, wholesome products.
Farmers from all over the area came to buy and sell fresh ingredients, produce, and livestock. For Joe growing up, the Canfield Fair served as an opportunity for his family to present all sorts of freshness in the form of baked goods, vegetables, and even handcrafted clothing. In addition, it meant investing back into the community. Joe’s grandfather made it a point to buy local goods and transform them into great products.
“Having spent my youth on a farm, I witnessed firsthand the hard work and dedication that my grandfather put in to cultivating fresh products, and the Canfield Fair served the meaningful purpose of showcasing the fruits of your labor to the community that they then could experience and enjoy.”
Blue Wolf Tavern
The Value of Local Farmers & Fresh Ingredients
Blue Wolf Tavern supports local farmers by investing in fresh goods in the way of produce and livestock made available at the Canfield Fair. Since opening its doors more than 18 years ago, Blue Wolf Tavern has prided itself on farm-to-fork recipes delivered right to your plate featuring the freshest ingredients and homegrown foods. During those summer months on the farm, Joe applied the experiences he learned to his own handcrafted recipes that have received accolades for their original flavors and divine taste. And while the farm may be gone, the tradition of supporting local goods is alive and well.
At Blue Wolf Tavern, we let our dishes do the talking. Watch our new TV spot that will leave you speechless.