The Holcomb’s bought Coon Rock Farm in the Fall of 2004. That same year they also started Zely & Ritz (www.zelyandritz.com), named as one of the 20 best Organic restaurants in America by Organic Style Magazine, in partnership with the Agasi’s of Raleigh. That partnership has become Eno Hospitality Group and now also owns Piedmont Restaurant (www.piedmontrestaurant.com), Bella Bean Organics (www.bellabeanorganics.com) and Heirloom Provisions (www.heirloomprovisions.com) all in Durham, NC.
Coon Rock Farm has been a continually operating farm for over 120 years. The 4 room farm house was built around 1880 and you can still see the hand-hewn log timbers that serve as the house foundation.
Richard, a well-known local software entrepreneur, and his 4 children moved from Raleigh to the little house at the farm and have never looked back. They started small that first year, mainly providing vegetables to Zely & Ritz. They now have over 10 acres of intense vegetable gardens, orchards, and ponds. The rest of the farm is in a combination of pasture and forest which is used to graze the animals and provide a wonderful habitat for wildlife and native plants.
The name Coon Rock is an old one that comes from a very large rock formation at the property’s edge that juts out into the Eno River. It’s a landmark that all the ‘old-timers’ in Hillsborough know as many of them grew up swimming and fishing at the Coon Rock.