Although the county has changed from rural to suburban, farmers continue to provide crops that are used by the local food industry.
Montgomery County’s food industry has drastically changed since the first farms were established in the eighteenth century. Farmers’ primary products during this time included dairy, livestock, and vegetables. Over time, suburban towns replaced farmland throughout the county. Although the number of farms have decreased since the eighteenth century, the ones that remain still provide crops that are used in local businesses. As of 2017, some of the county’s top crops were corn, soybeans, and livestock.
The large wooden item hanging on the left wall is a rake. This tool was likely used by a local Montgomery County farmer prior to the industrial revolution. In the small case directly below the rake are three circular butter presses, a square butter press, two butter paddles, and a cheese box from Holly Bros. Hand Cheese of Souderton. All of these items were used on local dairy farms.
This framed picture is a drawing of Rotelle Inc. a local frozen food distributor. As freezers were developed for home and commercial use in the early 20th century, the Rotelle brothers saw an opportunity to improve their fruit and vegetable business. The brothers bought a freezer and established the frozen food company. As the company grew, two locations were opened in Montgomery County: Springhouse and West Point. At one point, the Rotelle family's freezer was believed to be the largest independently owned freezer in the United States. By the time Richfood bought Rotelle Inc. in 1994, the company was one of the largest frozen food distributors in the United States with an annual revenue of roughly $340 million.
In the case is a donut box from Suzy-Jo Donuts. Suzy-Jo Donuts opened as Ches-Pen Donuts in Bridgeport in 1955. As the business gained popularity, it was renamed Suzy-Jo for the owners' two daughters, Suzanne and Joanne. The business continues today and now has two satellite stores in Limerick and East Norriton.
Below the Suzy-Jo Donuts box is a scale from Corropolese. In 1924, Italian immigrant Guilio Corropolese opened his bakery on East Airy Street in Norristown. At the start, the bakery produced bread, rolls, and tomatoe pie. Today, in addition to these classic italian bakes, Corropolese also produces hoagies, sandwiches, stomboli, deli meats, pastries, cakes, and cookies. This successful business currently has four locations: Norristown, Audubon, Limerick, and Douglassville.