Ryan Wilson was working for a farm and doing deliveries to restaurants, when he started asking chefs what they wanted that they couldn’t get.
“They said ‘duck,'” he recalls. “So I grew six ducks.”
Today, Wilson and Gina Simmons’s Commonwealth Poultry Co., in Gardiner, processes 300,000 USDA-inspected, all-natural, additive-free, halal chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits and game fowl per year, works with commercial growers throughout New England and Pennsylvania, and employs about 30 people year-round.
Nevertheless, it’s been learn-as-you-go since the company started in 2010.
“I don’t have a business background. I’m just doing the best I can every day,” Wilson says. “I read everything I can. I work with the USDA. I have a system down that we repeat and repeat and repeat. And we’ve proved it to work over and over again.”