After nearly a century of growing pumpkin patches and corn mazes, the owners of Cox Farm are calling it quits.
Ron and Vickie Stein, third-generation owners of the farm at 6059 S. Seneca, announced Thursday the longtime Wichita institution would close either at the end of September or October.
The Steins, who took over operations at the farm 12 years ago, are retiring. Both are 71 years old.
“We’re ready for a break,” Ron Stein said. “We’ve worked seven days a week all our life, 12- or 14-hour days, and we’ve had enough of it.”
The property is available either for sale or for lease, as a sign by the road advertises a “commercial building with 2 apartments and shop.”
Ron Stein said the property has already drawn interest from a few people — some of whom want to keep it as a farm and some of whom want to see something else there.
“If we had somebody in there doing the produce, we would almost for sure have to be involved,” he said. “It takes a very, very special person to do the produce. You’ve about got to be born in it.”
Ron Stein’s grandparents, Roy and Daisy Cox, started Cox Farm in 1926 and ran it until their children took over. Ron and Vickie Stein took over when their parents retired from running the store.
Over the years, it became a favorite destination for people seeking fresh produce in south Wichita and, in the fall, it became known for its annual corn maze and pumpkin patch.
Ron Stein said he and his wife are in good health and are looking forward to retirement.