Our History: The Story of Cox Farms and Our Family
Cox Farms is family owned and operated. We strive to provide a unique farm experience for our visitors, celebrating the seasons with our local community and the greater Washington, DC region. We provide top-quality seasonal offerings, amazing customer service, and a wide range of fun family events and experiences on our farm. Our shared values of quality, respect, innovation, and community shape everything we do at Cox Farms. We hope you join us to celebrate your local tradition. . . for generations.
The Cox Farms Story
Cox Farms was started by brothers Eric and Steven Cox in 1972 on 40 acres near Herndon, Virginia.
The brothers wanted to grow and sell their own homegrown produce through roadside markets in the burgeoning Northern Virginia suburbs.
Within a few years, Eric’s wife Gina Richard had become a partner in the business, Steven had left to start Mom’s Apple Pie Company and Cox Farms was operating successful retail markets at the farm in Herndon and on Chain Bridge Road in Vienna. Cox Farms specialized in bedding plants from their own greenhouses in spring, locally grown produce in summer, pumpkins and apples in fall, and Christmas trees in December.
In 1979, the business had grown enough that Eric and Gina were able to purchase 116 acres on Braddock Road, west of Centreville, in the far western corner of Fairfax County. They scraped together every penny they could to purchase the land. “Nobody will ever travel that far out,” they were told by bankers and business advisors. “You’ll never get any customers way out there.
But the suburbs sprawled westwards, growing up to surround the Cox Farms land: South Riding, Virginia Run and many more. Today Cox Farms' 116 acre farm offers a treasured, green haven of undeveloped land in the Centreville / Chantilly community.
That first fall in 1979, someone asked Eric if he would arrange a hayride for their group to pick pumpkins. In the 1980s, the Fall Festival was born on a single weekend. Fast forward to today, and the Cox Farms Fall Festival has become the largest and most popular fall festival in the DC area and Cox Farms’ most famous seasonal event.
The next generation of the Cox‐Richard clan (Lily, Aaron and Lucas) grew up on the farm, and today Aaron and Lucas are official Co‐Farmers in Chief at Cox Farms. Their parents, Eric and Gina, are semi‐retired (but still able to make their opinions known, in that special way parents have). At the end of 2010, Cox Farms decided to close the Vienna location they had rented for 38 years, in order to concentrate future growth on the farm they own in Centreville.
Lucas and Aaron worked closely with Eric and Gina throughout their earlier farmhand years, and that closeness remains. Today, as "Co-Farmers-In-Chief," Lucas oversees daily operations throughout the year, ensuring everything with greenhouse production and festival grounds infrastructure is in top shape. Aaron oversees Cox Farms’ staff and wide range of events and programs, including the family’s growing Community Support initiative.
Eric and Lucas in the tractor house
Gina and Aaron at the Corner Market
The Fall Festival
continues to grow each year, as does the Corner Market,
which opens seasonally at the corner of Braddock and Pleasant Valley Rd. Fields of Fear
, Cox Farms' nighttime haunt event, debuted in 2008 and has been growing rapidly ever since. Cox Farms continues to develop new seasonal events and to keep the Cox Farms family business at the heart of the community we’ve served for more than 40 years.