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2018 Annual Guide: Harwich

Leo Cakounes Harwich

Photo by Paige Biviano

“I ended up buying Cape Farm Supply,” he recalls. After running it for 15 years, he tried to develop a portion of the property as affordable housing, but neighbors sued to block it, so the couple looked for other land, found some bogs to lease and jumped into cranberry farming.

Tours were part of the business from the start. “That helped even out the hills and valleys of agriculture,” he explains, noting, “With farming, you’re really at the mercy of weather.”

In learning about cranberry farming, “I relied a lot on Link Thatcher, who was a neighbor,” he says, recalling that in those days Harwich was a tight-knit community.

Cakounes served six years as the town’s representative on the Cape Cod Commission, which eventually led to greater involvement at the county level. In 2017 he became chairman of the Barnstable County Commission, the three-member board that oversees the county. “The county takes up a lot of my time,” says Cakounes, who believes in doing his homework and always speaks his mind. “I put the time into what I’ve been asked to do.”

Aside from the time he spends at the county seat in Barnstable, Cakounes tends to be something of a homebody. He and Andrea have a daughter who attends Fitchburg College, and they spend as much time as possible with her. Cakounes frequents the Lighthouse Café, and “I get my hair cut at Adrian’s,” he says, “right next door.”

Asked his favorite place in Harwich, Cakounes looks out the picture window that overlooks a field, pond and his barn, and replies, “Right here.”

Deb Boucher Stetson is the editor of Cape Cod LIFE.

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