One item that I routinely get requests for is fresh produce in our store. I’ve always politely explained that produce just isn’t our business and we are not set up for it.
We have brought produce here on occasion, for special events and we have had pretty good sales. But we don’t have enough foot traffic here day to day to sustain a good selection of fresh produce, such as what a grocery store or a farmers market maintains.
However, I had a thought in 2017 of something that we could do instead that I think would work. What about being a drop point for a produce farms CSA program? That would allow us to bring in fresh produce for people weekly. It would also help the selling farmer because rather than having to man a booth or drive to multiple addresses, they can just drop off our customers CSA boxes that morning, and we’ll handle the distribution during our store hours. We won’t make anything on it, but it is a value add to the customers. Where we’ll make our money (we need to be sustainable too) is in securing our customers coming to our store weekly. That should mean less trips to Food Lion and more purchases from what we do sell. So it’s a win-win-win.
I’ve reached out to a few people, but one has already gotten back to me with information on her CSA program for 2018. Chickadee Farms in Clayton. Chickadee is exactly what and who we are trying to help when we take on new partnerships. They are small, family run, and concerned about sustainability both for the environment and for their operation. They are obviously local and believe in the local movement. And important to a CSA, they are experienced enough to reliably produce quality produce weekly, but not so big they don’t need our help.
Jennifer has already announced our farm as a drop point for their 2018 CSA program to her existing customers. She has also sent me over a flyer for me to send out to our customers. She only has so many slots available for CSA customers, so the signups are on a first come, first serve basis. Take a look at her website, her reviews, and then her information at the below link about the CSA.
Your agreement is directly with Jennifer at Chickadee so there is nothing for you to do through me other than say hello when you are picking up your fresh spring veggies!
I hope you find this opportunity valuable. We are trying to respond to customer requests in a way that works for everyone involved.