[Market-farming] anyone working with a food hub?

KAKerby at aol.com KAKerby at aol.com
Thu Sep 13 01:22:48 EDT 2012

I went ahead and signed up for this particular service, and so far I'm  
cautiously optimistic.  It sounds a lot like what you've described  below.  I 
create my own "fresh-sheet" for any given week, with whatever  products and 
quantities we have available.  I also set my own retail price,  my own 
wholesale price, and what minimum volume folks would have to buy to get  the 
wholesale price.  I liked that last feature quite a bit.  They  have two days of 
deliveries (Tues/Thurs) and I have to get product there by  10:30 the 
morning of a delivery if it needs to be delivered.  But I can  also direct 
customers to pick up there.  I already have some folks in that  area so that's 
handy.  I get paid when I drop off, and customers pay when  they pick up, with a 
fee charged for handling the transaction.  Another  nice thing is that they 
have three different levels of membership, where the  higher the 
membership, the more "bells and whistles" come with it but at higher  cost.  Things 
like auto-invoicing and monthly sales reporting and other  features which 
don't matter much to me right now at our micro-scale, but would  become more 
important as our sales added up.  I'm still fuzzy on some of  the details but 
I'm working through their FAQs and figuring it out as I  go.
I'll keep folks posted.  We're doing a better job of finding our own  
customers lately, but it's been a very slow buildup.  This may help us  reach 
more folks, with less effort per new customer.  I'll be curious to  see whether 
this new food hub listing out-performs our Local Harvest  listing.  I've 
gotten some window-shoppers through the latter, but only a  few actual 
customers.  We're also involved with two different informal  bulk-buy groups, which 
have also given us a few customers here and there.   I guess it all adds 
up.  The food hub claims to reduce the amount of effort  required for 
producers to gain new customers.  We'll see if they live up to  that particular 
advertising claim.
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA
In a message dated 9/12/2012 8:27:46 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
vaspencer at sisna.com writes:

We are  involved in something like that-- SixRiversMarket.com

This is a local  online system where local producers advertise what they 
have to sell, can  set quantities available that the computer system 
keeps track of while  people order.  Customers order anytime Friday 
through Monday the  specific items from the specific producer that they 
want.  The  producer gets it to the distribution center with the label 
for each  customer on each item (or one package for each 
customer--producer's  choice) on Wed. early afternoon and customers pick 
up late afternoon to  early evening.  The producer is paid when they 
deliver to the hub,  and the customers pay either online or when they 
pick up that  day.

It started as a non-profit co-op, but wasn't run well and was  given over 
to a businessperson this spring.  We are in the process of  rebuilding 
our customer base.  Each producer sets the price for his  own product, 
can add, subtract, change prices at any time, but if it is  during the 
order cycle, the manager has to update it from their end.   The market 
takes 6 percent from the price set by the producer, and adds  tax and I 
think percent from the consumer as well.

We drop off  product on our way to Farmer's Market and if we have ordered 
anything  ourselves, we pick it up after market.  The nice thing is we 
know  what is sold before we even pick it.  The downside is if we only 
have  one order we still have to get it there, but it is only a couple 
blocks  from Wed. market and during the winter we can either keep going 
or take a  break.

I don't know how Local Orbit works.

Vern's  Veggies and  More!

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