New Way to Buy Local Food Online for Addison County BusinesspeopleBy Sue Hoxie
Chamber of Commerce partners with Yourfarmstand.com to expand online farmers’ market making locally grown food available to businesspeople and residents
Middlebury, Vermont – April 4, 2013 – The Addison County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Yourfarmstand.com, a Charlotte, Vt.-based network of local online farmers’ markets, to offer area businesses and their employees the ability to order fresh produce, dairy and meat directly from more than 30 local farmers. The web-based market has been in use by Middlebury College employees since June 2012, and this partnership will expand the market to all Addison County businesses.
The market is open now and accepting orders. There will be an Open House/Producer Day in May (taste and see what local farmers are growing) at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts. The date will be announced shortly.
Yourfarmstand.com benefits both consumers and farmers. For consumers, they can order as much or as little as they want from the inventory farmers make available each week—without a season-long commitment that most CSAs require. Also, the unknown of what will be delivered in a weekly CSA share is eliminated; guaranteeing consumers get only the products they like and making menu planning easier.
Farmers sell their products directly to the consumer and price them just like a traditional farmers’ market. All kinds of locally-grown seasonal foods and products are available year-round—fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, bakery items, herbs and herb teas, syrup—and are delivered directly to a centralized location. Farmers deliver only the products for which they have orders resulting in less wasted food and energy.
“Addison County has many outlets for consumers to purchase locally-grown products—the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, in-person farmers’ markets, seasonal farm stands, and on-premises farm stores such as Monument Farms Dairy and Smith Family Beef,” said Andy Mayer, president, Addison County Chamber of Commerce. “We believe Yourfarmstand complements these other outlets by providing another opportunity for farmers to sell their products with low overhead and giving consumers another method to get great tasting food, support their local farmers, and in a way that may be more convenient for them.”
A local farmer, Erik Andrus, owner of Boundbrook Farm & Good Companion Bakery said, “Yourfarmstand offers us a way to increase our sales during times of the year when farmers’ markets aren't open. It helps us reach a public that doesn't attend the open air markets on a regular basis.”
Addison County consumers can pick up their purchases on Tuesdays* from a choice of pick up locations:
- Middlebury College Center for the Arts from 3:30 to 6 p.m.
- Addison County Chamber of Commerce, 93 Court Street, from 4 to 6 p.m.
*Pick up day will change from Tuesdays to Thursdays starting June 13th.
- Other benefits of Yourfarmstand.com include:
- Open 24 hours, 7 days a week for orders year-round—delivered weekly.
- Farmers price their produce in real-time, so if they have a bumper crop and have a good deal, customers find out about it first on Yourfarmstand.
- All orders and payments are handled securely online. Customer accounts can be paid into by credit card or PayPal. As orders are placed, customer accounts will be debited automatically.
- When customers place an order, they’ll receive an email confirmation and every Tuesday their bag will be delivered directly to a chosen pick up location.
How to Participate
Anyone can Sign Up to use the market at Yourfarmstand.com. Sign up is free, and the “What’s for sale” page is updated in real time whenever a farmer makes a new offer. On the Sign Up page, customers will need to:
1. Choose Middlebury for your “Market” from the drop down menu.
2. Select your preferred “Pick up Location”, either Middlebury College Mahoney Center for the Arts (MCFA) or Addison County Chamber of Commerce, 93 Court Street
3. When you’re ready to place a weekly order, you add funds to your account first with a credit card or by check. Then, as you select items and place your order, your account will adjust automatically.
Customers have the option of utilizing a PayPal account or credit card to use Yourfarmstand.com. Customers can change their “Market” and “Pick-up Location” by going to their “Account page”. Customers will receive regular reminders to place their weekly orders and then pick up their purchases.
Producers/farmers that would like to participate should visit the website: http://yourfarmstand.com/FAQ?type=producer
Yourfarmstand.com was started in Charlotte in 2010 and has grown to support local markets in Charlotte, Fairfield, Vergennes, Brandon, Morrisville, South Burlington and in institutions such as colleges and businesses.
About Addison County Chamber of Commerce
The Addison County Chamber of Commerce (ACCOC) is an association of individuals representing business interests, working together to promote commercial business and tourism in Addison County.