Selling locally made products via the Internet is kind of a new concept for many farmers and food producers. There are a few websites out there now, but most of us small farmers and food artisans still sell at farmers markets, through our CSA’s or at festivals and craft fairs. And though these are still some of the best ways to get your products into your local community, Pick-A-Pepper is adding another dimension of exposure for local farmers and food crafters.
You don’t know how many times I have heard chefs say they wish they had a central place to search for local food. Many really want to have more local ingredients on their menus, but (and if you are a chef you know) don’t have enough time to source them out. Likewise, many farmers wish they could market their items wholesale (saving them time and effort) but don’t have time to keep up with the schedules of busy chefs and the like. Pick-A-Pepper is a central location where chefs, wholesale food buyers and local producers can come together.
I envision this model as a grassroots way to fundamentally change our food systems and local food economies. It’s easy, flexible, and straightforward.
Here are a few tips for vendors on Pick-A-Pepper.com:
- Think wholesale. If you are going to deliver, then why not sell ALL of you product to one place. Instead of the farmers market model of one tomato, two tomatos, put the whole case of tomatoes for sale. This makes it easier for chefs to compare prices with other wholesale outlets.
- Add several dates and delivery times to your items. Maybe you can deliver Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons to one area, and Monday afternoons and Wednesday mornings to another. Build some flexibility into your delivery schedule for your customers too.
- If you are setting a pick-up location, consider making it a central location. Not many people are going to want to drive to your house out in the boonies to buy six apples. But they might meet you at the coffee shop downtown.
- Make connections with people and forge working relationships outside of Pick-A-Pepper. Please use this website to build connections with people in your community, share your passion for what you do and spread the word. In order for us to really change the way we get our food, we have to connect with people and understand where it comes from, how it is grown, and the sweat and love that goes into producing it.
The possibilities are ENORMOUS!!! Think BIG!
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