- 50 Local Farms & Producers
- 1 Online Order Form
- 1 Delivery Truck & Invoice
- Farmers set the prices
- You always know the farm your food is coming from
- More than produce: there's local dairy, meat, seafood, even granola
- No inventory: everything's fresh
Order online for delivery or pickup in Pawtucket
- Tuesday delivery: order on Thurs
- Thursday delivery: order on Mon
RI Deliveries: Providence, Newport, Tiverton, East Bay, West Bay, South County, Westerly
MA Deliveries: Boston metro
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In 2012, family farmers and producers sold $1.5 million of local food thanks to you. That's up 50% from 2011 when farms broke the $1MM mark. In 2010, Market Mobile helped 40 local farms sell $685,000 of food, solid growth from the 2009 pilot year sales of $225,000. It's a lot of local food, and an incredible boon to local agriculture and to the freshness of menus and produce aisles in our towns and cities. And it's an incredible step towards the kind of food distribution system we need to sustain the health of our farms, our environment and our communities.
Market Mobile also now leveraged our existing delivery routes to create a Farm to Food Pantry program. Thank you for making it happen!
What does $1.5 million of local food look like?
|Tuesday Delivery||Thursday Delivery|
|Tuesday to Wednesday||Friday to Sunday||Price Lists. Every week, Farm Fresh works with local producers to list food for sale online. Producers log onto the Market Mobile site and enter what foods they will be able to harvest this particular week, the quantity available, and the price per unit.|
|Thursday||Monday||Ordering day. Chefs, grocers, schools and other customers receive an e-mail reminder with information about "What's Fresh" on Market Mobile this week. They log onto the site to place orders for specific items from specific vendors (they specify they want Hill Orchards apples, not just apples). At midnight, orders, in total and also broken down by customer, are e-mailed to farmers for harvesting.|
|Monday||Wednesday||Harvesting & Receiving. Farms harvest and then drop off customers' orders at our warehouse. We've timed the drop-offs to coincide with popular farmers market days so that many farms can make a single trip to the city for both markets and Market Mobile. Items hot from the fields are sorted to cool in the appropriate temperature/moisture coolers.|
|Tuesday||Thursday||Delivery day! In the morning, a crew of Farm Fresh staff and volunteers pack orders and fills the trucks with the farms' food sorted by customer. Each truck can handle a route of 15-20 customers. Farm Fresh pays farmers. Farm Fresh invoices customers. There is no delivery fee for customers meeting our minimum. Buyers can choose to pick up instead of receiving a delivery. 18% of sales go to cover the costs of the Market Mobile delivery. Market Mobile works because the savings provided through these shared deliveries and invoicing is greater than what it would cost farmers to individually sell, deliver and invoice such a wide range of customers.|
Farmers: for more info see our producer application.
Timeline of the Market Mobile program
Inspired by the seasons, fresh flavors and face-to-face relationships with producers, many chefs prefer to purchase locally. However, many lament the fact that getting local food isn't always easy. Chefs cannot spend a lot of time away from the kitchen driving directly to the farms to pick up various orders. Farmers would love to sell to more restaurants, groceries and schools, but do not always have the time and labor available to make deliveries. That's why in 2009 Farm Fresh piloted a new program called Market Mobile, to facilitate buying relationships between RI producers and business buyers and institutions. Market Mobile has been hugely successful for farmers and for customers, and so the program continues to develop in 2010.
January to May 2009
Market Mobile is a pooled farm-to-business delivery system that is driven by the needs of farmers and buyers. Market Mobile delivered the wide variety of goods available from 22 local producers at the Wintertime Farmers’ Market to chefs, schools and groceries. It was possible thanks to collaboration with the RI Department of Health, RI DEM Division of Agriculture and Narragansett Creamery. Orders were placed on Wednesdays and then sorted and delivered from the Wintertime Farmers' Market on Saturdays. The first weekly order was January 10, 2009. Market Mobile began during the winter season to reduce logistical variables during the pilot. For the winter pilot, we capped the number of buyers (delivery sites) at 10-12, all in Providence.
We transitioned to order days on Mondays and delivery days on Thursdays so that Market Mobile works better for chefs' schedules. Orders were sorted and delivered from a warehouse in East Providence. Deliveries this month were limited to Providence to ensure quality service during this transition period. Orders minimums were upped to $100 for delivery ($60 for pickup), but otherwise there is no fee for delivery.
We began delivering to Newport and East Bay at the start of July and then began Narragansett and West Bay deliveries on July 16.
Our warehouse space is now in Pawtucket at Hope Artiste Village, site of the Wintertime Farmers Market. The space now has dedicated cold, freezer and dry storage for Market Mobile.
We began delivering to the Boston area, including customers along the Rt. 95 corridor.
We are installing walk-in refrigerators and freezers and a cold packing room to meet the four-fold increase in demand this summer. As startup grants that funded the first months of the Market Mobile program ended, the % of sales we retain to cover the costs of the program increased from 10 to 15% to closer match true operational costs.
We turn on our new coolers and move into the finished warehouse space! We begin building a conveyor belt packing line. Deliveries begin to the Westerly area.
Using the Market Mobile online ordering platform, a partnership begins with The Local Catch to offer customers the opportunity to more easily access local seafood. The identity of the fishing vessel, methods and fishermen will be preserved throughout the ordering process. Market Mobile will handle the ordering process. The Local Catch will handle invoicing, billing and delivery. To start, there will be one order per week: order on Monday for Thursday delivery to anywhere in Rhode Island with a $200 minimum order. The delivery area restriction (RI only) is due to health regulations and licensing for transporting seafood across state lines. We hope that the success of the pilot weeks will allow for multiple delivery days starting this summer.
Second day deliveries begin. Thursday orders are regularly over $20,000 per order, a comfortable fit for our coolers. To accomodate growing demand, customers' desires for multiple day deliveries and the needs of workplace/institutional customers, the addition of Monday deliveries make sense. Customers will order on Thursdays for Monday, and farmers will drop off at the warehouse over the weekend. Some farms will participate on only one of the two order days and that will also open the door to adding new producers to Market Mobile.
Market Mobile finishes its third year with $1.05 million of fresh, local food from over 40 producers to over 100 customers. We're aiming for $1.5 million next year, and that means we can bring more farms into the program.
Second day deliveries switch to Tuesdays to accomodate farmers' schedules and customers' hours, and to cut the time between harvest and delivery.
Market Mobile finishes its fourth year with $1.56 million of fresh, local food from over 50 producers to over 120 customers. A new record for weekly sales was hit in October when $48,000 of local produce was delivered in one week. The veggie and dairy coolers were overflowing!
Working with ColdMasters, Farm Fresh completes a cooler expansion, doubling our capacity for local veggies and dairy. Sales prior to June are already up 30% and we expect local farms to break $2 million in Market Mobile sales this year. The cooler doubling enables us to have room for all this growth. With summer just around the corner, it's here just in the nick of time! Many thanks to the Prospect Hill Foundation, CEI and Wholesome Wave.
Learn about our Expansion Plans for the Market Mobile and our local food system model.