Want to connect shoppers to local food producers in your area? Here's a possible model--or partner--gaining traction in northern California.
The recently launched online marketplace Good Eggs connects people to food producers in their communities. The pilot launch covers three neighborhoods in San Francisco plus Berkeley and Oakland across the bay.
What’s offered? Good Eggs is equal parts marketplace, events calendar, and blog for people who love food. Visitors can find and shop local food producers and collect their purchases at an increasing network of pickup spots being created by Good Eggs; some vendors are even offering delivery to your home or office.
According to co-founder Alon Salant, "When you're shopping in the marketplace, as much as you're shopping for food you're also shopping for the food maker. You can find the people who are making the kind of food you want, with the practices and values you want of the people feeding your family." It’s also a great way to get locally produced food outside of a farmers' market – not everyone has time nor the convenience of having a farmers' market close to home.
The Lempert Report sees an opportunity here for independent supermarkets to become part of this movement -- because, after all, many people who buy local foods do it to support local growers. By extension, they would think of a locally owned independent supermarket as an appropriate organizer and intermediary; the money they pay for local foods won't go to a distant headquarters city.
Independent supermarkets likely already carry assortments of local produce, baked goods, specialty allergy-free items, eggs, and other local hand-made goods. By offering the convenience of a Good Eggs type of platform, supermarkets could offer a distinctive way for motivated customers to acquire local foods. The stores should highlight the effort in flyers, on the website, and in store signage. An online storefront could process orders, schedule home delivery or pickup, and convey background and information on each producer.