At Food Connects we pride ourselves in our ability to provide locally produced food to our communities, connecting our farmers and customers. Our unique position in our community’s food systems didn’t happen overnight—it took care and nurturing. We are now at a point in our operations where we need to sow extra seeds to ensure our continued growth.
Since the start of 2019, we have added 12 producers network, allowing us to diversify our products and support economic growth in our region. These producers include Queen’s Greens, Kitchen Garden Farm, Frisky Cow Gelato, MacLennan Farm, Abenaki Springs Farm, and others. Coupled with the work of our other producers, our second quarter sales increased by 45% as compared to 2018.
Additionally, we’ve welcomed two new staff members to our Food Hub team. Julicia, our Sales Manager, joins us with a strong background in agricultural development and brings fresh energy and perspective imperative to growing our customer base and supporting producers in new ways. Scott is our Food Hub Operations Coordinator. He fills a much-needed role, assisting with warehouse development, order picking, and deliveries around southern Vermont and New Hampshire. We’re also expanding our delivery fleet, purchasing a second refrigerated van, allowing us to be more nimble in our deliveries to our rural customers.
In the coming months, we’re excited to launch our new online ordering platform, Local Food Marketplace. This switch is necessary for increasing our operational efficiencies and customer responsiveness while providing a user-friendly interface for both customers, producers, and ourselves! Additionally, this platform is photo-based, allowing customers to see what the product looks like prior to purchase.
Lastly, and most importantly, we’re building a 1,000 square-foot cooler and freezer facility adjacent to our offices at the BDCC (Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation) Business Park. This will level up our operational efficiencies, increase storage space, and allow us to bring on new producers and continue to expand our customer base.
It’s exciting to leverage these new opportunities into continued growth as we look to sustain this growth. This expanded iteration of our Food Hub will continue to support our vision of healthy families, thriving farms, and connected communities.