For sure. What a year. In trying to sum it up, I came up with the following business truths. My business truths. Above all, I want us all to take back our system of food making and distribution.

  1. Commitment to local buying is really not what you think it is. And isn't done by those people you think it would be.

  2. Farmers markets are first entertainment, and that can be community centered.

  3. Farmers markets are not a significant or affordable grocery shopping opportunity.

  4. I've data I never could have got in any other way with online sales.

  5. Collation is everything. We shop for dozens of items, not one.

  6. Consistency is the other everything. Curiosity is another.

  7. Don't miscount the power of imagery.

  8. We over emphasize the power of packaging.

  9. Just cuz you can sell it, doesn't mean you should. Just cuz you can make it, doesn't mean you can sell it.

  10. Plagiarism is real, and valuable.

  11. My peers in local food are advocates for their institutionalized system of grocery as entertainment first. They are not always entrepreneurs and that could be our food-shed's demise.

  12. Technology is our friend, but not always friendly.

  13. Lots of people believe there aren't humans behind the technology. That hurts sometimes.

  14. I've never felt closer to my customers. Lots of sellers, the best sellers, say the same thing.

  15. It takes less management = less money, fewer resources, less waste and lots less energy to sell local foods this way. Less emotional energy, too.

  16. I foresee online sales with delivery to be the only, and best way to bring real affordability and sustainability to local foods.

  17. Food trucks are still more popular than any other thing I promote.

  18. Our biggest product sellers (in this order) are pastries, salad greens and eggs.

  19. Lots of people don't read, they click. Lots of people don't follow directions. Lots more do, and that is hopeful.

  20. More farmers need to sell berries, sweet corn - and all need to understand that this online thing is here to stay.

Commonly asked question. If I can't complete a sale - do I just reject it? No, please. Let's discuss in three.

1. Please don’t reject orders whenever humanely possible. F&E has to pay the credit card fee, and that adds up. Not to mention disappointing the customer.

2. Remember your customers are YOUR customers. Reach out to them. See if you can arrange an alternate day time for delivery. Should you need, you can leave product at my home in St Paul in advance of the Drop Day. Just give me a head’s up.

3. That being said, customers are ordering from F&E as they value placing a single order and receiving all their purchases in a single go. Receiving multiple orders over several days can prove to be frustrating. Whenever possible, please, please don’t expect them to field multiple calls over several days to organize delivery. Be efficient with your drops and recognize the importance of maintaining temperature and product quality during delivery.

With a new drop day added in NE Mpls, customers are showing confusion about how to receive products. We have steps to avoid missed sales. Sellers are required to complete these steps after they've registered for DROP DAYS.

RULE OF THUMB: Review your product listings from the viewpoint of a customer. Does your listing describe how and when the customer will receive the product? If customers are confused on this important detail, they won't purchase your products. We suggest including your email address in your listings for ease of communication with customers.

DROP DAY INFO: If you sell something during the order window (it may vary by location), you’ll need to bring that product to the Drop Site. For info on order windows, packaging and drop off, see this site > This page is available via your SELLER ACCOUNT.

FIRST: Once you've registered using the form on this site, go to your SELLER ACCOUNT and add your products to the Drop Day Collection. COLLECTIONS are listed on the far right side of each Edit Product page. See below. Select each date you've registered for. You must do this for every product listing.

SECOND: After you've noted your COLLECTIONS, you will need to identify your locations and turn on the configuration for Store Pick Up and/or Doorstep Delivery.

THIRD: identify the locations that your products will be available for pick up. Click on the CONFIGURATION pulldown. Select LOCATIONS. Then ADD LOCATION on the upper right hand side of the screen. Follow the below image EXACTLY when completing your locations. This may seem unusual, but given our unique model it's important to be clear with customers about their options.

FOURTH: Click on the CONFIGURATION pulldown. This is located on your SELLER ACCOUNT menu. Then click STORE PICK UP CONFIGURATION. Turn on WANT STORE PICK UP.

+ If you only have certain products available for pick up, then CONFIGURE FOR SPECIFIC PRODUCT.

+ If you offer both Delivery and Pick Up, select for STORE PICK UP & DELIVERY. Then at CUSTOMER OPTION FOR PRODUCT, select the option you'd like customers to first see at your product listing page. Most sellers use ALL PRODUCT.

+ If you want to manage product inventory by location, then turn on USE LOCATION FOR PRODUCT. For instance, this would allow the seller to have 20 items available at one market, and 30 available at another market. Please note, for those sellers with many products, this can be an onerous option.

FIFTH: DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Additionally, we require use of the DELIVERY DETAILS at the EDIT PRODUCT Page to clarify how customers will receive your products.

If you plan to deliver via Doorstep Delivery or Shipping, you can use this text box to clarify your days and times customers can expect to receive product.

If you are using DROP DAYS, in this box please type "Purchase before Thursday for Saturday or Sunday Pick Up | Select Site & Day Below."

FINALLY: Look at your listings, and again ask "Does this listing make it clear how and when my customers will receive my product?" If not, go back over steps one thru five.

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(612) 867 0854

Libby Wyrum, Owner