Monday, September 14, 2009

Box vs. Market

There is no denying that something magical happens at farmer's markets. Friendly folks set up beautiful booths showcasing items that they produce and people of all stripes show up to look, chat, sample, and of course, purchase things. I have loved almost every moment of being at the market- arranging our veggies in little baskets, smiling at babies, explaining to little girls why they can't just plant one of our big sunflowers in their yard and expect it to grow taller...

However, doing the market well takes a lot of time. To prepare for the Abby market, at least two of us have to spend a full day harvesting and then a full day setting up and staffing the booth. In addition, keeping the booth looking good throughout the market means bringing more veggies with us than we will sell.

Filling veggie boxes is not quite as magical as being at the market, but it sure is efficient. We get to give our box customers whatever is convenient for us to give (while honoring some special requests) and we make a guaranteed amount of money for each sale. Most importantly, we get to fulfill the weekly veggie needs of each box customer, providing a real alternative to other sources of food. There is something really satisfying about that.

Ultimately, I think it makes sense to continue utilizing both marketing methods. Having a presence at the farmer's market is a great way to market our veggie boxes, not to mention that the booth itself makes a great veggie box pick-up/drop-off location. Certainly, different methods suit different types of customers. Luckily, our veggies taste delicious regardless of whether they come out of a bag or a pretty little basket!

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