App Connects Local Farmers to Consumers & Delivers Directly to Their Door
So many of us want to source our food locally, but finding the time to shop at farmers markets or visit a local farm can be difficult. Community Supported Agriculture shares (known as CSAs) can provide a solution, but uncertainty around what will be delivered–and lack of control over how much and when you get it–can be a deterrent. Enter WhatsGood (www.sourcewhatsgood.com), launching in Boston this month.
The WhatsGood app is a virtual farmers market. It combines the convenience of online grocery shopping with the freshness of a local farmers market. The best part? Much like online grocery shopping, there’s delivery. Customers pick exactly what they want from each local food vendor and there’s no subscription.
“While many people want to eat local food, the reality is that only about 1 to 3 percent of people visit their local farmers market regularly,” says WhatsGood Co-Founder and CEO Matt Tortora. “Our goal is to remove the friction of buying local food, while also allowing farmers and artisans to keep a big portion of their sales. The platform allows them to easily reach new consumers that want to buy their product, but might have trouble getting it otherwise.”
Here’s how it works: Customers download the free WhatsGood app and begin to browse hundreds of local products that are available for delivery to their home or work address. Local farmers and artisans receive the orders up until 8pm on Wednesday, next orders are harvested and packed into insulated and reusable totes, before delivery drivers are deployed. Deliveries occur between 2 and 6pm every Thursday across Boston.
WhatsGood’s Boston farm partners include Under the Sun Farm (MA), Ward’s Berry Farm (MA), Trovato Schrage Farm (MA), Sprout Organic Farms (RI), Sandy Hill Farm (ME), Hackamack Buffalo Farm (ME) and Cascade Brook Farm (NH). Customers can shop these farms’ products like local produce, farm fresh meats, jams, olive oils and more, right in the WhatsGood app for farm-to-door delivery.
WhatsGood’s technology enabled farmers and artisans to compete with behemoths like Walmart and Amazon in the growing $26 billion online grocery market. Instead of having to buy from individual local vendors and deal with multiple deliveries, WhatsGood allows customers to place one order a variety of vendors and receive one aggregated delivery.
Empowering local farmers and vendors to sell online through WhatsGood’s delivery program has already proven to boost vendor sales while decreasing costs. Some vendors report two to three times higher sales compared to a typical farmers market day.
Sammie Vallone from the Farm in RI, a vendor participating in the Rhode Island Delivery service has seen their business doubled since coming unto the app. “We’re literally harvesting the orders, no extra,” she says with a smile, well aware of the efficiency of being part of the app. “Whereas if we’re going to a farmer’s market, we’re harvesting entire tables of things, and hoping to sell all of it.”
WhatsGood has been piloting its service in Boston for several months for an official delivery launch the week of May 27. Customers can download the WhatsGood app on the app store and visit www.sourcewhatsgood.com to learn more. Currently the service is delivering within 4 miles of Fenway, with plans for expansion.
WhatsGood also works with community partners and offices to offer local pickup options including Turtle Swamp Brewing, Fenway Community Center, Chew Innovation and the Parker HIll Branch of the Boston Public Library, with new pickups being added frequently.
WhatsGood was co-founded by Matt Tortora, then a chef who was searching for a better way to buy fresh, local ingredients for his dishes in a centralized way. In 2014, he and co-founder Will Araujo launched WhatsGood, an online marketplace to connect buyers to their local sources. Aside from delivery options in Boston and Providence, RI, WhatsGood provides farmers market apps for organizations in 40 states. For more information visit www.sourcewhatsgood.com.
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