I am Caren Sinclair-Kay, mother of 3, digital and e-commerce entrepreneur, and a foodie that is passionate about eating the most nutritious and delicious food available with the least harm to the environment.
I started Fresh From the Farm 365 as I have always loved buying the freshest, most interesting, all-natural and delicious foods from farmer's markets and meeting the farmers and food purveyors who have grown and made them. Moreover, I have been increasingly frustrated by the lack of convenience associated with getting this "local goodness".
Compounding the issue has been my dismay over what I find in most foods at the supermarket. I urge you to walk through supermarket aisles looking at food labels -- what you will find will disturb you. High fructose corn syrup, preservatives that you have never heard of, hormones, GMO's, loads of sugar, salt and fat and meat, poultry and dairy that come from animals in cages that have not been treated humanely.
Just as troubling is the distance that food travels to get to supermarkets and the time it takes to get there. On average, food travels 1500 miles and takes 2-4 weeks within our existing food distribution model. Compare this to food from a farmer's market which only travels approximately 100 miles and was picked the day before. What that means for consumers is that you are eating fruits and vegetables with the most nutrients because they have ripened in the ground or on trees or vines. In the supermarket, you're getting produce that is picked before the ripening process thus missing out on the infusion of phytonutrients. Wouldn't you rather eat an apple that is nutrient dense than one that is nutrient void?
Fresh From the Farm 365 was born out of these frustrations. I learned I wasn't alone in my dissatisfaction after hearing about similar concerns from others. So, I along with some former colleagues from my last local e-commerce company (DoodleDeals which was sold to Plum District) and other locavore foodies launched an online farmer's market that sourced all-natural food from farmers and food artisans who care as much about the quality of the food they sell as we do. Food that is not only good for you but tastes good. Food that comes from animals that are treated humanely. Food that doesn't create a big environmental foot print. And, best of all, food that is convenient to get (you can't beat home delivery right?) and fairly priced. That, in a nut shell is our mission!
The reason for the campaign is that we have received rave reviews from our pilot program servicing Northern NJ so it is time to expand our geography. We need to raise funds to be able to service more people, more quickly and share our local goodness! If we achieve our goal, we will be able to expand our service to the entire Tri-State area (NY, NJ and CT). If we exceed our goal, we can evaluate additional regions (eg. New England, Northern CA, etc.) From there, we will be able to roll out more regions more rapidly. It's your contribution today that will allow us to bring the healthiest food available to more Americans.
What We Need & What You Get
We are seeking $20,000 to fund our new delivery process. We will be transitioning from using our own Personal Pickers to deliver orders to leveraging perishable delivery specialists. Specifically the funds will be used for:
- new packaging and insulation to allow us to utilize FedEx Home Delivery and ensure your packages arrive exactly as you would expect. That means free of dents and bruises and ensuring proper temperature,
- changes to our website to allow for shipping through FedEx Home Delivery as an option,
- marketing to let customers know we are available in their regions.
If we don't reach our entire goal, we will spend the funds on new packaging and website changes and will have limited funds for marketing. We will invest in marketing as we scale our orders.
Our perks are all about allowing you to get a taste of the delicious and healthy food that we sell on Fresh From the Farm 365. Of course, the more you pledge, the more of the food that you will get. And, at higher pledge levels, we will also make donations to City Harvest and Table to Table, two organizations that bring fresh, healthy food to under served communities.
In the US, the food environment—the physical and social surroundings that influence what we eat—makes it far too hard to choose healthy foods, and all too easy to choose unhealthy foods. Some even call this food environment “toxic” because of the way it corrodes healthy lifestyles and promotes obesity. This country is experiencing a public health crisis with 1 in 3 adults considered obese along with 1 in 5 kids. Obesity is a major contributor to diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This toxic food environment, which is void of fresh food is not providing Americans with the nutrients required to prevent many types of cancer and heart disease.
Expanding the geographic area that Fresh From the Farm 365 services will change the food environment from one that is "toxic" to one that is rich with wonderful, healthy food options. As we scale, we will also be able to lower our prices to serve more under privileged communities that live in true "food deserts" where access to fresh food is very limited. Your contribution today will get us much closer to that goal.
Although I have never had an ecommerce business that delivers local food to customers, I know what it takes to identify the best local businesses to partner with and expand a local business into new markets. My last company started with providing daily deals to moms and families in one market (NYC) and ultimately expanded to 5 major metropolitan areas including the Bay Area, Southern CA, Chicago and the DC area. We plan to use the best practices from that business to scale this one.
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand that while you may be passionate about bringing local, fresh, all-natural and delicious food to more people to make Americans healthier, you may not be in a position to contribute to our campaign. You can still help however -- below are some ideas:
- "Like" our campaign by using the "like" button above.
- "Share" our campaign on your Facebook wall and Twitter, asking people to support us and "Like" our campaign. Let people know it's great to "like" your Facebook post, but it helps us much more if they "like" the actual campaign on this site.
- Email our campaign to your friends, family, colleagues, and networks.
- Make a “Comment” and tell us what you think of our business!
- Purchase one of our gift bags on our website for a friend or family member for the holidays! We will ship anywhere in the US!
- If you live in the tri-state area, place an advanced order for delivery on January 6, 2014 (the launch date in the full Tri-State area). Just use zip code 07450 to allow for shopping in advance of launch.
I am confident that together, we can make a difference in the health of American's no matter what race, religion or socio-economic class a person is in.
Thank you so much for your time and support!
Caren and the Fresh From the Farm 365 Team