Located near Dryden, Ontario, Sarah and Phil started Black Barn Farms in 2017. They specialize in forest-raised pork and grass-fed beef – as well as produce their own fodder for their animals. They use Local Line to manage their retail cut sales to their customer base and sell to a local food hub. They also offer bulk buying for hogs and beef.
“We first heard about Local Line through Corinna at My Digital Farmer…you’re like no, no – that’s not for us. We’re doing fine. I can just put in the work.
One day, I was doing the bills and feeling super overwhelmed. I’m like: we’re not making enough; we need to cut back… [but], there are certain things you have to pay for when you’re farming. [Phil] is like: Why don’t you just sign up for that online store? We have to make sales. That’s how you make money. We’re not cutting back. Let’s do something more to get the word out that we have products.” shares Sarah.
Within the first month of using Local Line, Sarah reports the platform paid for itself!
To learn more about their business, we sat down with Sarah to understand how they use Local Line to sell their meat:
Now after almost a year of using Local Line, Sarah is happy she made the decision to sign up. With Local Line's user-friendly interface, the ability to update final weights before finalizing the order, and attentive customer service – Local Line has become an integral part of her business.
When asking Sarah what she loves most about Local Line, she says:
Convenience for Customers: The shift to online sales resonated well with her customers. Farmers’ markets just aren’t a big thing in her community, so selling online just made sense. Local Line's easy-to-use platform allowed customers to select products, adjust quantities, and proceed with payments seamlessly.
Inventory Tracking Made Easy: The reality is tracking inventory is a ton of work! Using Local Line, Sarah can upload what she has in her freezer into Local Line and watch her inventory subtract automatically as orders come in. Say goodbye to manual record-keeping.
Linking Up with Their Local Hub: Their local food hub also uses Local Line for their online ordering. Sarah can share the relevant price list with the hub and watch her orders come in. No managing multiple apps and inventories.
It Pays for Itself: After hesitating about adding another cost to their operation, Sarah bit the bullet and got a Local Line subscription. Sarah shares:
“You don't want to put out more money when you're already feeling strapped…why would I put out this extra money for a subscription to an online platform? Will people use it? But it's been fantastic. It paid for itself within the first month.”
Black Barn Farms' journey with Local Line not only modernized their sales operations but also enriched their customer relationships. Sarah's advice to fellow farmers contemplating a shift to online platforms is encouraging: Embrace the change, even if technology seems daunting. Local Line's support team was always available to assist, ensuring a smooth transition. The investment pays off through improved sales, enhanced customer experiences, and efficient operations.
A huge thanks to Sarah for sitting down with us and telling us about Black Barn Farms and their journey with online sales.