Melissa and her family have proudly been producing grass-fed beef in Shelbyville, Kentucky since 2011. They produce high-quality products by focusing on sustainably managing their grass, forage, and cattle.
In April 2019, Melissa opened her Local Line account to offer an online ordering option for their customers. She liked that the platform was fully built out and that no extra time or development was needed. All she had to do was fill in their information, upload customers and products, and embed their new store into their website!
“Local Line does all the little things that I just like physically, mentally, emotionally do not have the time to do. When you have all of these orders coming in at one time, the platform automatically ticks down inventory and stops it when those rib eyes are sold or stops when that ground beef is sold. That is one less thing that I have to worry about.”
At the time, Melissa used Local Line as a secondary sales channel and focused predominantly on selling at the farmers’ markets and on-farm. When COVID-19 came crashing through, online sales started to skyrocket.
From March to July 2020, their sales increased more than $20,000!
Now, a year post-COVID-19, we caught up with Melissa to see how her journey with Local Line and selling online has evolved.
Reflecting back on the past year, Melissa is happy that she was able to quickly pivot her business online when COVID hit their state.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting back to a year ago what was happening. It was just insane. All of these orders for beef started rolling in because the grocery stores were bare. It was really cool because in a way all of these people that had never had local beef before were suddenly getting the opportunity to experience local beef, but it was incredibly overwhelming”.
Luckily, they were already set up with Local Line to start taking on incoming orders!
The biggest change in their business process a year later is that their Local Line store is now the first place Melissa sends customers.
“Immediately when someone asks me how do I order your beef? I’ll say go to our website, click on this button and order. That’s where I send people first. Whereas in the past, I would accept orders from every channel: phone, text message, email, etc.”
Moving forward, she’s looking to encourage customers for farm pick up and decrease their time spent at the farmers’ market. Having an online store allows them to do so.
To learn more about Melissa’s journey moving their beef business online and hear some great tips for connecting with customers and setting up your storefront, check out the full interview here.
Nina Galle is the Content Creator at Local Line. She writes everything from blog posts, templates, free tools, and other helpful resources for farmers, food hubs and markets.