Located in Norfolk County, Ontario, the Simcoe Farmers’ Market has been serving its community since 1980. This vibrant market offers a wide range of products and preferences, such as pesticide-free, hydroponic, odd and unusual varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers, preserves from own produce, local butchers, artisan cheeses and home-baked pies. This farmers’ market acts as a hub for food and community in the vibrant city of Simcoe.
With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, many farmers’ markets across the U.S. and Canada had to close their doors. This left not only lost opportunities for customers but lost sales channels for vendors and food producers. To continue selling, Carmen, the Market Clerk, and the vendor team at Simcoe Farmers’ Market knew they had to move their market online.
Same, Same, but Different!
Simcoe Farmers’ Market is still able to sell their wide range of products to their customers, only a little bit differently; instead of coming into the market, customers now order from home! After launching their online store with Local Line on March 28, their market is thriving.
Customers place orders seamlessly through Local Line’s platform and continue to support their favourite vendors. On the other hand, vendors are able to upload their product lists and inventories to the platform and receive orders directly.
Carmen and the team have also made use of the pick-up functionality of Local Line. They’ve organized “no contact pick-ups” in three different time slots to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. All orders are filled and packed beforehand, then delivered right to customer car trunks!
Market Treasurer and local farmer Greg Boyd from Heritage Lane Produce was Carmen's partner-in-crime and driving force behind their online store launch. "He was passionate about getting local produce into the hands of our community during these unusual times!" says Carmen.
Here they are from the recent The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in February 2019 (where they also got to meet Jordan from Local Line!):
The Orders Keep Rolling in
In their first 24 hours, Simcoe Farmers' Market received a whopping 181 orders and over $12,800 in sales!
“Our vendors are over the moon! Now, to get all the [orders] filled on time,” Carmen exclaims after their first day.
Simcoe Farmers' Market can open and close their store whenever needed and have their Local Line store track and accept orders for them. No extra time is spent searching through spreadsheets, emails, or messages and accepting payments.
Their online store has allowed them to not only survive but thrive during this troubling time. If you live in the Simcoe region, be sure to check out their store here.
We are very excited to have helped this community continue to get access to healthy food during this crisis and look forward to seeing what this market has in store for the future!
Take your market online today with a free Local Line trial!
Local Line is the best way for your food business to keep operating and selling during COVID-19. Use Local Line to set up an online store and offer home delivery to your customers.
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.