Hermann and Louise Bruns, founders and owners at Wild Flight Farm in Mara, British Columbia, have been farming together for 27 years. They produce organic vegetables, culinary herbs, and have been certified organic by the North Okanagan Organic Association since 1993. Their mission is to provide high-quality organic produce for the local community while maintaining a business that supports their family and employees.
Typically, Hermann sells wholesale to two organic home delivery companies and a few restaurants and also actively participates in and helps run a couple of local farmers’ markets.
Fast forward to the start of 2020, and the Wild Flight Farm team started using Local Line for pre-ordering at some of the farmers’ markets they attend. The team didn’t know it then, but it was a very well-timed decision.
“We were happy we started when we did. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, our online store allowed us to adapt to the new health and safety regulations easily," explains Hermann.
We caught up with Hermann one year post-COVID (pre-vaccines, anyway!) to hear about his experience running his organic market garden online:
To get the ball rolling with their online store, Wild Flight Farm sent out an email to their 2,400 customer email list with the link to their online store and instructions on ordering. Within three days of sending the email, they already had over 150 orders for the first market pick-up!
“We wouldn’t be able to do this at all if we didn’t have an online platform to handle all the orders. We have about 250-300 orders a week and that’s a lot to deal with if you had to do it with email or some other method.”
Local Line was a must-have for Hermann and his team in terms of organizing orders and managing their inventory. The benefit of having their inventory in real-time access to their customers ensured they only sold what they had in stock.
“An online platform was pretty much a given when COVID hit. But even before that, one of the things that I liked is that we could put in what we had available in terms of our inventory. This allowed us just sell what we had and not sell what we didn’t have.”
Moving forward, Hermann is excited to continue managing his online store, wholesale orders, and local farmers’ markets. The versatility of their sales channels allows them to reach various customer types and significantly increase their sales.
Does Hermann’s story sound similar to your farm’s? Sign up for a 7-day free trial and try Local Line for free today!
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