Located on the Amherst Shore in Chapman Settlement, Nova Scotia, Wysmykal Farm has completely revamped their veggie basket program with their new online store. When the pandemic hit Canada, they needed to rethink how they would run their business. In a matter of just one week in March 2020, Jessy and her team were operating fully online.
Switching Sales Channels
This organic mixed vegetable farm was selling predominantly at two markets and wholesale to small grocery stores and local restaurants. When markets and restaurants started closing in their area, they needed a new solution to continue to reach customers. They started selling to their customers through Facebook and offering no-contact delivery. The more orders they received through Facebook, the more time they spent confirming and communicating orders with staff and customers.
“It was quite a bit of work to compile all the orders and confirm order totals with customers through Facebook,” explains Jessy. This system wasn’t very sustainable.
In March 2020, Jessy and their team started looking at different options and found Local Line. They liked that it was geared towards farmers specifically, with no extra development work needed. It was a quick set-up and easy to use.
Since using Local Line, the platform has worked really well for Wysmykal Farm! Their online store now has 229 customers, and each week Wysmykal sees 120+ online orders, even with physical markets now operational.
“Local Line handles our orders for us,” shares Jessy. “Our customers can easily pick and choose from our inventory and order it for pick up or delivery. After the ordering period is over, the platform generates pick lists that we fill and deliver to our customers. Our Local Line store takes the manual work out of online ordering.”
Updating the Veggie Basket Program
Wysmykal Farm has a veggie basket program that is a substantial part of their business. Before the pandemic, at the market, veggie basket customers were able to pick and choose which veggies they wanted in their box for that week. They would receive a set amount of vegetables and the baskets would come in two sizes.
Since launching their Local Line store, their customers are able to order the baskets online and fully customize them, which gives them greater flexibility and in many cases, results in the customers ordering more than before.
“Overall, we see that veggie basket customers are ordering more than they would have at market. Customers also have the flexibility to order the amount and which vegetables they want, which results in less food waste. Also, they can get their veggies delivered straight to their homes!”
Moving Out of Lockdown
As the markets continue to reopen, Wysmykal Farm will continue to offer online ordering to their customer base. Customers will be able to get delivery or pick up during market times.
“Even though lockdowns are lifted, the pandemic is still there. Some of our customers are in a higher risk group and prefer a delivery option. It is nice as a business to be able to offer it to them,” says Jessy. “Looking beyond the pandemic, we see that people are becoming more comfortable with online ordering. We can reach customers we weren’t able to before. For us, online ordering has become another sales channel.”
As demand for local food is continuing to rise, Jessy and her team are excited to be able to match the demand with their new online sales channel.
“Online delivery and ordering have been a huge shift for our farm. The Local Line platform was the first step for us. If online ordering seems like a good fit for your community and farm, Local Line is a great platform to use.”