Reap what you sow - or order online

Online grocery store delivers fresh, local produce to you door

From electronics to clothing to airplane tickets, online shopping makes it possible for people to purchase goods without having to look past their computer screens. And now, Winnipeggers can add groceries to their lists of online purchasing options as well.

Selling fresh, organic and largely locally-sourced food, My Farmers’ Market (myfarmersmarket.com) is an enterprise that operates by taking online grocery orders and delivering them to your doorstep - for free - every day of the week. 

“Our mission is to help Winnipeggers make conscious and healthy diet decisions, support local and save Winnipeggers time in their day,” operations manager Colby Charles, a University of Winnipeg Business and Administration alumnus, says.

My Farmers’ Market, which is in its second year of business, operates year-round and offers customers products including fruits and vegetables, baked goods, meats, dairy, beverages, health products and pet food. 

Manitoba-made products are labelled on the website with product descriptions so customers can be mindful of who they are supporting as they shop.

“We are so busy with our lives, getting pulled in all kinds of directions, that eating and shopping healthy [is] just one more thing on our plate,” Charles says. “With My Farmers’ Market we are looking to take that extra stress away.” 

Charles also notes online grocery shopping is already a “booming industry” in parts of North America and Europe.

“We blow most of the other traditional stores that provide organic food out of the water when it comes to prices,” he says.

Winnipegger Kristi Degenhardt and her family have been supporting local agriculture for several years, buying much of their meat, poultry and produce from three different farmers around Winnipeg.

“I think the farmers’ market niche is growing, probably in the demographic of people who would [go] online,” the 36-year-old says, adding that St. Norbert Farmers’ Market offers an online delivery option as well. 

Degenhardt says that with the service being just a click away, there are reasons to think about it critically.

“It seems incongruous to have an online farmers’ market,” she says, suggesting markets are usually about “slowing down and taking the time to wander and pick your own food.” 

However, she acknowledges that people go to farmers’ markets for different reasons.

“This is an option that will appeal to some and not to all, and that’s totally fine,” she says.

Degenhardt says she does not see My Farmers’ Market taking away from traditional farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture. Rather, the online shopping option will cater to customers in the city, who may not have the opportunities to make it to the outskirts to pick up produce.

“Everyone that hears and tries our service absolutely loves it,” Charles says. “Most people who try it become repeat customers. It is relevant to Winnipeggers because it saves them time, provides access to good food all year round, and supports local farmers and families.”

For more information or to place an order, visit www.myfarmersmarket.com.

Published in Volume 69, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2014)

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