Peaceful Pantry – Alberta, Canada – Consumer Buying Club Video

Annette, who runs the Peaceful Pantry buying club, has been with us from almost the beginning.  She is the single person running the club and continues her success using BuyingClubSoftware.com.  We invite you to check out their story and wonderful video about their buying club story.

What makes The Peaceful Pantry a success? [Read more…]

Nature’s Touch Farm – LaGrange, NC – Farmers & BuyingClubSoftware.com

The Sutton FamilyNature’s Touch Farm
La Grange, North Carolina

Chelsea and Daniel Sutton are your typically awesome small family farm offering organically raised meats.  Serving the Eastern North Carolina area, they offer meats grown on their own farm pasture. To round out their product offering, they offer dozens of other products from other local farmers.

Why do we love these guys?  They aren’t just our clients, but from our view they are doing great work.  They have a video series about using fresh and healthy ingredients on a budget, they write in their blog about GMOs. Simply put, they get it.  If these words are foreign to you, I might suggest checking out their website and diving in to learn!   [Read more…]

v0.6.1 Release

We are happy to announce this upgrade after a long hiatus on official updates.  More and more, we move closer to a final v1.0 version providing the software we have imagined from the beginning.  Along the way we’ve had tons of suggestions and feedback, and we thank everyone who participated in those types of discussions.  We have all pitched in to this effort, and behind the scenes we are extremely grateful for those in the buying club communities.

Lots to cover so here we go…

[Read more…]

Michael Rozyne Speaks on Local Food Distribution

The subject of the most recent TEDx Manhatten was “Changing the Way We Eat.” As part of the event, Michael Rozyne speaks about one of the biggest challenges to local food movement: distribution.

As the co-director at Red Tomato, he is very familiar with the issues surrounding logistics and moving from global distribution to a smaller, more local version.

Early on, he points out that the current food system never really had sustainability, health or fairness in mind. In fact, it was entirely optimized for three things:

  1. durable products
  2. year round supply
  3. low cost

Watch the video to see how Rozyne suggests we work within these goals of the current system to develop a more local food based system.

Trends: Food Co-op Storefronts Add Buying Clubs to Business

In 2013, some of our buying clubs began final preparations for becoming full retail stores in the next couple of years. With this, they are achieving their long term goals for a community market with a social and environmental consciousness that keeps money flowing to local farmers. [Read more…]

Buying Club Success!

Buying clubs are sometimes just buying clubs.  Groups of friends or neighbors who order food in bulk to save some money.  But some, and more and more, are growing and using the buying club to eventually open a community store.  I’m happy to present two of our clients that have made it to that point.

BuyingClubSoftware.com was created from our own experience with the Portland Food Co-op.  In the early days we used spreadsheets and both Matt and I were doing splits with just a few other folks.  That was about 7 years ago.  And as of this past year they found a great retail space, with parking (which is huge in this town!), and began their final push to raise funds to open the store in the fall of 2014.  We’ve literally seen our membership grow from about 500 to 900 in the last few months, so they’ve done an amazing job growing the community support needed to open the store and truly be owned by the community.  We are proud to have been a part of that success.

Another club is the Kennebeck Local Food Initiative (KFLI) in Gardiner, ME, and they will change the name to The Gardiner Food Co-op.  The plan to open a grocery and cafe in an area that doesn’t have anything like it.  Here’s their words from the latest email we received…

For two years, the Kennebec Local Food Initiative (KLFI) has been providing you with access to hundreds of products grown and produced right here in Maine through the Online Marketplace (OM).  Your twice-monthly purchases have helped support the livelihoods of nearly twenty local farmers and producers and close to two hundred more across the state. The OM has topped $80,000 in sales which means you have helped keep $240,000 circulating in the Maine economy.   

As many of you know, a permanent storefront has been the stated goal of KLFI since day one.  In addition to growing the local edible economy, we’ve also wanted to make a social impact in the greater Gardiner area.  Less than a year ago, the current board of KLFI voted to adopt the cooperative model for the future storefront and committed to take the necessary steps in order to open the doors.

Congratulations to these Maine buying clubs!  For persevering through hard times of beginning a buying club.  For the work to bring fresh local food to more people.  For creating economic success.  And for letting us help to make it happen.

Know of a buying club that has become a store?  Share your story!

Portland Food Forum 2013

Here is some info about a food council and forum event that involves BuyingClubSoftware.com’s Jeremy Bloom as an organizer and co-chairman of the Urban Agriculture Subcommittee of the Mayor’s Initiative for Healthy & Sustainable Food Systems.

For more info:

http://www.internet-farmer.com/2013/10/food-activism/portland-mayors-initiative-holds-followup-forum-at-merrill-auditorium-in-portland-wednesday-october-23rd/

Community food-buying club to start in Ballard

The software they speak of is your’s truly.  We are super psyched to work with this motivated person to create a COSTCO alternative!

SEATTLE — Want to get great deals on bulk food but don’t feel like signing up for a Costco membership?

A Seattle-area woman has a deal for you. She is starting a community food-buying club in Ballard.  It’s called the Real Food Buying Club, according to the blog ‘My Ballard’.  It’s run by Kelly Schneyer, who’s run food-buying clubs in Portland for several years.

Boondocks Buying Club in Bethel, Maine Gathers with Local Farmers for a DIY Market

In terms of my day to day work I don’t always get to see the people I work with.  It’s usually by phone or Skype.  Today was a special treat to spend it with the Boondocks Buying Club in Bethel, ME.

One face in the room was a familiar partner, but the rest were those taking on the seriousness of growing a buying club meant to reduce prices, create relationships with farmers, and make food more accessible to folks who don’t make it to the local farmer’s market.  Folks like senior citizens and those for whom the timing of the market doesn’t work out consistently. [Read more…]

Article – Northwest Herald – Buying Club Offers Holiday Meal Packages

What a great idea, and a nice show of creativity within a buying club. They’re saving money, being involved in the community and giving.  What more can we ask for?

Read full article…