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…]

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!

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…]

Portland Food Co-op Continues to Grow

One of our customers, the Portland Food Co-op, recently had an open house at their new location. It was a space that was donated, rent free for five years and the group did an amazing job renovating it. With the software and more physical space to run a large food pickup with stations for picking up and checking out, food pickups in the new space are going excellent and helping the co-op grow.

The PFC was our first customer, the inspiration to build the software and they continue to push the software forward in both feature development and overall flexibility. Both Jeremy and I are member owners, so seeing the recognition the co-op is getting is absolutely awesome in many ways.

We would like to wish the P.F.C. continued success and we’re very happy to be a cog in the machine, helping move the group along.

For more information, check out the article in the Portland Press Herald.

Foodshed Alliance Gains Recognition Organizing Buying Clubs

Our client the Foodshed Alliance got some recognition from the New Jersey Herald for organizing buying clubs.  They continue their great work getting more fresh food to New Jersey residents.

Notice the article has no mention of the software.  Of course we would love a plug, but it feels good to be the engine behind the scenes that enables the farm-to-table ideas mentioned in the article where the reality is a few people running large orders at multiple locations.

http://www.njherald.com/story/news/05Farm-to-family

Our First Client Outside of Maine – Foodshed Alliance

On April 15th, 2011 we will be setting up 2 systems for the Foodshed Alliance located in Blairstown, New Jersey, with hopes to setup more in the future if they are successful in this pilot program.

It was great to connect with a non-profit interested in using this software to ease the process of starting multiple clubs from the start. As they create relationships with local farmers, setup delivery/pickup spots, and learn the process of buying clubs, we think BuyingClubSoftware.com will be an awesome way to make managing things easy so they can focus on the people and the food.

If you live in Northern NJ, definitely check them out and join their buying club today!

Thanks to the Foodshed Alliance for what you are doing, and for choosing BuyingClubSoftware.com.

A Second and Final Test – beta

It’s been many months since our first test.  The software hasn’t changed too much, but we have cleared up tons of bugs found in the shopping piece, and added a bunch of tools on the back-end for management and finances.

We know there is still a ways to go, but we are putting our foot down after two years and beginning our journey.  It is no longer an alpha version, meaning the very first version, and it is now in ‘beta’.  And let’s keep things straight here… Google is STILL in beta.

Unless things blow up considerably, we will move ahead and continue using the software for our local food ordering with the Portland Food Co-op indefinitely.

As of this blog post, we are turning on our first client officially, and professionally.  If all goes well, we will open the doors after a few successful order cycles.

Thanks to the Portland Food Co-op for all of their contribution to this software and the process of buying clubs.  If not for these people, at this time, BuyingClubSoftware.com may have never existed.

And away we go!