GENERAL INFORMATION

What is it?

  • A small local-only market that is in effect an everyday, year-round farmers’ market
  • Operated on a low profit, consignment model
  • Vendors own their products and set their own pricing
  • Store staff stock the shelves with clear signage, and check out customers
  • Vendors keep 70-75% of the product price for purchased items and the store keeps 25-30% to cover operating expenses
  • An in-store coffee shop/cafe subsidizes operations and serves as a community building space

It’s a proven model that works! Check out some examples:

Argus Farm Stop – Michigan

Local Roots – Ohio

The Wild Ramp – West Virginia

Why?

Farms are not capturing enough food dollars!

Food dollars captured by farmer.

Farms need more of the dollars they *are* capturing!

Farms need more of the dollars they are capturing!

The Mission

Our mission is to support small local farms by providing a vibrant and welcoming retail and aggregation space, owned by a cooperative of Indiana growers that connects the Bloomington community with transparently sourced, healthful food.

The Purpose

  • To promote economic viability for small farms in Monroe County and beyond
  • To support the development of new & beginning farmers
  • To encourage ecological food production and agricultural land preservation
  • To facilitate collaboration among farms in our region
  • To build community around the local food system
  • To foster direct, meaningful relationships between farmers and eaters
  • To increase awareness about the connections between food choices and the health of the planet 
  • To make high quality, locally grown food more accessible to the community

How will it work?

  • Owned by an agricultural cooperative, operating as a non-profit organization
  • Submit a “vendor application” to apply
  • Cooperative Board of Directors will be democratically elected on an annual basis
  • The Board will hire staff to manage the store day to day
  • Direct to consumer store front will be open every day
  • Online market platform will connect farmers & food artisans with institutional buyers
  • In-store coffee shop will subsidize operating costs
  • Food focused community events, post-COVID
  • Vendors will work with staff & board to determine product mix in the store & crop plan for future seasons
  • Sales on a consignment basis
    • Email or phone communication with staff to plan out deliveries
    • Vendors bring in products on their own schedule each week, during regular store hours
    • Vendors choose their own packaging and prices
    • Staff display product, put out clear signage with business name/location/practices
    • Products that sell, vendors keep 70-75% of sales price and the store keeps 25-30% for operating costs
    • Checks sent out every 2 weeks
  • Open to farmers and prepared food artisans but co-op membership options and consignment rates will be different
  • Still a lot to figure out, need input and collaboration from the farming community to finalize process and details and make this happen

Get involved!

Ways to get involved with the Bloomington farm stop project:

  1. Apply to be a vendor or sign-up to attend our next vendor information meeting on 3/1/21
  2. Tell your farm & food artisan friends about this new outlet, encourage them to apply to be vendors
  3. Offer to organize and lead a food focused workshop or class through the farm stop in 2021
  4. Help spread the word that the farm stop is hiring a manager, cashiers, and baristas
  5. Help spread the word that we are looking for a small business to sublet part of the farm stop building
  6. Share a contact for someone who can offer to donate a skill or service
  7. Plan to run for a position on the Cooperative Board of Directors in 2022, or nominate someone who you think would be a good candidate
  8. Make a donation to the farm stop, or encourage people you know to make donations (this option coming soon on our website)
  9. Tell your existing customers that your products will be available for purchase through this new outlet
  10. Complete the store name survey
  11. Share your questions or ideas at info@btownfarmstop.com

We’re Hiring!

We are currently accepting applications for a store manager.  The job posting is available here.  Please help spread the word about this opportunity.  Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2021 or until the position has been filled. Postings for additional positions will be available soon.