GoLocal with GoLocker
To kick off our “Go Local” series, GoLocker is pleased to showcase our partnership with the North Fork CSA, a “community-supported agriculture” service that provides urban dwellers with the fruits (and vegetables) of the labors of our very own Long Island farmers. The North Fork CSA is a collective of North Fork farms anchored by Wells Homestead Acres and founded by Jess DeVera Wells, whose family has farmed their land for over 350 years.
On any given week, the farmers and help who staff the the North Fork CSA box up orders of local fruit, vegetables, poultry, bread, flowers, and other produce for delivery to hundreds of customers across neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Enlisting the help of GoLocker led directly to some much-needed efficiencies and conveniences in their delivery process:
- Reliance on scheduled deliveries to designated drop off locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan
- Customer pickups managed out of their car
- Meetups often hindered by traffic conditions, weather, changes to customers’ schedules
- Flexible pickup options for customers receiving their farmstand orders
- Ability to drop off orders frees up time for more deliveries
- Safe, secure, refrigerated lockers available to keep produce fresh until customers retrieve their orders*
- Exposure to new customers through the GoLocker network
*In select locations
The North Fork CSA started as a way for a twelfth-generation farmer to gather in-season fruits and vegetables from a community of farms on the North Fork of Long Island and expand her farmstand to city-dwelling New Yorkers. Partnering with GoLocker offers Jess and the North Fork CSA additional delivery solutions to increase its operational flexibility, and an introduction to GoLocker’s existing customer base. We spoke to Jess about the challenges of running a CSA, and how her delivery process has improved since she teamed up with GoLocker in NYC. To see more of Jess and her family farmers, watch her star in our first Powered by GoLocker video, here.
How did the North Fork CSA start?
The Wells family has farmed on Wells Homestead Acres for over 350 years and had built a longstanding relationship with a number of farmers in the area. Back in 2014, I decided to start gathering produce from some of the farms and bringing it into New York City for folks to taste the freshness of local produce. Our initial CSA boxes were from farms like Phillip Schmitt and Sons, Anderson and Briermere Farms. From that point on, the business grew to hundreds of customers, all year long.
Can you tell us a bit about what makes the North Fork CSA so special?
Our CSA is unique. Our farms have long-standing relationships with one another, and our produce has been enjoyed for centuries. There is no upfront buy-in to become a member of our CSA; rather, you only order a box on the weeks that you need produce. Also, our CSA offers an option to list items that you wish to NOT receive in your box. This can help you avoid an oversupply in your fridge, and allows us to cater to your wishes if you aren’t in the mood for something in particular that week.
How does your partnership with GoLocker streamline your delivery process?
Prior to teaming up with GoLocker, we had to arrange pickups and home deliveries throughout several locations in the city for over 600 customers. With GoLocker, we can offer our customers a delivery option that allows them to pick up their orders on their schedule, with no timing constraints. I think it’s important to help folks find easier ways to collect their produce, and we can now offer a convenient and easy way to pick up CSA boxes to a wider audience of customers. Plus, we are no longer trying to deliver everything ourselves.
How important is it to be able to offer refrigerated storage options to your customers?
Refrigerated lockers are a great way to increase the shelf life of the produce we bring from our farms, and we were thrilled that GoLocker can offer some of our customers that option. It definitely helps broaden the appeal of ordering perishable goods from a CSA.
How easy was it to start using GoLocker?
It was seamless and easy. We’ve heard customers say it’s very easy, too.
Our thanks to Jess and all of the friendly farmers of the North Fork CSA. Their work helps sustain a business that has enriched our area for centuries, and allows a new generation of New Yorkers to eat healthier and enjoy the benefits of fresh produce.
Stay tuned for the next installment in our GoLocal series…