When you’re first building out your customer base, many farmers will tell you to start selling at the farmer’s market to let people know you’re there and to build connections before you consider starting selling online. But no one said you could start by doing just the opposite.
In this episode of Carrot Cashflow, we’re talking to Lesley Dennis of Solway Farms in Kentucky to talk about her experience selling their produce online before they considered selling at a farmer’s market.
Today’s Guest: Lesley Dennis
Lesley Dennis runs Solway Farms, a diversified, small-scale, certified organic family farm in Eastview, Kentucky alongside her full-time farming husband. Aiming to be better stewards of the land, Solway Farms helps forge a connection between their community and fresh, wholesome food.
In this episode of Carrot Cashflow
- Diego introduces the episode’s guest, Lesley Dennis (00:38)
- Why consider hitting a different market? (02:44)
- Why would have a CSA model been tougher? (04:25)
- The hesitation behind growing just salad greens (05:46)
- Going down the online selling route right from the get-go (06:55)
- Tapping the first few people for a new online store (09:26)
- Taking a look at Lesley’s core customer base (12:08)
- Leveraging an empathetic connection (13:56)
- Solway Farm’s consistent customers (16:00)
- Pushing the convenience of the pre-order option (20:27)
- Pre-ordering window and logistics (24:31)
- The process of packing orders at the market (26:55)
- Lesley’s minimum number of customers to make the model work (29:34)
- Pre-order order value versus farmer’s market order value (31:27)
- Deciding on whether or not to scale up the business (36:57)
- Taking a leap of faith in expanding and diversifying the farm (39:58)
- Lesley Dennis’ advice if you’re considering adding pre-orders to your farmer’s market setup (41:55)
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