Selling Bulk to Wholesale Customers – Noah Poulos – Carrot Cashflow Episode 23


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Episode Summary

One of the reasons why small-scale market farms work is because of its direct-to-consumer model partnered with high-turnover crops like salad greens. That said, such a model can become quite labor-intensive. What if you have the scale and would like to cut down on labor costs while still making good margins?

In this episode of Carrot Cashflow, farm manager Noah Poulos talks about their profitable bulk/wholesale model at Clem’s Organic Gardens in North Carolina, how they got—and maintained—their wholesale customers, and how they built their success on their focus on storage crops.

Today’s Guest: Noah Poulos

Noah Poulos has been the farm manager at Clem’s Organic Gardens over in North Carolina since 2020. Noah’s background in ecology and field biology, along with his passion for homesteading, brought him into the world of building community with organic farming.

Relevant Links

            Clem’s Organic GardenInstagram

In this episode of Carrot Cashflow

  • Diego introduces the episode’s guest, Noah Poulos (00:32)
  • What it’s like being a small farm in Asheville, North Carolina  (01:31)
  • Clem’s Organic Gardens’ wholesale market model (03:21)
    • Long crop storage life is a benefit (06:00)
  • The focus on storage crops versus the traditional greens (09:38)
    • One key is finding a buyer that would make the model work (11:00)
  • The customers who buy storage crops in bulk (12:40)
  • How often do wholesale customers place orders? (15:29)
  • Where selling bulk to wholesalers compares to selling direct to consumer (17:01)
  • Is it possible to scale down and still make the model work? (18:42)
  • Higher demand means ramping up production (20:37)
  • Handling the storage and staggering harvest (23:09)
  • Field challenges behind planting and harvesting root crops at volume (25:51)
    • Dealing with the mid-August flooding (27:48)
  • Noah Poulos’ advice for someone looking to adopt this bulk/wholesale business model (29:13)
  • Where do you save the most labor when you’re selling bulk? (32:17)
  • How to approach a potential bulk customer (35:22)
  • Does variety matter when selling wholesale? (37:13)
  • The difficulty of growing potatoes in North Carolina  (38:27)
  • Clem’s Organics’ top 3 crops and their different crop margins (40:43)
  • Where to find and check out Clem’s Organic Gardens (46:44)

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Check Out My Book: Ready Farmer One: The Farmers’ Guide to Create, Design, and Market an Online Farm Store (2022) by Diego Footer & Nina Galle

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Arielle Roxas

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