Yesterday we posted a video about shopping at the Farmer's Market on Facebook. That was a pretty funny one, but not far from the truth. Many of us vendors experience the same questions from our clients. Clients...
Now, you're probably wondering why I referred to Farmer's Market shoppers as clients. Specifically because under the Webster Dictionary the noun "clients" is defined as: one that is under protection of another. While the noun "customer" is defined as: one that purchases a commodity or service. Not to say people are not buying something, but when you shop at the Farmer's Market you are indeed buying from someone who puts forth many individual hours, with minimal or no staff, because they deeply care about the quality of your product and how it protects and aids your happiness and health. These commodities are sold from the very hands that helped bring it to you. There's a level of trust and loyalty that comes with the product you purchase and you can ensure you are protected with that trust and loyalty. We look into your eyes and are pleased that our special gift is going home with you, which touches our hearts and makes us continue to bring the goods each week.
The questions vendors are faced with, as mentioned above, are typically the following:
-"What's to stop me from going to the store and buying the same product for a cheaper price?"
-"Why are you making food/products so expensive?"
-"Do you really need to pay yourself that much?"
And among questions are statements:
-"You're killing me with your prices!"
-"Woah, I'm not buying those carrots for $5!"
-"Your food doesn't look pretty, it has poor quality. Look at that brown spot!"
Among statements are faces filled with horror and disgust, followed by silence and a fast-paced walk away.
I don't mean to point fingers at anyone, but I truly need to stress that we are small... I mean, very very small businesses trying to make a living to feed ourselves, to pay our bills, to raise our children and it takes a lot of work. We are packed with certifications to keep up, start up costs like $30k-$60k to repay, water bills through the roof, insect netting to have "prettier" produce, the extra costs involved in not using pesticides or harsh chemicals, organic fertilizers, materials to keep produce fresh on the stand, and rent from Brick-and-Mortars to maintain. If there is extra money after that then maybe we can squeeze in a trip to the mountains... maybe, otherwise it's Netflix and chill.
Speaking for Broadfork Acres in general, Heath and I are truly passionate about the work we do and that's not to say it doesn't come with growing pains, but we won't stop. It costs a lot of money and labor to keep our food healthy and clean so we can help prevent cancer, diabetes and auto-immune disorders. We wouldn't be happier doing any other work. You can count on us.
As long as a small business continues to get support, it can grow. When a business grows, it can open land/facilities to produce more products. With more products come lower prices. That's the difference between larger businesses and the vendors you shop at. We can only appreciate those who love our products, continuously support us and get it. Simply put, these clients just get it. And we thank you!
Freedom of speech allows you to criticize our prices, stores allow you to spend less on a product, and fast food gets you a burger for $3.50 in no time! However, those allowances do not show you behind the scenes. After all, it was Raj Patel who stated, "Nowadays, people know the price of everything and the value of nothing."
Who do you shop from and why? What you buy should have value to you, or it cannot bring you happiness and health. Are you protected or are you a paycheck?