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I get it all the time from customers. They tell me they can find organic products elsewhere for less. This post is aimed at explaining some of these price differences as well as possible price increases coming down the road this year.
There are many organic products that I could carry at significantly lower prices. However when it comes to dairy, eggs, and meat, there are lots of organic products out there that are very poorly represented in my opinion and I personally would have a hard time selling and still feel good about what I do. Organic meat, egg, and dairy standards are much lower than the standards I hold my suppliers too. I will only carry the best and sell products that are honestly represented and marketed.
I have had customers point out that they can buy items like syrup, sugar, hamburger, and honey direct from local farmers for less than what I charge. That is because many of these farmers sell off their farms at same prices that I buy at. I don’t want to beat up my farmers, I believe they have as much of a right to earn a living as I do and if that is what they charge and I can’t find better for less nearby I generally pay their price. Anyone that is willing can by-pass my service and go straight to my suppliers and buy in bulk will be able to buy at more affordable prices. However they will have to pay those bulk bills, transport the products themselves, and manage all the different relationships themselves. I can’t tell you how many hours I spend every week working on inventory, bills, ordering, and all the tasks necessary to keep so many amazing local foodstuffs in stock.
I see the developing local food coops, delivery services, expansion of farmers markets, and other type of CSA operations popping up all over the place as a very positive thing. I think they are all great and am happy to see them develop. I think the more people learn about their food and where it comes from the better. I value this competition because we are all spreading the same basic message. Also as more people are demanding these types of products the more we will see prices drop over all as supply increases.
Will you pay more a little more from me than buying direct from my suppliers in bulk or joining a local coop, absolutely! However you should find my prices fair and comparable to what you pay at the big box stores, especially if you consider your time, the gas, and impulse purchases at these stores. If anyone wants to do all the work that I do to bring these types of products into their home, please more power to them. That was a big reason why I got started in this business, my family and I eat very well When you join a local coop most will required you to donate X number of hours a week to the coop or pay a fee to buy someone else’s time. So you may save some money but you must still do more work. When you spend hours and fuel driving to a farm to make a pick up there is a cost associated with that. The point here is that yes you can save money elsewhere but you will have to spend more time or effort in other ways. When you buy from us we don’t require any contracts, you don’t have to order again, you don’t have to pay a membership fee, and if you meet our minimums and live in our delivery areas, we don’t charge for shipping!
I work hard to price myself out against my competition and the big box retailers like Whole F and Trader J. I do my very best to stay competitive on my prices. If you see a product that I carry priced higher than what you find elsewhere it is only because it costs me more to get it. As my volume increases so does my buying power and ability to lower prices. Overall my retails have come down more in the last 5 years than they have gone up.
That being said you will probably see some of my prices increase this year. We are seeing price increases across the board. Some due to the extreme weather, cold this winter and drought 2 summers ago. Some from change in season, as apples become scarcer, prices will increase until there are no more left for this season. Government regulations continue to increase and impose more costs on our businesses, fuel, commodities, distributors and producers, all these costs get passed onto the retail customer.
You might even see my prices increase slightly faster than the prices at the register of your local big box retailers. Due primarily to my size I don’t have the buying power or inventory levels that these larger companies have to moderate some of these changes. You may see my prices go up faster than my big box competition, but I promise if my prices go down, you will see my prices go down much faster than theirs too! If my prices are going up, it is not because I wanted to raise them, it is because our costs are going up.
I promise to my customers that I will operate my business in a fair and ethical manner. I will continue to operate this business using free market principals as long as I am free to do so. I try my best to get the lowest price I can for the highest quality products available. I promise not to put price before quality and would rather be out of stock on an item than to pass another product on as a substitute if the quality is not the same. I promise to never stop learning and continue to innovate, creating new distribution channels for our amazing products and to get them to our customer’s doors at the lowest price possible. I want my customers to be able to order from us and know that they are getting the most honest and highest quality foodstuffs available on the market today!
When you buy food from us I want you to know where it comes from, who made it or grew it, and be able to pronounce what is in it!
Happy Thursday! Steve