Posts Tagged ‘local

FoodHub Member Connections: Fresh Links Launch Chicken Scratch Farm and Rose City Local Market

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 by
Photo Courtesy Chicken Scratch Farm

Carolyn Eddy in Eagle Creek, OR, has always been a farmer, but after raising pack goats for years she and a business partner decided it was time for something different. They bought a few chickens and a few hives and started building a fresh egg and honey business.

“Normally I would tell people to start small and take it slow,” she said, “but that’s not how it went for us.”

Soon after launching Chicken Scratch Farm, Carolyn joined FoodHub and made the business connections that quickly took her to the next level.

“We didn’t have a market for eggs and somebody told us about FoodHub,” she said. “When that first big client jumped on board we were scrambling to keep up and adding more chickens. We’re doing better than we ever expected.”

Her two main clients, both FoodHub connections, are Rose City Local Market and Flying Fish Company.

“I’ve been in business for about four years and as long as I’ve been running I’ve worked with local farms,” said Rose City owner Christina Robinson who looks for no-spray, organic fruits and vegetables, and humanely-raised meat. “At first it was just organic, but now it’s more local. It’s really important to most of my customers.”

When Christina could no longer get in touch with her normal egg supplier she turned to FoodHub to fill the gap. Now, after posting for eggs in the Marketplace, she gets 30 to 50 dozen eggs every other week from Chicken Scratch Farm.

“The Marketplace is a great place to connect with people and find things that you’re looking for,” Christina said. “If I’m looking for a product, I go to FoodHub first.”

To keep the connections going, both Christina and Carolyn will continue to rely on FoodHub: Christina, who is launching an online storefront for her customers, will be using FoodHub to vet new vendors and invite them to join her list of providers. Carolyn, who doesn’t yet have website for Chicken Scratch Farm, will continue to use FoodHub as her primary marketing outlet.

“A lot of people don’t do advertising,” she said, “but with FoodHub we don’t spend a lot of time working on marketing. We were fortunate to get good clients right off the bat.”

3,2,1 Liftoff

Launching a business can be hard, but getting started with FoodHub is easy:

3 … If you’re new to FoodHub, log in and spend some time filling out your profile, searching for your primary customer type or the vendors you need, and sending an initial round of introductory emails. Carolyn said many of her clients have reached out to her through the Message Center – don’t be afraid to use it right away! – and make sure your other contact information is up to date as well.

2 … Every month or so, update your product list and Hot Sheet to make sure any new potential connections are finding your profile when they search the site. Christina told us she found a farmer in her area who she knew had strawberries, but they didn’t show up in her list of results when she searched for that product on FoodHub because they hadn’t added it to their profile.

1 … Carolyn said she spends an hour a week with FoodHub, usually every Tuesday when she gets the Fresh Sheet. Use your hour to respond to any messages, create a marketplace post of your own, and see who’s new in your area.

Zoë Bradbury rallies the New Farmers’ Movement

Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by

This is a repost from the Ecotrust blog, which is designed to inspire fresh thinking, spark innovation, and encourage investment in natural economies. Read more stories about Ecotrust’s work, and that of our partners and friends, at blog.ecotrust.org.

In February 2008, Zoë Bradbury left her job at Ecotrust, where she was a regular contributor to Edible Portland, to start farming on Oregon’s southern coast. Right after leaving us, she wrote, “I pulled up to my new greenhouse on Floras Creek with a riot of saw-toothed artichoke divisions in the back of the truck, teased them apart into one-gallon transplant pots, and officially began my first season farming for myself, next door to my mom and sister.”

Over the next year, Zoë kept a blog for Edible Portland called Diary of a Young Farmer. Her intention to share her experiences as she began farming has blossomed into a full-fledged collaborative book, which she co-edited, hitting stores this month: Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement.

We caught up with Zoë to talk about the book, learn about her life at Valley Flora Farm in Langlois, and get a glimmer of what the New Farmers’ Movement is and where it’s headed. (more…)

Get Saved: Search results in seconds

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 by

Save your searches, save time when you look for local food on FoodHub

At FoodHub we’re all about making it easier and more efficient for you to find what you’re looking for. One of the best ways you can save time is by saving your searches. If you’ve found yourself searching for the same product or same kind of producer over and over again, saving your search will bring you one step closer to making the connections you need right when you log in to the site.

It’s easy – run your search, filter your results, and once all your parameters are defined, SAVE THIS SEARCH. Once you’ve saved your search you can come back to it time and time again and get the latest results in seconds.

Check out these five ways you can save searches and save time in the process:

1.    Search by product: There are hundreds of products in FoodHub’s taxonomy. Search by specific variety or general category – you’ll find  storage, sweet, cipollini, or just plain old onions. Product search is at FoodHub’s core and it’s easy – type whatever product you’re looking for in the search bar at the top of the page, then filter your results based on geography, certifications, or other attributes. Tip: Keep your searches broad for more results.

2.    Search by business type: There are lots of different kinds of sellers on FoodHub – farmers, ranchers, dairies, fishermen, breweries, distilleries or other specialty producers. Whether you’re a school searching for your first farm connection or are a food cart looking for a small producer who can cater to your nimble needs, there’s someone worth finding on FoodHub. Go to Member Directory and select the kind of seller you’re looking to find by clicking the relevant Business Types in the left sidebar.

3.    Search for local products already carried by your distributor: Find your distributor in a list when you scroll to the bottom of the navigation bar and click the truck icon under Distribution Method. Once you’ve selected them, your search results will filter to show only those sellers whose products are on their trucks.

4.    Search by what’s in season now: Building a local AND seasonal menu is increasingly valuable in most food service settings. Creating that seasonally-sourced menu is just a few clicks away when you conduct a product search and filter your results by Availability. Just use the check boxes to select the month you’re looking for.

5.    Search for potential partners: Sourcing locally can be challenging, but it’s easier when you work together. Use FoodHub’s search to find other businesses in your area with whom you might collaborate on group buys, overcoming distribution hurdles, or sharing success stories. Just go to the Member Directory, filter by your desired partners’ business types and then sort by distance to find those Members who are close to you.

FoodHub tops 3,000 Members, breaks out the bubbly!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 by

HotLips Soda

The FoodHub team is breaking out the bubbly – a bubbly bottle of fruit soda that is: Hotlips Soda is our 3,000th Member!

A subsidiary of Hotlips Pizza – the group of five family-owned restaurants that tossed their first pie in Portland back in 1984 – Hotlips Soda draws its distinctive flavor profiles from the bounty of the Northwest. The company actively nurtures relationships with local farmers to keep its supply chain stocked: In 2011 alone they produced about 45,000 gallons of soda and bought more than $78,000 of fruit from local farmers.

Almost two years old, FoodHub built its online directory and marketplace to help companies like Hotlips Soda grow. The soda company joins beverage producers already on FoodHub, like Sage & Sea Farms and Blossom Vinegars, both in Portland, Vincent Family Cranberries in Beaverton, OR, and Sajen Inc. in San Francisco, which all leverage distinctive fruits grown around the region and transform them into one-of-a-kind, sip-able specialties.

HotLips Soda brewer Greene Lawson
Hotlips’ Chief Brewer, Greene Lawson, preparing Chester Blackberries for soda.

“A lot of fruit that comes out of the Northwest is really unique,” said Hotlips’ Co-Owner David Yudkin. “What we want to be is a strong regional soda company and we feel like our advantage is that we’re using fruit that you can’t get elsewhere in the country.”

Now, Yudkin said, he’s hoping to use FoodHub to connect with some of the more than 100 Northwest retailers actively looking for wholesale products on the site.

“A really good market for us is farm stands,” he said. “When the owners taste the soda they recognize the quality of the fruit because they know fruit. … And there’s a sense of pride because we’re a local, family-owned business.” (more…)

5 Reasons to Do the FoodHub Member Survey (and maybe win an iPad!)

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 by

Giving feedback as a Member of FoodHub is easy. There’s a bright green feedback button on every page and you can call 855-FOODHUB or email meet@food-hub.org, but once per year there’s a chance to get it all out at once. The FoodHub Member Survey will be coming your way soon and you could win an Apple iPad 2 just for filling it out!

We’re really excited about the Member survey – we love hearing about how Members are using the site, what can be enhanced, and what should be ditched – it also defines both our to-do list and our budget allocations for next year. It will take only minutes to complete and your feedback will benefit the entire community. Not only that, but you could win an iPad just for participating!

Here area five reasons why you should jump on the survey link as soon as it hits your inbox:

  1. Tools and features will be updated and improved according to your needs. Wish the search tool worked differently? Want to do something different with the Marketplace? The Member survey provides opportunities to give feedback on tools currently on the site – which do you use most, what’s working well, what needs improvement, and how to make the whole thing sing for you.
  2. Your idea could be the next big thing! FoodHub is still in the very early stages of its development – your ideas have a major impact!
  3. Help shape the voice of this region’s food sector. There are a lot of people who are curious about what’s going on in the FoodHub community. Your story is crucial to painting a picture of the food that moves throughout the western region of the US.
  4. Your feedback will help determine FoodHub’s future. This survey isn’t just about features and tools, we want your input on big-picture decisions too. Would you like to see FoodHub membership extended throughout the nation? Should we let individual eaters in on the action? Do you want your profile to be accessible by the public at large, not just FoodHub Members? Inquiring minds want to know.
  5. Did we mention we’re giving away an iPad?! And you could win just by participating.  One lucky Member will be drawn at random for sharing their voice through the Member survey.

Watch your inbox, the survey link will be coming soon…

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