Connecting local producers with consumers who want their high quality, sustainably-produced food is the aim of new online platform, Northern Valleys Locavore Store.
“We’re aiming to use technology to create a low impact, environmentally sound way for our regional produce to reach as many consumers as possible,” says co-founder Tamieka Preston.
“Farmers’ markets and farm gates are fantastic, but are not allowing producers to reach their full market potential. Consumers these days want online ordering, automated reminders and 24/7 service. They also want to know exactly where their food comes from and that it has been grown using sustainable farming practice or, in the case of meat, raised ethically. This is what we aim to deliver by creating a really user friendly phone app for the Locavore Store.”
The Northern Valleys Locavore Store was started by Trish Murrell and Tamieka Preston last year and has been operating in a testing phase since July 2018. The store has a fully-functioning ecommerce website where customers order online and collect from the physical store in Bindoon.
“What’s unique about our store is that you are actually buying direct from the producers,” explains Trish Murrell. “It’s like Gumtree in that the farmers or growers can post what they want to sell online from their own portal. It ensures they are getting the price they want – or need – to make a profit, rather than the price dictated by a middle-man.”
With nearly 30 producers on board, a diverse range of produce is already on offer – including pastured eggs, unprocessed honey, handcrafted softdrinks and goats cheese as well as a range of seasonal fruit and vegetables. The store has begun building a solid customer base including local restaurants who want sustainable local fare on their menus. However the recent news that they have won a Regional Economic Development (RED) grant to help develop the website and app to a more consumer friendly, custom built system has been welcome news.
“We are so thrilled to be a recipient of a grant to help develop our concept and take the Northern Valleys Locavore Store to the next level,” said Tamieka. “This idea has the potential to really drive economic growth for our producers – and even the whole region.”
“We’d love anyone who supports the concept and wants to be a part of this project to like our facebook page and keep in touch with what we’re doing. Of course we really want customers to keep buying local produce from us in the meantime so we can help sustain our hardworking farmers and local businesses.”
The store was one of eight sucessful grant applicants to receieve a grant from the state government scheme designed to assist small businesses to grow and boost tourism experiences in the Wheatbelt region.
If you are interested in selling your produce, or buying from the Northern Valleys Locavore Store go to www.nvls.com.au or call Tamieka on 0419 902 904.