Thank you for your interest!
Our mission is to strengthen the local food economy by facilitating
the sale and distribution of locally and ethically-produced foods.
For the buyer, it means one-stop shopping through an easy online platform for all of your authentically local goods. For the supplier, this means access to wider markets and unloading the burden of sales, invoicing, and distribution.
Right now, we're all making our own deliveries, but we're going to many of the same places. By consolidating, we reduce the delivery cost to each one of us.
How much does it cost?
15% of sales.
How does it work?
We receive orders from various stores and restaurants. The guaranteed order window closes Friday at midnight.
You receive an order report Saturday morning.
You delivery to CHFB North on monday 9am-4pm. (We have 24/7 access if you need to arrive later in the day, arrange a time with us.)
We deliver on tuesday, collect payment from customers, and distribute payment to you.
We offer two options for pickup service:
Flat fee determined by our cost to pickup.
Pay total of 25% with order minimum determined by our cost to pickup.
We have dry, refrigerated, and frozen storage available.
Rates: $20/mo/pallet or pallet equivalent (Approx 14ft2)
You provide the product, we will sample your product in store. Samples make a huge difference, we all know this. You have the option of sampling just your product, or sampling your product as one of five products that we present at once.
Solo Sampling: $75+ mileage.
Group Sampling: $25+ mileage share.
Want your product at the top of the page when buyers login for their order? Want to run an ad in the store?
First thing you see: $200/mo
Top of the page: $100/mo
Ad design: 1st Draft - $125. Revisions - $25/ea
If I’m paying 15%, how is it cheaper than making deliveries myself?
It’s true, at a cost of 15%, the relative value of the service to you varies under different conditions. For example, the cost to us for labor and mileage compensation at the 2018 standard mileage rate is an average of 12.50 in the City of Fort Wayne when delivering to one location. So if we make $100 sale, we’re paying $15 (15%) and it would be cheaper for us to deliver it ourselves. However if we make a $50 sale, we pay $7.50 and we’re saving on delivery.
There are further costs associated with sales, invoicing, and customer service that are offloaded to the distribution company. Another real gain is in the time that you free up as a business owner to do the things that make your company great. You are not in business to drive your car all day, you are doing what you do because you love the craft and the service. This distribution company is meant to be of service to you so you can do what you do best.
However, the financial gain is real and here is how: the more sales the distribution company makes, and the more stops it makes on each run, the more efficiently it will run. We are setting our order minimums so that we cover our delivery cost +5% when we deliver to just one location. So when stores order more than the minimum, or we make multiple stops in one day, our costs to deliver are significantly reduced and we operate at a higher margin. What do we do with this excess? Two things:
Retain a percentage as savings for future investment.
Give it back to you.
As a supplier, you have a say in what we save for and how much. It’s money that would otherwise be returned to you, after all. What we envision is that we can collectively save in order to build the infrastructure we need to grow and achieve economies of scale as a community. Whatever is left after expenses and savings is returned to you as suppliers proportionate to your share of total sales. This is how you achieve a net reduction in delivery cost. At the same time we manage to build what we need as a community.
Ethics & Transparency
You can rest easy knowing this distribution mechanism exists for the sole purpose of facilitating the exchange of local goods. The purpose of its existence is not to enrich itself or any individual business and it commits to remaining impartial in all exchanges. Operating a platform for sales creates an opportunity to use the system to one’s own personal benefit, but this degrades the trust in the platform itself and the well-being of the community as a whole. We take the responsibility seriously and are taking steps to keep ourselves honest and ensure your trust. Our books are completely transparent so you can see that we’re being fair about your share of the profit.
Our pricing structure is designed so that the base fee (15%) covers our delivery and administrative costs. Storage, pickup service, promotion and advertising come at an extra cost to those who use them, as they use them. This way, those who do not take advantage of the extra available services are not subsidizing those who do.
As producers, we discovered that growing the food was only half the battle. We had a hard time getting access to markets where we could sell significant quantities. As manufacturers we had the opposite problem, finding the local produce we needed, when we needed it proved challenging. We were talking to stores that were having similar challenges: 20 different vendors, different contacts, different invoices, and different payments. Buy coming together, each added buyer becomes an potential account for every supplier. Each added supplier is another advantage we offer to the buyers. We reduce our collective costs, and start to have some weight.
First we intend to fill out the market in Fort Wayne by accessing all available independent grocers, retailers, and restaurateurs. From there we see expansion opportunity in two directions:
Independent grocers, etc., in surrounding markets; i.e. South Bend, Indianapolis, etc.
Established retailers through larger distributors.
Our hope is that the same we serve independent retailers by putting authentically local, small-scale goods in one convenient place, we can approach larger distributors who want to say they are offering genuinely local goods, but it’s not cost-effective for them to deal with so many small suppliers. We want to bridge that gap and put all of your goods in one place for the large distributors to find. We can act as an aid in readying products for the demands of wider regional and national markets.