Two of the biggest challenges to small-scale food production are getting your products where they need to go and growing a business in a sensible way. Trucks, fuel, and time on the road all cost money, and farmers often don’t have time to make sales calls to drum up new business. Enter the food hub, a sales and distribution partner that farmers and food producers can rely on to market and distribute their products to wholesale buyers so that producers can concentrate on what they do best.
Common Market Philadelphia is one such food hub, selling and transporting products from regional farms and food artisans to customers all over the Delaware Valley. From their warehouse in the Juniata Park neighborhood, Common Market delivers organic and sustainably produced fruits and vegetables, artisan cheeses, meats, eggs, grains, and pantry staples like honey and apple butter.
The Fair Food Farmstand has been a customer for years; some of our favorite products, like Kauffman’s apple butter, Soom tahini, Asian pears, and other produce arrive to us from producers on Common Market trucks. Another reason food hubs like Common Market are great for a regional food system is that rather than ordering from several sources directly—and dealing with several delivery times, invoices, and payments—wholesale customers make one call to order all those products and only have paperwork from one vendor to deal with, simplifying the process of sourcing local food.
Consumers can get in on the action, too. Check out the Common Market Farm Shareto learn about CSA-style local food pickups in your neighborhood, or to get information on how to start your own.