Farm Startup Seeks Piece of Online Food Delivery Business

Michael Corkery reported yesterday at The New York Times Online that, “Huge retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Peapod are fighting for a piece of the online food delivery business.

So is David Nowacoski, a chicken and pig farmer here in East Smithfield (Pa.).

“Last month, Mr. Nowacoski started a service that delivers locally produced meats, cheeses and vegetables across three counties in northern Pennsylvania. His start-up collects food from far-flung farms and transports it weekly to residents who place their orders online.”

Mr. Corkery explained, “Even in this rural patch of natural gas fields and deer hunting grounds, where the closest Whole Foods is more than 100 miles away, Amazon’s influence is deeply felt. Mr. Nowacoski says Amazon and other big retailers have conditioned consumers to expect a higher level of convenience.

“‘This is where society is going, and we have to figure out how the small farm plays a role in it,’ he says.”

The Times article pointed out that, “The Nowacoskis hope their e-commerce business, Delivered Fresh, can help farmers find new markets for their milk, meat and produce.

“Every week, shoppers can log into the Delivered Fresh website and pick from a range of locally produced foods. The offerings will grow more bountiful as the weather turns warmer — carrots, beets, kale and potatoes.

The Nowacoskis spend Wednesdays picking up food from as many as 20 farms — a loop that sometimes totals 300 miles. They make deliveries on Thursdays and Fridays.”

Yesterday’s article also noted that, “For now, most orders are dropped off at central locales like farm stands or church parking lots. Eventually, Mr. Nowacoski hopes to expand delivery directly to the homes of as many customers as he can.

He buys the items from the farmers at a discount and charges a premium to customers, generating a 25 percent margin that pays for gas, the software he uses to process the orders and advertising.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law, Start-up Company Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.