The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode, we visit with Kyle Doda and Betsy Simpson of 1000 Stone Farm (https://www.1000stonefarm.com/) about how they set-up an on-farm store.
1:41 Farm Store vs. Farm Stand
5:27 How does self-serve work?
– Sqare, via a wall mounted iPad, with credit card processing or payment with cash.
10:23 Price lists for high end products
11:23 Pre-built structure
12:16 Insulated and open year roundHolding inventory
– Consistent messaging and easy to remember hours: 8-8, every day
– Cost: $9k in the building, ~$17k total
– ROI is on track for a timely return
– There is demand for this in the area
17:11 Market research & business decisions
– Respectful and thankful community
– Advertising: Facebook ads, word of mouth, Front Porch Forum
– Didn’t want to skimp or cut corners
– Variety is beneficial for customer satisfaction
23:36 Capital Investment
– Vermont Farm Fund for a low-interest loan
– Need money for the site work, building, inventory etc.
“The simplification aspect is huge for the customers and the farmers. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be and make it as easy for the customer to access the product as possible, on their terms.”Kyle Doda
27:22 Multi-use building – Farm store & CSA Pick-up
27:57 Regrets or changes on these decisions?
– Need to increase the branding and messaging for both their farm and the local, organic, high quality products they stock in their store.
31:16 Final thoughts – Customers enjoy shopping alone in a low stress environment.