7 Keys For Launching A Thriving On-Farm Store

Twelve years ago our farm converted a modest 8ft x 10ft garden shed into a self-serve farm store for the purpose of selling our pasture-raised eggs and meat products. To our amazement, since its launch this self-serve store model has sold nearly one and a half million in total sales. In 2014 we reached an all time high of over $300,000 in self-serve sales in a single year. Keep in mind we are not located on a busy road and we don’t spend money on advertising. How is this possible? In hindsight our strategy has been surprisingly simple. In this article I will layout 7 keys that I believe have been essential to the success of this modest little store. Key #1 – Choose The Right Location Any successful retail model requires a certain level of accessibility to a populated area. We are located 15-20 minutes from Fort Wayne Indiana, a city that has a population of around 250,000. While this has had a key impact on our success, I believe there’s hundreds of farms across the US that have this same advantage but fail to leverage it. One reason for this is that too many farms falsely assume that a store would require exposure to a heavily traveled road. We have proven that this assumption may not always be correct. Part of our farm has frontage on a heavily traveled road, however for several reasons we purposely chose to locate our store near our farmstead on a far less traveled road. Sheltering our store from the general public helps to ensure that the only customers who

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2 thoughts on “7 Keys For Launching A Thriving On-Farm Store

  1. Dear Kathy and Rachel, Someday. . . maybe you could find someone to write about marketing one’s ag produce in areas far from any big population centre. For example, we live near a town of 1,000 and there is another of 5,000 one half-hour away. The nearest city of 25,000 is three hours away and in the other direction is a city of 80,000–four hours away.

    It’s quite a different matter for those in our area than for those close to bigger centres. (By the way, I am retired and have no trouble selling my 1/2 of Dexter beef each year. Vegetables I give away.)

    Curt Gesch

    1. Curt, I am hoping the same thing as my husband and I are in the same situation you are in with population. We too sell everything we have but are interested in taking it to the next step and living completely off money earned from the farm.

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