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Sunday, October 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Locally rooted: Share Farm offers home delivery of area produce, more

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 27, 2019, 5:34 p.m.

It’s truly farm to door, and it’s to the benefit of local farmers and vendors and a convenience for customers. Share Farm, by local entrepreneurs Vince Peak and Eric Kobe and chef and restaurateur Adam Hegsted, was launched in July after Peak and Kobe created the Share Farm app last fall and soft launched it.

The concept of Share Farm will be familiar to anyone who has used DoorDash or Uber Eats, except it’s decidedly healthier. Order local produce and other local products by 5 p.m., and it will be delivered the next day between 4 and 6 a.m., except Sundays. Meat is the exception: It takes two days to deliver.

According to the Share Farm team, more than 100 local farmers and vendors are already part of the collective, and more than 300 items including fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy and organic and artisan goods are offered at the website share.farm.

Share Farm plans to expand to Boise, Anchorage, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles.

Peak, Kobe, Hegsted and Lesley Hermann, Share Farm’s wellness education director, chatted about Share Farm last week at Hegsted’s Wandering Table restaurant in Kendall Yards.

Here are highlights from the conversation:

What was the catalyst behind Share Farm?

Peak: We wanted to start a marketplace that supported local food. It’s clear to all of us that people like no time before are paying attention to what’s in their food. They’re reading nutrition facts and product labels. They want to eat healthier. They want more sustainably sourced products that support the environment, as well.

Hegsted: We want to make it more easily accessible. You can go to a farmers market, but it’s only at certain times of the year, mostly summer into early fall. We’re trying to figure out a way to manage the gap. We’re trying to make it more sustainable for farmers, too. It’s hard to be a farmer when you have only three months of the year to sell your products.

You launched in July at the Crave Food and Drink Celebration. How’s it going so far?

Peak: It’s going really well. We’ve had a great turnout of people supporting the business. We’re bringing on new partners. We’re really focused on bringing on new local partners and expanding to meat and dairy. We’re very hyper-local – local products can be difficult to find.

We met a lot of food producers who wanted to be integrated in the platform. They have a hard time accessing customers outside the regular 21- to 23- week season, and they always have products to sell.

How long was the process for Share Farm – from idea to officially launching it in July?

Kobe: The original concept happened a few years ago, but we really dove into this iteration in January. We worked on this together, and we worked on it really quickly to launch in July. What was really beneficial for us was the feedback from the community.

What were people searching for online? Which organic products? We wanted to make certain that we were paying attention to the farmers’ needs, as well as the distributors and customers all in a sustainable model.

Hegsted: It’s a fine line to be able to sell products at a retail level and still have a margin where we can make deliveries available and convenient for people.

What have been the most popular items since launching Share Farm?

Peak: Lots of fruits – blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have been selling the most. The organic items are popular. We have a lot of items – more than 300 items.

Why launch Share Farm in Spokane?

Kobe: It’s where we live, and this community here has been critical in supporting us from concept to raising money to connecting with like-minded people who share our vision and identify with it. It was the perfect storm. We’re located here, and people like us gravitated toward Share Farm.

What has been the biggest obstacle or challenge in the first month of business?

Peak: There is so much misinformation on what to eat, how to eat, where to get your food, and that’s something we’re really focused on with Lesley as our education lead.

Hermann: What’s unique about Share Farm is that one of our goals is to help educate the consumer and bring information to you. Why is this food better for you? Why is local better? How is sourcing food locally or organic an improvement for your health and fresher?

You’re supporting the community and the environment where you live and staying rooted. How do we become more connected with the foods that we eat? We want people to learn how food impacts our bodies and why they make us feel the way they do.

What would customers be most surprised to see online at share.farm?

Peak: We have a pretty competitive price, and the convenience of the delivery will be of interest to a lot of people. Our delivery fee is removed after $79. It’s competitive pricing, convenience, and it’s user-friendly.

We have found that customers want to buy more local products, and they want the convenience of Share Farm delivered to them. They know that it’s fresher if it’s coming to them from the local area.

Hegsted: You can get local products delivered to your house. That’s hard to beat – there’s no service like that.

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