An Industry First
An industry first, FreshSpoke’s sales & logistics platform makes local food more accessible by providing wholesale buyers with the ability to source directly from local food suppliers and delivering to Sobeys and Foodland stores using the excess capacity that already exists in commercial delivery. “Instead of putting more trucks on the road, we’re tapping into what already exists and goes largely unused”, explains Marcia Woods, CEO and co-founder of FreshSpoke. “This reduces food miles and delivery costs.”
The Covid-19 Pandemic has upended traditional sales channels used by small to mid-scale Ontario local food producers and processors to generate sales. This has left many local suppliers scrambling to adopt an e-business strategy to sustain revenues and keep pace with the demand for no-contact grocery delivery by consumers.
Online platforms, like Shopify, provide e-commerce tools to facilitate sales transactions. However, they do not address the requirements of delivery, logistics, and traceability, which continue to be a barrier for most local suppliers.Additionally, a fractured system in which consumers are expected to place orders over multiple sites, incurring various delivery fees, is exhausting and causes friction with consumers.
With interest in local food and home delivery/no-contact pick-up at an all time high, the greatest opportunity local food suppliers have to generate sales and create resilience is through the adoption of e-business. Providing an organized e-commerce solution creates consistent cash flow while addressing the concerns of local suppliers; food safety, integration, and delivery logistics. This will not only sustain their business now, it will allow for growth far into the future.
Since 2019, FreshSpoke has generated over $1M in sales for local food suppliers through its wholesale sales channel. Now, FreshSpoke is expanding to include home delivery and curbside pick-up from a distribution hub in Barrie that has been secured for this purpose. This facility will serve Simcoe County, Muskoka and York Regions and provide storage and order processing for frozen, refrigerated and ambient products.
FreshSpoke’s expansion to residential service will double current local food sales projections and contribute an additional $1.5M in sales for participating local food suppliers by the close of 2020. Upon completion of this 6-month pilot of home and business, FreshSpoke will be profitable and prepared to expand to other markets in Ontario starting in Q1 2021.
Their deep experience in food distribution and market-proven commercialized technology provides the opportunity for rapid deployment, improving consumers’ access to healthy food and prosperity for local food suppliers. FreshSpoke 4 Home ensures that their food systems are more resilient and increases food security in the event of future catastrophic events.