The Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative has been very busy this last quarter gearing up for what we anticipate to be our biggest season yet in farmer sales. It has been very helpful to have formed several committees, and we’ve spread the workload and become more focused, with the assistance of farmers’ participation on the Marketing, Membership, Operations and Finance Committees. We’ve also hired some new staff in preparation for the busy season ahead, including a full-time Operations Manager, full-time Delivery Driver, full-time Sales & Marketing Coordinator and several part-time positions that we are in the process of filling.
On May 17th, the PSFHC hosted a farm tour of Growing Veterans, Ralph’s Greenhouse and Samish Bay Cheese, in addition to a Meet and Greet for a dozen or more of our farmer members at our Skagit Warehouse, for several reporters and chefs from the Seattle area. Many of our farms, with the cold and wet winter/spring season are just now getting produce out of the fields and are excited to share it with this first marketing event of the season! Additional events are scheduled this summer in conjunction with the Bellingham Community Co-op. We have also been more active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sharing and promoting our farms and the supportive local wholesale customers purchasing from them – have a look and make sure to Like our page!
In addition to local farm products, the PSFHC is now offering sustainably caught fish, and we are in the process of adding some local artisan products. The Membership Committee continues to receive farmer-member applications and new farms and products are being added regularly.
Operations has been busy training staff, working on operational efficiency and now has three Hub-owned branded trucks that will be on the road this season delivering farmer’s products. We have also contracted with Viva Farms for additional delivery. NABC has helped to facilitate produce deliveries from King and Snohomish farmers up to the Skagit warehouse. NABC’s support has meant these farmers can continue to sell through the Hub and, unlike last year, sell their products to Skagit, Whatcom and Island customers in addition to Seattle.
Also, a big thank you to the Whatcom Community Foundation Sustainable Whatcom Fund who awarded NABC a three year grant to support the Puget Sound Food Hub Cooperative’s sales and marketing efforts!