Northwest Farm Fresh takes the farmer's market online | Business
In an effort to increase accessibility to fresh, local produce and goods, Northwest Farm Fresh started offering an online forum for farmers in Stevens County to sell their goods. Just a year and half later, the online farmer's market is expanding to Spokane.
Shelly Stevens has been actively involved in the Chewelah Farmer's Market since it's inception in 2008. After seeing a need for more connection between customers and local farmers she started working on an online version.
“There's many small farmers that are trying to make this their main source of income,” said Stevens.
Stevens took inspiration from a farmer's co-op in Sandpoint and went from there. In March of 2012 Northwest Farm Fresh, originally called Chewelah Valley Fresh Market, went live. In November of that year the online farmer's market added Colville to it's service region.
Starting on September 18th, customers in Spokane can purchase locally sourced items online and pick up their orders on Tuesday afternoons at Lasagna’s On Ya just off of the Newport Highway in north Spokane.
“There's a certain demographic of people that are concerned about where their food comes from,” said Stevens. Because Stevens County is fairly rural, Stevens said that many people already grow or raise their own food making the need for an online farmer's market limited. Expanding into Spokane not only enables current Northwest Farm Fresh farmers to expand their audience, but it also allows more farmer's to get involved.
Stevens said that the online market isn't meant to replace the traditional farmer's market setting, but that it's designed to compliment it. The online market allows farmers one more venue to sell their items, and allows them to do it without having to block out time to man a booth. They are also able to set all of their own prices.
Customers from Chewelah, Colville and Spokane can shop online at www.nwfarmfresh.com Wednesdays starting at 9am through Monday at noon. Orders are available for pick up on Tuesdays between 3pm and 6pm. In Chewelah pick up is at the American Legion Post 54, in Coville at Heather's Fairy Tale Bakery and in Spokane at Lasagna's On Ya.