More than 75 food producers thank Northeast Ohio for buying local food.
Market Wagon today announced the achievement of an important milestone for the local food community in Cleveland: $1 million in sales for the farmers, chefs and artisans in Northeast Ohio. But that sales figure represents far more than a number. For many family-owned businesses in the Greater Cleveland region, it’s been the revenue that has allowed them to thrive and, in some cases, not permanently close when the pandemic changed the industry overnight.
Market Wagon is an online farmers market which delivers products to every home in a 12-county region of Northeast Ohio which includes Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Lorain and Youngstown. The service allows customers to browse locally grown products on their computer or smartphone throughout the week and place an order from multiple local vendors with one single checkout.
Consumers can order from more than 75 of their favorite local farms and artisanal food vendors in Northeast Ohio who offer a combined 1,200+ items for sale each week. Customers don’t have to leave their homes because everything is delivered to their door every Thursday afternoon in insulated totes using ice packs to preserve freshness. Residents can enjoy shopping locally even in December, long after most physical farmers markets have closed for the season.
The platform has been a major source of financial stability for farms and chefs who were dealt a devastating blow with the closure of farmers markets and restaurants in the early stages of the pandemic. When Market Wagon opened its local distribution hub in Bedford Heights in July 2020, food producers jumped at the chance to connect with consumers directly.
A strong local supply chain provides an important solution to the continuing global supply chain problems exposed by the pandemic (and perhaps ramping up again with the Omicron variant).
Market Wagon’s success has been instrumental in keeping many small businesses going including:
Bluebird Meadows Farm (Lorain County) – The Blankenships have a small family farm that runs in a sustainable way, just like the way things were done in past generations. Whether it’s grass-fed ground beef, pork chops, boneless chicken breasts or chorizo sausage, Bluebird Meadows makes products which are delicious and have the highest quality.
Marie’s Patisserie (Tallmadge) – Chef Marie Kostos uses only the finest ingredients to create tasty meals as well as decadent pastries. Whether you want to fill up on calzones or chicken parmigiana mac & cheese or you want to indulge your sweet tooth with cheesecake and cannoli, you cannot go wrong with any of her recipes.
Rowdy Cow Creamery (Geauga County) – Lad and Brenda Hastings are third-generation dairy farmers who bottle milk and make cheese in a facility just a few steps from where the cows are milked. In addition to milk and chocolate milk, the Hastings sell a variety of cheese flavors including buffalo ranch, chipotle and dill.
Market Wagon's mission is to enable food producers to thrive in their local and regional markets. By providing exceptional choice and service, people can know exactly where their food comes from. The online store contains everything you'd expect to find at a physical farmers market – local farm-fresh eggs, dairy, meat, produce, baked goods, and more.
Shopping requires no upfront fees or long-term subscriptions. Food is delivered in reusable, insulated cloth bags along with ice packs which can be reused over and over again. Interested food producers can apply to become a vendor on the company's website, MarketWagon.com.