Local Roots- Connecting Local Farmers and Consumers
In January of 2015, Local Roots launched an app that successfully connected local farmers and artisans with customers and neighborhoods right here in Atlanta. Local Roots is an inspired team- passionate about healthy eating, sustainable communities, and local farmers. Led by Doug Calahan, they aim to cut out the middle man and provide better access to organic, local food brought right to your door. Farm grown. Delivered home. World, meet Local Roots.
What is Local Roots?
Local Roots is the first delivery platform that directly connects local farmers with consumers in metropolitan areas across the country. Available on the iPhone, Local Roots displays farmers’ delivery schedules and inventories, enables consumers to place orders, and facilitates home delivery.The Atlanta-based Local Roots aims to nationally foster sustainable communities that include local farmers and their primary customers.
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Consumers want local, organic food and are willing to pay for it (US organic market – est. $42B in 2014). However, buying local can be challenging for most people. Farmers markets and CSAs are great for farmers, but don’t usually fit within consumers’ schedules.There are a host of new services in most major cities that try to fill the consumer demand by re-creating the existing food warehouse/distribution systems, but doing so with organics as the base. This is a great additional step for consumers, but the margins are pretty awful for organic farmers (we just had a farmer in our offices earlier this month who said that Whole Foods is paying him $.20 to $.25 on the dollar).We had to find a way to get local, organic food directly to the consumer, but to do so in a way that helped to increase farmers’ margins. We think we’ve accomplished that with Local Roots.
Who is your ideal customer?
Right now, our customers are people who are passionate about the local food movement and who already shop at farmers’ markets. Moving forward, our goal is to make it so simple for anyone to get fresh, local goods that anyone who would shop at grocery store would be a potential customer for us.
What traction do you have?
Things are moving quickly and we couldn’t be more excited. We officially launched in Buckhead & Midtown on March 16 and we just introduced 11 new neighborhoods shortly after. We plan to expand to the broader Atlanta market throughout the rest of spring 2015 and focus on national expansion in 2016.
What do you love most about being in the Village?
Simply put, it’s just a cool place to be. The energy in the building is just unbelievable and we really feed off of that. We’re surrounded by other like-minded, motivated individuals. The community of businesses in the building is incredibly supportive and welcoming. Of course, the free food and coffee don’t hurt either.
Any words of wisdom?
Everyone knows that customer service is paramount in today’s business world. If you’re committed to customer service, you actually have to start by being committed to making your employees happy. If your team is happy, they’ll go the extra mile for a customer. We think that just being in the Village helps make for a happy team and then happy customers.