My Farmers’ Market: Wholesome Food is Just a Few Clicks Away
Posted by: Natalie Batkis, Bothwell Cheese Blogger
Nathan Steele left Winnipeg at the age of 17 and spent his twenties working within the hospitality industry, even owning and operating his own restaurant on the west coast. But when he returned to Winnipeg 10 years later, little did he know he was about to take on an interesting new business venture. The idea came from a conversation he had with friends over a few beverages. But isn’t that how all the best ideas are born?
“We were talking about how convenient it would be to get deliveries of locally sourced foods by just clicking online. So I said, ‘why isn’t anybody doing this? Let’s do this!’”
In 2013, Steele launched My Farmers’ Market, an online grocery store and delivery service focusing on fresh, wholesome foods sourced as locally as possible. The business has continued to flourish and, in May 2017, this young entrepreneur had his busiest month ever. Steele says timing is everything.
“It was the right time to start the business because we’re now seeing a lot of these online grocery services coming out, and people are really jumping into this new food movement where they want to know not just where their food is coming from but how it is produced,” Steele explains.
His products are sourced as locally as possible but if they aren’t available locally, items like bananas for example, they are imported from various parts of the world. “Our inventory is always in fluctuation. Sometimes there will be new items or items that are no longer available because of the seasonality of the products we carry,” he states.
Steele also likes bringing in products you might not be able to find anywhere else in Winnipeg. It takes a lot of searching to find interesting foods that fit the high standards he expects. “I’m always looking for unique products,” Steele boasts. “We just brought in a hot sauce from Toronto and, as far as we know, there is nowhere else in Winnipeg where you can find it.”
My Farmers’ Market has been carrying varieties of Bothwell Cheese since the company launched 4 years ago. For Steele, having Bothwell Cheese in his inventory is a must. “We bring in Bothwell Cheese because it is a classic, iconic Manitoba business that’s been around for a longtime. Plus Bothwell Cheese is synonymous with quality which is something we constantly strive for,” he says.
Depending on the day, customers can find a variety of Bothwell Cheeses at myfarmersmarket.com like Smoked Gouda, Old Cheddar, Marble and Jalapeño Monterey Jack, just to name a few. “Buying local supports the local economy plus you’re investing in businesses like Bothwell Cheese to help them stick around for another hundred years,” Steele remarks. “We need to strengthen our local food systems.”
Steele is excited to announce that, following the success of their online business, they have decided to open a retail store at 2145 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. They have moved operations from their former location on Sargent Avenue to bring all their operations under one roof at the new location.
My Farmers’ Market employs about a dozen people and has drivers on the road 7 days a week. They will deliver to your door as long as you have a postal code in the city of Winnipeg. But, according to Steele, they do also deliver to surrounding neighbourhoods like St. Norbert and St. Andrews.
Steele focuses on finding quality products and providing a high standard of service. He says it is what his customers have come to expect from his company. And when someone becomes accustomed to items like free run eggs or local organic produce, it’s not difficult to keep them coming back. “Once people have that sensory experience of eating a local, vine ripened tomato, it’s pretty hard for them to go back to their old ways.”
For more information about this growing Manitoba business visit myfarmersmarket.com.
Comment below and answer the following question for your chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate from myfarmersmarket.com.
Which grocery items from My Farmers’ Market would you consider buying online?
Contest closes Monday, August 21st at 12:00 pm CST. Contest open to Winnipeg residents only.