Farmstr is an online marketplace that connects local sustainable farmers directly with consumers. Farmers post sustainably-produced food on the website and select their prices, quantities, pick-up locations, and delivery dates. Items for sale on the site range from a dozen eggs to half a cow. Consumers select from the posted items and purchase through the website. They then either pick up their purchase at the designated drop site or choose to have it delivered to their doorstep. Home delivery is pretty limited right now. Farmstr makes its money by charging a connection fee of 11.5%, some of which is paid by the farmer and the rest of which is paid by the purchaser.
The company is targeting food purchase decision makers that care about eating healthy. More specifically, Farmstr is going after two groups: 1) Food purchase decision makers, usually female, that are relatively affluent and often shop at farmers markets, Trader Joes, PCC, and Whole Foods and 2) Millennials that are focused on eating well, are open to trying new food, and are interested in finding new ways to get their food. Farmstr sees itself as a market disrupter because everyone already needs to eat; the company is just changing the food buying process.
Farmstr has two customer groups, 1) Farmers that sell on the site and 2) Consumers that purchase from the site. These two groups often overlap. The company positions itself to farmers as an alternative avenue through which to sell their products that will enable them to make higher margins with very little added labor. Farmstr positions itself to consumers as an alternative way to purchase sustainable local food that simultaneously benefits local farmers and the local community. The company started to build its customer base by reaching out to individual farmers, talking to bulk buyers, and food enthusiast friends. The CEO has since expanded her customer acquisition approach to include: 1) Social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, 2) Tabling at food events, 3) Writing press releases, 4) Posting flyers at coffee shops, and 5) Word-of-mouth promotion by farmer and customer advocates.