New farmers might find it a challenge to gain a foothold and leave their mark in a market saturated with existing established farms. Competing with these farms can be tough unless you found your niche, or you have something that gives you an edge among the competition. Not to mention you also have to make sure you’re making a living out of the farm.
Today we’re joined by Maple Bloom Farm’s Jordan MacPhee sharing with us how he did and still does this in today’s episode. We’ll talk about his strategies on standing out, getting people into his CSA program, and getting those customers to stay.
Today’s Guest: Jordan MacPhee
Jordan MacPhee is a farmer and owner of Maple Bloom Farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada. As one of the younger generation of farmers, he has curated a CSA experience that has helped him and his farm gain a foothold in a place where there are many established farms who also do CSA’s.
In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart
- The challenges of farming on a northern, seaward island (02:40)
- Differentiating the farm in the market (03:40)
- Innovation as a forced model (06:00)
- The process of changing (09:20)
- Is there one change that made a big difference? (12:00)
- Free choice CSA and customer service (16:10)
- Software of choice, Waggon.ca (21:50)
- The struggles of an online CSA (24:00)
- Customer retention rate after the changes (26:45)
- Overcommunicating and Communicating (33:30)
- The means to the endpoint of communication (40:00)
- Healthy lifestyle and convenience (43:45)
- Cost per acquisition and making good impressions (48:50)
- Incentivizing existing customers to acquire new ones (56:05)
- Acknowledging the customer base (59:00)
- Field days and on-farm events (01:03:30)
Subscribe to Farm Small Farm Smart in your favorite podcast player:
Diego: [00:00:00] Pretty much anywhere you go. There are a lot of veg farmers out there and a lot of those vege farmers have CSA is how do you compete with those vege farmers? If you want to start a CSA, it's all about selling in a crowded market. Coming up. Welcome to farm small farm smart. I'm your host Diego DIEGO.
Today's episode is brought to you by paper podcast. That's a company that I cone with. Farmer Curtis Stone. And I'm the one who records the podcast. And I'm probably the one who's going to put your order in a box and get it out to you. If you ever order something from Paper Pot Co. So what type of stuff might you order that I can put in a box for you?
A lot of stuff where your source for all things, Paper Pot transplanter-related from transplanters to flats, the chain pots, we got you covered there. We also sell Jang seeders, single row, and the game changing five row JP five. We have meadow creature, broad forks, and we're starting to add more and more tools to our mix.
Our whole goal at Paper Pot Co. is to make the hard jobs on the farm a little bit easier and a little bit faster. So you can use that time for something else. If you're a business owner, your time is worth a lot of money. We realize that, and we want to give you tools to help shift the balance of time. A little bit, learn more about all the time and labor saving tools that we firstname.lastname@example.org.
On today's episode of the podcast, I'm talking to farmer Jordan MacPhee of maple bloom farm on Prince Edward Island and Canada today. Jordan and I are going to be talking about competing in a crowded market. How do you gain a foothold? How do you stand out from the competition for Jordan? It's been trial by fire Prince.
Edward Island is a highly competitive market, even though there's a small population. there's a lot of things which farms and when Jordan was starting his farm, they wanted to make sure that they could compete and they could make a living doing this today. He's going to talk about a lot of the different strategies that he's used to stand out.
Get people into his CSA program and more importantly, get people to stay in his CSA program. Once they sign up, let's jump right into it. It's tips for successfully competing in a crowded room marketplace with farmer Jordan. So Jordan and you're farming up in Canada on the very Eastern side of Canada on Prince Edward Island.
What's one of the challenges of farming North, seaward and in a very small isolated place.
Jordan MacPhee: [00:02:49] You have a short growing season, first of all. So you have to contend with that. And we also have a lot of small farmers here. Small farms are a long-held tradition in PEI it's Prince, Edward Island from short.
And, it's really about being able to craft your message for the customers so that you can find a base that will support you and make a livelihood. So you're contending with two factors, a really crowded marketplace and small population. That's what factors, and then a short growing season on top of that.
Diego: [00:03:28] There's a lot of ways to differentiate your business. You can do it on the marketing side. You can also do it on the product side, given that there's so many small farms there, would you say that most of those small farms are all growing about the same stuff? In other words, can you differentiate by the type of product that you grow?
Jordan MacPhee: [00:03:47] Absolutely. We've tried to take advantage of differentiating both our products and our services. So to give some background, our average farmer age is around 65. And if you go to the farmer's market and see farmers in their fifties plus, and they have a lot of the same things in the table and they have a very reliant and loyal customer base. So it is difficult for a new farmer in their twenties and thirties to come into a market and really establish their presence there and less than doing a lot of work outside of the markets to drum up business through social media.
One thing that we've done to differentiate our products is the introduction of microgreens. We're doing the live cut microgreens and that's a huge visual draw for us at the market. And nobody else at our main market is doing that. The other thing we're doing on the service side to differentiate ourselves from other farmers who are also doing a lot of CSA is by making our CSA, our community supported agriculture program a much more customer-oriented service through, custom online orders to pick up days per week.
Multiple sizes that customers can sign up for from 300, 400, $600. And the 300 is much smaller than a lot of farmers are willing to go. But a lot of people in our area don't even get through $15 a week over 20 weeks veggie.
So we'd like to, really plicate, that's not the right word, we really like to, shape our service for our customers. Even if that means we have to work quite a bit harder, because that's really the only way we can carve a niche for ourselves in this dense, small farm marketplace.
Diego: [00:05:30] Yeah. And I'm hearing a lot of ways that you're going out there trying to differentiate in a crowded market and I see this from talking to a lot of people on the vege side, on the. Livestock side. Just what you're saying. Markets are crowded, CSA share subscriptions are going down and you have to get innovative to try and find a way to gain a foothold with very loyal customer base.
When you started farming and came into this market, did you realize that you couldn't just follow the standard model and you'd have to start getting innovative from day one, or did you start following the model? And innovation was a forced adaptation that you had to make?
Jordan MacPhee: [00:06:14] Yeah, it was definitely the latter, unfortunately. It was a forced adaptation because our first year we had a smallish 40-member CSA.
We did it the normal way where we're packing your veggies for you. You're not picking, we didn't even have enough surplus that year, our first year in production to allow customers to swap out their stuff. So they were, being forced to take whatever we gave them.
And then we saw a horrible customer retention rate cause even though, the customer said the quality was amazing. It was like, unlike anything they've ever seen in a grocery store and it was on par with anything else, they could get it at the farmer's market. I think they ended up asking themselves, why are we paying ahead of time if we're being forced to take veggies that we're not able to get through in a week?
So when we saw less like between 40 and 50% customer retention, that year, which is sadly around the average in the CSA space, we said, well this isn't going to be sustainable. We're in too small of a population base. There are too many CSA�s for us to be having a burning through 60% of our customers every year.
We can't commit that much time and energy to finding that many new customers every year, so we focused on getting an online store. We focused on recipes to send out for people every week. we sent a market reminders so that people wouldn't forget to pick up the vegetables.
And then by the end of the year, like if people forget to pick up their vegetables, three or four weeks, yeah, sure. They might saved 10% being a CSA member, but then they've lost like $80 of vegetables by the end of the year, because we're not going to go through all the work of packing it for them, have them not pick it up and then just refund them.
That model just wouldn't work. So we also send the market reminders so that people don't forget to pick them up. We try to bend over backwards to make it work for them so that we can keep them as a customer year over year. And I think this is extra work that most farmers, I dunno, I wouldn't say aren't willing to do it because so many farmers are successful around here, but maybe it's work that they don't need to do because they've already carved their niche, they've already got their loyal customer base. We're still establishing that we're going into our fourth year as a farm. And, yeah, I think we just have to step it up a bit in order to establish our presence.
Diego: [00:08:34] If you look at the CSA model, it's effectively a recipe in some ways, whether you're in New York city, Sonoma, California, PEI, you pack a box, you sell that share for a certain amount of price, people pick it up for every week during a term.
And that recipe works fine off the shelf for some people in some locations. But if everybody tries to apply that recipe, it's not going to work for everyone. And it sounds like when you started, that off the shelf recipe, there was flaws with it and you made a lot of changes going online, sending the reminders, doing the recipes.
What I'm really interested in is the process behind how you made some of the changes. Did you� How did you quantify or start to think about why did we only have a 50% retention rate? Did you ask customers what they were lacking? Did you just make a bunch of educated guesses? Did you talk to other farmers? How do you identify the problem? So you can come up with hypothetical solutions, which you then potentially go and implement.
Jordan MacPhee: [00:09:45] Our first year, we weren't smart enough to send out an end of the year customer survey we have every year since then and it's invaluable information. If you're not there's a saying that you don't manage what you don't measure, or you only made what you measure. If you're not measuring your customers satisfaction, then you're not going to manage your customer satisfaction over time and improve that relationship.
So we looked at the CSA model that we were using the kind of cookie cutter, you get this much a week. It's what we give you. You pay everything at the beginning of the year. And we thought, okay, every single one of these, like you said, there are flaws that if we just tweak them a bit, we can really up the customer satisfaction.
And at that point it was really a guess, but we were just putting ourselves in the customer's shoes and trying to understand from their perspective, what is the problem with the general food system in the first place that made them come to a CSA. But then what is the problem with the CSA model that we're doing, that we're using, that isn't completely solving all of their problems for them, or it's giving them new problems. And then just one by one, going through the process from, them hearing about our farm to going to our website, signing up and getting their first value box and coming back every week.
What are things that we can tweak to make the customer experience more satisfactory and ever since then, that thinking process combined with customer surveys and actually hearing them in their own words. And we do this send out anonymous surveys. S that we can get real feedback. And that way people aren't nervous about giving constructive or sometimes unconstructive criticism, with those two together, the thinking process and those surveys were really able to craft every single year, a better and better service.
Diego: [00:11:35] Of all the changes that you made. Is there one that you think just made a huge difference? Like it fixed a big problem with the CSA model
Jordan MacPhee: [00:11:42] personally? I don't know if this is a big pain point for our existing customers, and it's impossible to find this out from surveys because this is about a customer base that we don't have yet. We want to make organic food accessible to as wide a customer base as possible. And we don't want to do that by going to the bottom of the barrel on our prices. So what we've done with our pricing system for our CSA is if you pay up front, that's great, you get a 10% discount.
If you need to pay weekly or monthly, because putting down to 300, 400, $600 lump sum, just doesn't work with your family financially. We're we set up a weekly credit card payment processing plan that can work for you. And we don't accept that with cash or e-transfer. So that still leaves out some people who don't have access to credit, but I feel like philosophic for our farm, that was one thing that made me feel a lot better about the service we're offering.
And I think it did help us open our CSA up to a whole new demographic on the lower income scale that other CSA�s don't have access to. So time will tell, this year was our first year, using that system time will tell if, we'll see a lower income demographic coming into our CSA. And I hope it does because I want everyone to be able to access organic food.
Now that was one thing that made a big difference on our side of things. I think on the customer side of things, every single year, over the past few years that we've done the surveys, the number one thing that they liked and said to never get rid of is the online orders to be able to see ahead of time three, four or five days, not just in a list that we email them, but what they're going to order and being able to say, I'm going to get that broccoli, and I'm going to get that cauliflower. I'm going to get those beans and be able to meal plan their next week for their family is a huge thing. Whereas our first year we didn't even tell them what they were going to get in the bag. It was a Christmas present every time. And that's the way we phrase it. It's Oh, it's like a surprise.
But then we weren't thinking, how is that going to work? In the customer's experience. That means that if they're grocery shopping, it was on Tuesday and they're picking up their CSA�s on Saturday, there's a three to four waiting time between when they're going to get our vegetables and when they're going to be able to start meal planning, unless we want them to change their entire schedule around us.
And then instead of it being to be a convenient service where they get all of their local veggies from a single farm at one stop. It becomes a pain because it introduces a new pain in their lives because now we're asking them to reorient their entire living schedule around our farm.
So the online orders, I think were definitely the biggest thing that made a difference. All we do is just take a look at our fields. We have a pretty good idea of what we're going to get out of every 50 feet of a crop. And we estimate. And now that we're getting better at producing surplus, and we also have a farmer's markets, to market any extra produce. We can be pretty confident that we're never going to run out of items in our inventory and our online store.
If we say we're going to have, if we think we're going to have 70 heads of broccoli, we'll put in 50 heads of broccoli, and then we'll make sure that that's an easy one because you can go out and count. Let's say, I think I'm going to have 70 pounds of beans and that's harder to gauge. You're going on an estimate based on your previous harvest fields.
Then I can confidently say if we're going to have 50 pound beans and then those customers are going to be able to order as many beans as in what up to that inventory limits. And when we run out in our inventory, we run out on the website, it gets removed from the menu. That makes the management of that's the only thing that makes the management of the online order system work.
It was definitely a worthwhile investment though. It takes two or 3% of our revenue every year. But I think, if it's going to improve our customer retention rate and satisfaction by, 10, 20, 30%, then two or 3% revenue is nothing. We'd spend more than that on trying to win back lost customers or find new customers that we've lost because we're not providing enough of a convenient service.
Diego: [00:15:53] Is it a true free choice CSA? So they get. X dollars in credit, and then they can pick what they want off your weekly list to use up all their credit. Is that right?
Jordan MacPhee: [00:16:05] Yeah, absolutely. Like it's not, they have to order if you sign up for a $400 for the year, that's a medium veggie box. That's 20 weeks, $20 on average per week, but you don't have to order $20 of food every single week.
You don't even have to show up every week. You could order nothing 60 bucks worth. You could order five bucks, $35, $20. The balance is yours to use for the year. And it's the only thing is it's in this situation, since we're the ones giving so much by providing all this flexibility, the customer has a responsibility to use their balance by the end of the year.
We don't provide refunds and we don't roll over. That doesn�t work with our business model. If we're projecting, okay, we need a hundred CSA customers. And the average customer signs up for $370. That's $37,000 of revenue. We can't have $10,000 of that revenue being rolled over to the next year, because then if we have to have another a hundred customers, now we're only getting $27,000 in revenue.
So you really have to think about. How is the customer going to react to all these conveniences that you're adding in? but yeah, to answer your question, it is a true free choice. You don't have to show up every week, you can take vacations, you don't have to let us know all you have to do. we appreciated that people put that they're skipping on the website and then we know how many people, I have just chosen not to order rather than forgotten to order.
And you can order as many of any given product as you like. We could make people select a certain amount from each category, say some, free choice CSA is where you show up at the market. And it's a market style CSA. There are different vegetables by category. They'll have routes, they'll have a house and you'll have to say, okay, roots, pick three out of these five.
And then you can get a choice between, potatoes beets, carrots and radish. And then you say, okay, greens, pick as many as six bags or pick as many as two bags. And you have your choice between arugula, a Michelin mix, spinach, microgreens, and then you move on to greenhouse. And then it said, take one of each tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green pepper, eggplant.
That's it. That's one way of doing it categorizing and then having free choice within those categories. But we don't even do that. We want it to be like an online store. For local farming where you actually have the relationship with the farmer, it's supposed to be the best of both worlds from our perspective, because it's giving the customer every aspect of convenience, it's removing as much pain in the transaction as possible and we still get to have that face to face relationship.
And on top of that, it's not strained because they see how much work we're doing. And that gives us a lot of social credit with them. It gives us a lot of credibility because if anything ends up going wrong in the farm, they know that they can trust that we're doing everything in our power to serve them as our top priority customer.
Because anyone who's giving $600 at the beginning of the year, especially if they've never dealt with you before, that's a huge amount of trust. So you have to do everything that you can to maintain that relationship over time because people talk is that, especially in a small place like ours, where you do have a lot of choices of different places to go, people talk and your reputation gets around quickly.
The first year we started farming, I sat down with a very experienced farmer who was warning me. Again, about getting started with as little experience as I had. I had only been working as a farm worker for four or five years, and I didn't have much understanding of the business aspect of farming. So she sat down with me and said, you can make sure that you are aware of what you're getting into. If you jump into this and ruin your relationship with your customers, your reputation as a farmer, it's like credit card debt.
If you go bankrupt socially, you're ruined for the next seven years as a farmer, because you're not going to be able to get people to come back to your CSA. Of course, people are still going to come back to your farmer's market, but�Especially when you're dealing with small town, farmer's markets, everybody knows each other's names. Everybody knows each other's business, you really have to make sure that you're thinking about the customer side of things first, yours second. And it's not like you're doing a huge amount of sacrifices either.
You're not bending over backwards to the point where you're hurting yourself, but you're doing it to make an empathetic relationship with your customer. You want them to feel that they are your first priority.
Diego: [00:20:51] Yeah. Hearing that. essentially what you have is it's a membership based online store where you're, pre-buying credits on it and then they get free choice selection.
It's almost. I mean it's CSA only under the sense of they're putting money up front. But I see it as more online store than I do CSA hearing how it all works. One thing people are gonna wonder is, what software are you using to manage all this?
Jordan MacPhee: [00:21:15] Oh, it's actually a software that we've built ourselves. It's called waggon. WAGGON.CA We're actually opening up a public beta for people to try out the software for free for a certain amount of time, and then they can use it next season. Just like the CSA or I'll get back to that in a second, but just like the CSA, we're trying to make it so that it's not going to break your bank.
A lot of the software that I went shopping around for, first of all, they didn't offer all the services that I need to have a truly customizable, CSA service. And then if they did allow that, they didn't have optionality for, having a menu for your restaurant clients or grocery store clients, your wholesale clients, unless you wanted to pay a significant amount of money more, but it's not any technologically it's not any different than running a CSA. They just want to charge you an arm and a leg to do that.
We're trying to make it so that you are never paying more than 3% of revenue for all of your operation, regardless of what services you use. You can have as many CSA customers as you want as many grocery store and wholesale customers as you want. And we've been testing this for the last two years. We still have work to do over this winter, but yeah, our own a website was a way to go. We've got a great development team. We only had to put a little bit of money into it from our farm upfront.
And, we're really thinking that because it's, again like the CSA, we're thinking about the farmer's interests first, our customers' priorities first. We think that, in time we're going to be able to, capitalize on all the, time and effort that we put into this over the last two years. So it's been really helpful.
Diego: [00:23:01] Awesome to hear, because I mean that I see as one weak point of a model like this, that can be very complex where you're tracking a lot of numbers, communicating a lot of numbers. There's a lot of room for error to happen, so a good software package that gives you optionality and manages all that is a huge relief. I think for a lot of farm-based business owners. When you look at this model, the online store CSA approach, what's the worst thing about it? what, where are you still struggling with this?
Jordan MacPhee: [00:23:35] There'll be little things like, I'll be good updating the menu from week to week. And I'll forget to remove the first week of October, the third week of October, I'll forget to remove cucumber because the cucumber that we have in the cooler, even though we still have some inventory left, it's been sitting in the cooler for two weeks.
It's not going to be ready to go out to customers. It's probably already got some soft spots. If it does, it's going to last for three days. And then my claim to be able to give the freshest produce as our farm that goes out the window. So there'll be little things like, I'll forget to take the cucumber out of the menu and I'm over this.
That's one of the little things that I want to troubleshoot there should be a really quick way to get a glance at what your customers are going to see from your farming account. So before you publish the menu for the week, you just see everything that's in there and you say, yep, we still have that. We still have that.
Yeah, just the technical, technological management. it's much preferable to the way that we had to do it our first year though, which is, people would come to the market and if they did wanna switch something out or just remove it from their bag, even though I said, we didn't have a swap table, people could still remove stuff if they didn't want it.
So then I had to keep track of. Oh, Mary took out $5 of this. So then I have to write that down on our spreadsheet on our clipboard at the market, and then take that home and manually do it. That's huge headache. And it took just as much time and it was a lot more annoying for me. I'm still spending only 30 to 60 minutes per week, updating the menu to send out to people and it includes a half hour field walk each week, which we should be doing anyway to keep an eye on pest problems, weed problems, irrigation issues, things like that.
So it forces me to take that healthy management step. In a way, the problems of using this system have made our farm better. It's like whenever we go through a food safety process, whenever farmers have to do that. They think, yeah. At first it was a lot of record keeping and was really annoying at first, but over time it's made us better at what we do and it's made us provide a better, safer product to our customers.
Diego: [00:25:43] How have these changes resolved or how have these changes affected your retention rate with customers? You mentioned the first year, it was 40 to 50% attrition. Where are you at now?
Jordan MacPhee: [00:25:54] Well, our survey that we just sent out last week, 90% of customers say they're going to renew, which is amazing. Now time will tell again, if that's true. A lot of it, it's very easy to say you're going to renew, but, given the positive relationship shifts we've haven't had with people over the year, the glowing reviews we've gotten that survey, even though they were anonymous, nobody had their name attached.
So it's not like I know, Oh, Jill really likes our, customer service. It�s anonymous so that we know that the feedback is really honest. And I think if we just follow up with people over the winter and send out a good campaign over four or five weeks, we'll probably be able to get at least 80% retention. And I'm hoping to get the full 90, we had a question in our survey that was about, if you're on the fence, if something like that is if you're on the fence, what's one thing that we could do to win you back. And we got that. That was probably the best question that we asked her a survey because we got a shopping list of things that we could do to improve our service.
It wasn't an open ended, what can we do to make our farm better? What could we do to make you happier with our farm? It's what would actually convince you to come back next year if you're not totally certain right now?
Diego: [00:27:13] Knowing those responses, was there a theme to them? We're on the fence. What can we do to move you off the fence?
Jordan MacPhee: [00:27:20] The, one big one is actually going to be a relief off our backs and it was email communications. A few customers said that they just found the amount of email communication overwhelming. We were over-communicating. We were putting little details in the bodies of emails that people didn't really need to know.
Even though I roughly tried to do this year, next season, we're going to make sure that all of the primary information is at the top of the email, the secondary information is in the middle and then we'll have a farm news section at the bottom, like a little, little blog.
I try to do that this year, but I didn't do it very well and I think what was missing is that I didn't quantify it. You don't manage what you don't measure. So instead of just having roughly top primary, middle, secondary, third farm news, I'm going to have. If you can't read the primary information in 30 to 60 it's too long. And if there's information that I could cut errors that people could pick up the vegetables without being frustrated, that's something, then it's secondary information. And anything that has to do with how the week went, that belongs in news. And in total, if the email cannot be ready in five minutes or less, it's too long and something has to be cut out.
And if there's like different stuff about, we're moving our position at the market, it's October and we're not going to be able to stand outside anymore. So we're moving our Saturday pickup time, the evenings after the market. So we can be inside rather than during the market, outside in the day, those are going to be sent as separate standalone messages so that people don't get these text walls in their email inbox.
So that's a logistical thing that a lot of people said was a pain because these are a lot of our customers, even though we try to make it open to all income levels, the average customer is in the middle to upper income bracket. So these people are high performing professionals, they've got very busy lives.
They've got, and even if they're not, they have kids, they have their own social lives. They don't have time to be spending 10 or 15 minutes a week. I know that doesn't sound like a lot of time, but if it's dense logistical information, and the formatting of the email is different every year or every week that's going to annoy them.
And I guess I thought, by over-communicating I was doing them a service, but if you think of that through a lean farm style, it's overburdening myself because I'm taking an hour and a half away writing an email every week to my customers.
And then it's over-packaging a bag of kale. If you put three bags of kale. Yeah. It might stay fresh a little longer in the fridge, but that customer is going to value extra two bags. They just want the minimum amount that they need in order to get what they want.
So if I can give them that in 30 to 60 seconds, that's all I need to do. And I can write that email in minutes and then template the other information below. I can do a quick scan to see if anything needs to be changed from week to week, but as far as the service for our customers, it's not important to it, it can go.
Diego: [00:30:29] Interesting. And I would agree, 10 to 15 minutes on an email, that's a long time I could see overwhelm and it gives me think, I wonder one, we're such a visual culture now, especially around food with food porn and magazines and Instagram.
If you could just communicate. Here's what's coming this week and it's like the common CSA shot you see of top down view of every item laid out on a nice backdrop of wood table. And here's what we have. It's one image. Somebody looks at the image. Bam. I know what's common. I'm excited. I can see the color.
I can see the vibrancy of it. I don't have to read anymore. I'm done. And the other thing I think about, and it goes back to something like Ben Hartman always says, are you providing more than the customer will pay you for. I noticed that there's this whole idea around storytelling around the farm, and I definitely think it's important and there's a lot of ways you can do that.
You can do it visually. You can do it through texts. You can do it verbally in person. And I think about things like farm news and an email. And I just wonder how many people are reading that how many people would miss that if it was gone and are we, and I say this as a business owner, giving our customers too much of the story, when really they're busy, they don't care about the story.
They want their problem solved something that we'll get to later and they want to know what they're getting. And every week they don't need to know what's happening day to day, cause they're already convinced they're in the, you sold them on the story already to sign up. Do they continue to need to hear the story once they have signed up.
And it's just one of those things, like I'm in split testing, two emails, the ultra short version. Here's what it is. And it's just images with some headings and then, or images with graphical overlays. And then here's the text version.
Jordan MacPhee: [00:32:38] No, that's really true. And you spoke to something that I want to touch on, like the visuals. Next year, we're definitely going to do that in our emails every week, where you have to see the bounty that's coming from the farm, that's going to be coming at you. We realized this past year, most of the year, we didn't do recipes because I thought that was maybe something that we didn't really need to do for the customer.
But when I looked back at our week to week orders, over last year, I think one main variable that changed from last year to this year is not seeing a recipe. Now, the recipe that we sent last year, it always had a picture of the final meal. And we, I looked at the percentages, in MailChimp, they give you the breakdown of how many people click on a link. Only 20%, 25% of cases clicked on that picture.
So I thought that a huge value to people and it takes me a while to go on Google and look up a recipe that's relevant to the vegetables that are available that week. But then I looked at the orders from week to week, and I noticed that when we were doing that last year, everyone was ordering what they signed up for is an average weekly order.
So if someone was not signed up for the $400, medium veggie box and had a $20 average weekly order, most of the time they were ordering 24 or $25 worth of produce this year, our average, or it was 15 or $16. For a $20 customer. And we had a lot more people skipping from week to week. And I thought, okay, the only variable here that I can really think of, because the quality is the same, we're communicating just as frequently.
The only variable is the recipes, so that visual and seeing that. final end point of what your meal could be for that week. Or I think even though it was only 20 or 25, sending people clicking on us, it got people thinking about how we're going to use their vegetables in a way that was practical and useful for their family.
So next year we're definitely going to be re-introducing the recipes every week. And we're also going to be reintroduced introducing for the first time, a picture at the top of the raw vegetables, because then they can also see the transformation happening through that process. It's not Oh God, what am I going to do with these vegetables?
Why have I signed up for this? They say, Oh, here they are. And here's what I can do with them. And if I don't know what to, if I don't like that particular recipe, now I remember that I can just go online and look some up myself. And that's what I was thinking was the uselessness of that feature. I thought, people can just go, they have recipe books at home. They can just go on there, Google stuff, you know what people don't.
They're just making the same old that they've already made because I had to take 20 minutes or so to find a good recipe that everyone could use. But if I only have to take 20 minutes to serve a hundred customers, that's saving a hundred customers, 20 minutes at a time each.
I'm saving 2000 minutes of human time by just taking the 20 minutes myself to look up a recipe for them and they can click on that link and then they can also see, on these websites, they always have similar recipes to the side. YouTube does. if you click on one video, it's going to show you relevant videos, besides that they do that with recipes on these sites now, too.
It gets people just in the habit of using their vegetables more frequently. And I guess it didn't really affect retention rate that much. Cause we still have reportedly 90% of people coming back, but there were definitely a lot of people who did not use their share to the full extent.
So maybe when they renew next year, it's actually going to be people dropping down from $600 to 400 or 400 to 300. I'm going to find out, but that might end up being a benefit.
Last year, we had people have to top up by the end of the year because using more than their average weekly share every week. So we actually have people topping up 50, a hundred, $150. We put those options on our website that they could add to their CSA. So the visual part of this communication is really important.
Words are both a new and an outdated form of communication. Like for the vast majority of humanity, the last 500 years are really when there was a huge literacy explosion before that it was a lot of auditory communication. And now that we're going into the realm of podcasts and cheaply being able to take a high-quality picture with a magic machine that's in your pocket words are falling by the wayside again. So it's really important that we exploit that part of human communication, which is mainly visual.
Diego: [00:37:08] I'm thinking about that. I'm not a farmer. I don't. Get a CSA because of many of the aforementioned CSA flaws that we've talked about. And I'm thinking, okay, I like where you're going with all this. And if I'm getting an email. What do I want to see? And also being somebody who runs a business, what does the customer want to see?
And when you buy vegetables, you're not buying vegetables, you're buying what you can turn those vegetables into. Nobody is excited just to get the carrots. They want to make a carrot smoothie or whatever it is. So I think. The recipes I think are relevant, but it's like a pile of stuff or a set of assembly instructions that the average person, like most people don't cook anymore.
I don't care about it. I'm like, that's not getting me excited. And I think what if you had the pictures of all the veggies and it gets, there's something like, you could turn this into this, and then there's just five pictures of different things. And they go from like the easy option. I can throw all this stuff in a blender and I get this and it's a picture of just a smoothie.
I see the smoothie. Oh, that looks good. I want that smoothie. I'm going to need these ingredients to make it. I make sandwiches. Here's you know, this on a sandwich and then here's the food and wine. Three Michelin star gourmet dish that some people will make. And it gives people these visual options of I've taken the thinking out.
I've given them a recipe and I've seeded ideas in their head. My kids get a lot of Legos. If you look at a Lego box, it's. Very similar. They don't show you pile of blocks on the cover of the box. So they don't show you the step by step on the box. They show you what the final thing put together will look like.
And it's done in a way that looks like it's animated, even though it's static. And that's what gets kids excited is I want that put together thing, not the bags of individual bricks. And they also show you the primary design. But also alternate designs that you can make with those bricks. So you see why I don't necessarily love that thing, but man, these other things I can make with the bricks, that's brilliant.
Then go back to the CSA. Here's our 10 items. Here's five different things you can do with them. different skill levels, different convenience levels. And now you're selling results. You're selling what they can do. You're not selling vegetables. And I think that's what blue apron home chef, all of these other companies are doing is they're selling what the end dish looks like.
And if farmers don't start doing more of that, these aggregators that are done on a huge scale, I think are going to get more and more of a foothold.
Jordan MacPhee: [00:39:57] there's an amazing moment of synchronicity happening right now, where my grandmother has left the TV running in the living room on mute. And while you were talking about, showing me and what the customer wants in the end, not just what you're selling, you're showing their desire.
There's a commercial on for Vista prints. And that's the company that we use for our business cards and things like that. And they're showing they're not showing. pictures of machines like printing out vast rays of business cards. They're showing closeups of, a woodworker, a person making honey, a person making smoothies, and having a customer relationship with that person.
And then being able to proudly represent their business by handing them a professionally well designed a business card or pamphlet you're, they're not selling business cards. They're selling a professional representation. To their customer. And in the same way, we're not selling vegetables. We're we might not even be selling meals when I'm thinking about one customer wants in the end, especially when I'm making advertisements on Facebook or whatever, I'm crafting a message in social media or whatever.
I'm speaking to someone at the market. Their end desire is really feeling like a responsible human being who is taking care of their health and is taking care of the families we're selling. Not healthy food, we're selling a healthy lifestyle. So if you really think about the end point of your communication. Here's how our farm can help you get the healthy lifestyle that you want for yourself and your family.
That's where you're transforming their lives. That's where you were providing the solution with the product you're offering. Then you're not pushing like it's the Ben Hartman, going back to Ben Hartman for a third time, you're not pushing a product onto this market onto this customer. They are pulling a lifestyle because that's, you're going to help them reach their goal.
Diego: [00:41:48] I'm with you. I totally agree. I think lifestyle is a big part of it. I also think convenience is huge. There's parts of the health lifestyle that I want to live, but they are a pain in the you-know-what to implement. That's why I don't make fresh juices every day, as much as I know, I want to, as much as I know, that's good for me. I don't have time.
So if a business could show up with a freshly pressed juice every day, I'm willing to pay some amount for that to get vegetables, to live that healthy lifestyle with three kids doing podcasts at 5:00 AM here. I'm going to pack boxes when I'm done. I have a lot going on.
To go pick something up. That's a problem. I want to eat healthy, but sometimes it's like that extra effort to get let's call it a little more healthy when I can buy organic salad mix at Costco. When I buy some other things at Costco, I have to go above and beyond to get local, better quality beyond organic and�
As much as I value that, like it's just hard. There's only so many hours in the da. And my kids want to do stuff. Everybody wants my time and now has a service that kind of makes my life better. They want my time too. And I got to put out extra effort to do it. I don't know. I think that's why a lot of people pass and that's why boxes are now getting delivered.
That's why Amazon prime is just through the charts. Yes, I think healthy lifestyle definitely important, but I think it's make it as easy as possible for people to live that healthy lifestyle. And I think it involves out of what you're implementing price choices, skipping weeks, select the product, delivery, I think is huge. As little resistance as possible to live that responsible, healthy lifestyle that you're talking about.
Jordan MacPhee: [00:43:53] Yeah, absolutely. Like you bringing up Amazon and Whole Foods. When that story came out last year, I was all over it because, this is one thing that, I dunno, it's.
It's a criticism of the type of business that farms like ours are setting up and I can see the philosophy behind it. It's you know, when CSA�s first started in North America, it was people sitting in a barn in their community passing around. A clipboard and saying how much they were going to give their local farmers so that person can earn a livelihood in the next year.
And if there ended up being a crop failure, Oh, don't worry. You can keep it because we need you strong farmers in our neighborhood. And that's a really nice community image. But that is the 1% or 0.1% of customers that like you said, are going to go above and beyond the call of duty, in order to serve this local food movement.
We, as the new generation of farmers coming in, not only are we competing with, a steady and strong, and vibrant community of well-established farmers who have a loyal customer base that we're trying to claw so that we can livelihood. We also have, it's becoming mainstream now, and that comes with it as a blessing and a curse.
We have customers that are coming in, who don't have a farmer that we go to and we can get some vegetable sales from that. But because there's such a mainstream appeal for local and organic, you have Amazon buying up whole foods and they're going to be offering delivery. I saw a video of what they're planning to do in the next five or 10 years.
They, again, like you said, they're removing every single point of friction. They want to make it so that you're skating through a grocery store and you don't even have to think about the prices like they have the prices on display, but if you want, I have a card in your pocket. That's an Amazon card. You just walk into the grocery store and walk out.
You're not even going to the cash register because then the scanner picks up the card that's in your pocket and charges it from your account. You don't even have to experience the idea that you are paying for this local organic food. So when we're setting up our farm and our CSA and we realize how important it is for our livelihood and our annual income, it makes up more than 70% of our income every year.
We have to think about what is the future holding for us and how can we compete against the local food scene that's going to exist in corporate North America in the next 10 years. Offering delivery. When we have been for the last couple of years, in the first year we charged $5 this year, we charged $3 and next year it's gonna be a free for anyone who orders more than $30 product in a week, because we'll obviously we're not going to spend, 20 minutes and $5 on gas to deliver $5 of food. But if you can stack that the people stack that for yourself and make sure there's a large enough order to justify it, again that's something that we can do. That's going to compete with these super mega, local organic stores of the future.
Diego: [00:46:53] And you're pretty sophisticated in your thinking on a lot of this stuff. It's pretty forward thinking. What are your thoughts on this: one issue around this model is, it's a local business. It's not Amazon. Maybe there's not the confidence there. You're in a smaller location than I am, so the confidence maybe there, and I think a lot of people, they're potentially interested in this model, but they're like�
I don't know of doing something like, Hey, try it free for two weeks. And the first thing I know a lot of business owners here, when they say I'll try it free is Oh my God, like that's, I'm just going to get burned. All of these scammers are going to come in. They're going to take advantage of it. I'm going to package all this stuff, lose all this money and it's never going to work.
But I look at� Again, other businesses that are aggregating food products and the home chefs and those types of companies, they give you a massive discount front to make it happen. And I think one of the big issues with the model that you have is it's not, it's getting customers in the door up front, so you can then do all the good things that you do to keep them.
And if you can't get them in the door, then. What good is it to have this model if you can't grow your customer base. So I look at it with the idea around I'm going to lower the barrier to entry, where I lose money. I break even, but I'm going to make it so financially attractive for you to try it, that you do want to try it and once you do, we'll convince you to stay at regular price.
Jordan MacPhee: [00:48:35] I'm going to go into the weeds of some marketing and advertising, and I hope I don't lose anybody on this. I've had long conversations with my sister, she's in marketing. She took a four-year degree from Schulich school of business in Toronto.
She's been in marketing for the past 10 years. And we sit down every year and she helps me through some of these marketing decisions that are made. And she introduced me to the concept of cost per acquisition. And, when she said, what's your CPA, I was like, I don't have a chartered professional accountant and she's no cost per acquisition.
And what the concept is how much are you spending to acquire each customer that you are hoping to retain for at least an annual basis. And that's very applicable to CSA firms because you're trying to get them for a one year season. So we did the crunch, the numbers, and we said, okay, it makes sense for us for a $400 purchase as 50% profit, which is $200 for each customer, we can spend $20 per customer.
So our cost per acquisition has to be less than $20. So when we're looking at our, advertising bill, that means if we do nothing but Facebook ads for the entire winter, and that was going to be all of our budget for a $100,000 revenue or no, sorry for 100 CSA customers, $40,000. We could spend up to $2,000 for the year. Now we only spend $500 on Facebook and we end up filling our CSA pretty well. One thing that we're going to introduce next year, now that we're going to start accepting public online orders. For, we're going to open up our system to public customers who are part of a CSA. They don't get the 10% discount, but they are still going to be able to order online and access our menu.
We're going to say, Hey, your first order, $20 off. And even if they only ordered $20 a product, that means it's free and the delivery is free for the first time too. And I'm saying, I'm thinking that's worth it because� Think about it at the farmer's market, everyone's done samples, or if you're not doing samples, you should be, especially if you're doing a new product or a niche product, like microgreens our first week, we didn't do any samples.
We just wanted people to have the clam shells that we were bringing to the market. The second week we had our live trays, we were snipping off pieces of popcorn shoots, red radish, whatever people wanted to try. We saw our sales jumped from $250 in the first week to $500 in the second week. And then 600 was pretty consistent throughout the height of the summer.
And even though the timing might've been an issue, it doesn't go from 250 to 500 in a week that what did it was the samples we might've given away 20, $30 worth of samples, but we got $250 of extra revenue out of providing those samples.
In the same way if you're willing to up your cost per acquisition for your customers by giving. A bigger discount by giving a free delivery for the first order, by, jumping through hoops for them so that they don't have to so that they don't have to take a leap of faith on your farm. It gives them a shortcut for establishing a trust relationship with your farm. You're not just acquiring a customer, you're making a really feel good first impression.
You're removing all the friction, that first interaction. And then I think I'm know psychologically. Maybe you're making the rest of your relationship with that customer. That much easier. It's nothing that we've tried yet. So I don't want to speak, like I'm talking from experience, I've done it at the farmer's market and it's worked, but I feel like it's also going to apply to our CSA advertising and our online public order advertising, too.
Diego: [00:52:13] I think one thing you also need to think about there and your cost for acquisition is. Don't just factor in that's a $400 sale this year, because if you're retaining 90% of your customers, the customer that pays 400 this year, 90% of them were paying 400 next year. And what's the long-term retention?
So one customer who pays 400 this year may represent, you might find a thousand dollars over five years. So to give up $20, it's no longer 20 of 400, it's 20 of 1000 because they have a lifetime value. And when you start to think about lifetime value, which I think is the CSA model lends itself to long-term customers who are going to have longevity, it makes writing a bigger check up front not as daunting. It's not. Oh, I gave up $50 of a hundred it's I gave up $50 of 2000. So that's one consideration, I'd say, add to the mix when you do the math, when factoring that in.
Jordan MacPhee: [00:53:20] Yeah. And if, next year we end up having close to 90% retention, if. We were only if we were spending a hundred dollars to get, 30 or 40 customers last year, the average customer is costing us 12 or $13 in advertising.
Next year, if we only have to win 20 or 30 new customers total because we've retained 90% of our customers, then that will drop our average customer acquisition spend to maybe five or $10 or less. So the better of a service you're offering over time, the more you�re retaining your customers, then you're automatically bringing your cost per acquisition down because you're, you need to acquire less new customers.
Diego: [00:54:03] In thinking of your existing customers and getting new customers. One thing that I heard about recently in an audio book, I was listening to, they were talking about using your existing customer base as the best place to find new customers. Do you incentivize existing customers in any way to refer people to your farm?
Jordan MacPhee: [00:54:22] We did our first year, and I think that was a mistake because our first year, people didn't really take us up on it. They were already taking a leap of faith themselves. Like I said, I think before the interview, maybe half the customers came from word of mouth. I've done a lot of volunteering, in my late teens and early twenties.
So I had a lot of people who were in like the kind of local social, environmental, foodie scene. And, I was already asking them to take a leap of faith on our farm because they knew that I didn't have experience. Like I only had experience working on farms, not running my own. So they were already taking that leap with me.
I then when I asked them to extend and, reach out to their friends, family, And say, Hey, will you spend $400 on this farmer who's never run a farm business before? I think that was too much of an ask. But now that we've developed a reputation, again, a reputation for our farm. I think we'll be able to effectively ask that for next year, because if 90% of our customers are so happy with us, that they want to come back.
that was another question that we asked in the survey. How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend or a family member or acquaintance? And I think, we had, 3% detractors and then, 20% kind of warm leads that's in the seven to eight zone. And then we had, over 80% that were actually advocates for us.
So next year, we're going to try to capitalize on that and say, Hey, not only are you going to get 10% off of the prices in the online store, but you're also going to get an extra, I haven't figured out the exact numbers yet, but next to 20, 30, $40 added to your balance. Our first year, the offer was you get $20 off of your fee. And even though we were offering them basically $20 of cash to recommend for every person that they got to sign up, and give them their name, it didn't go. But next year, I think that's going to be a big thing for us.
Diego: [00:56:18] I really liked the idea of that. And I think, again, you look at your acquisition costs, you can afford to give some of that away for referrals. One other thing that I'm just thinking of this, the brainstorms going is looking at your customers you're retaining year over year, the ones that are being loyal and doing something special for coming back.
Not as a, if you come back, we'll give you this. It's you came back, you didn't know you were getting this and I'm giving you this for free and it could be an extra 10 bucks credit. It could be, Hey, we, we're long out of our ears on peas here. We're going to give you a pound, a peas for free, no cost. Maybe it's a handwritten letter. Something to say, we recognize that you have been loyal. We're paying attention. This isn't Amazon, this isn't whole foods.
We appreciate your business. Thank you. You didn't ask for this. We want to give it to you because you made a difference in our business.
Jordan MacPhee: [00:57:27] Yeah, that's really good. Yeah. I hadn't thought of that before. Just like giving them a surprise gift that they weren't expecting because they came back. Then it makes the relationship a bit more natural where there's, reciprocity taking place naturally in relationship, you scratch my back.
I scratch yours and the surprise aspect of science, because then they don't constantly feel like they're being marketed towards. If we dangled that as a carrot in front of them to sign up again, then it's les natural. It's not something that they just did organically because they wanted to, they also had that little incentive.
So you're not really sure if they did it just for the incentive or did they do it anyway, and now they're going to get that extra bonus. One idea that comes to mind is maybe if they wanted the extra 20, if you just gave them an extra $20, without letting them know ahead of time that you were going to do that for them, you could also give them the option to pass that on to a friend, that might be an interesting idea because then you get they could use it for anybody they want.
And then it also introduces the incentive like, Oh, I can do this. You're giving me the opportunity to give a gift to somebody else that's valuable to them, but it didn't cost me anything. And that kind of also hits our value spreading community around the local food movement. but yeah, I'm gonna play around with that because I really like that idea.
Diego: [00:58:47] There's a lot there. And it's, as CSA has get older as these membership programs move along, you can look at something is, Hey, you've been a member for five years.
You get some bonus that's a denomination of five. And when you roll the six, that bonus goes to six. So as people who are members longer, their tenure accounts for something else that's being given to them. So just more incentive to stay there. And it all goes back to this idea of it's really hard to get new people.
And when you get the people in, do everything that you can to keep them, and that involves good product that involves good presentation. Good communication, good service. And it also involves just like you said, there's a relationship there. And I know people who've bought from us a lot at paper pot, like I'm thankful for them. I'm not, I'm the person shipping it, I'm doing it. So I feel like I have a connection with them, even though I'm not seeing them. And when I see repeat names come up, I'm grateful for that.
I notice that and I think small farms, that's one way to continue to build that community that maybe is harder and harder to find is you have to think of these innovative ways to take the relationship to the next level in a way that doesn't seem spammy, markety or forced.
Jordan MacPhee: [01:00:11] That's really true. And, Yeah, I'm used to going through Facebook. So it's going to be a little bit of a switch up for me to change towards this word of mouth style or back to this word of mouth style I did in 2015, but I'm looking forward to it because, sitting in front of a computer and putting together these pictures and paragraphs, or like email campaigns, it removes yourself from that food community.
So I just miss the human aspect of talking to people and getting people to spread this to their friends. And then I get to have conversations like, Oh, how did you hear about us? And there's Oh, Jenny, who was like a customer last year, told us about it. And, that's going to be a nice aspect. It's going to bring it closer to home rather than going through these monster social media websites that are really only useful for me because they're mining a bunch of info about the people who live in my neighborhood. I'd rather just go talk directly to them.
Diego: [01:01:09] That's it. And bring them to you. The other great thing about farms is they. You have a picture S aspect in annual field days or semi-annual field days where you could take some vege and make something, even if it's simple, like salads or smoothies or something like that. My daughters are involved in this athletics program and they recently had an open house and they serve, like grocery store cake and bag chips and stuff.
Like the food was nothing to write home about, but it felt nice that we were invited. And we got to go there and just mingle and it was an event, the kids enjoyed it. So just another way to give back because people, I think in a crowded society where there are a lot of faceless transactions, extra effort, extra time to get to know somebody.
Those things are noticed, especially on a very local level.
Jordan MacPhee: [01:02:12] That we had in our survey was, what was the main reason that you decided to sign up to our CSA? And I think the options were, convenience, one-stop shopping, price, value for money for the food, supporting and knowing your local organic farmers. And there were a few others, supporting and knowing your local organic farmers was actually the surprise to me the top one, because, maybe contradicting everything else that I've said in this episode, that's oriented towards our farm, but maybe it doesn't, it's a relationship that is the main part of the deliverable of our service.
We're giving a human connection and a face attached to a food system. That's a global faceless. System. It's a society where you're always interacting through screens. You hardly get to interact with a real person. Even when you call up companies, most of the time you're pressing five buttons and going through a bunch of menus before you talk to a human.
So I think that's actually a major aspect. A question that we added in was if we had on-farm events, would you go, we've never had them before, because even including this year with the amount of staff that we had, we were just spread so thin that we couldn't take the time to organize plan and facilities and non-farm event.
But next year, we're going to be a little plug for you. We're going to be investing in a paper pot, transplanter. We're going to be investing in your five row Jang seeder. I think all of these tools together, finger weeder, are going to culminate to give us probably an extra day of time each week or maybe every two weeks at the least to do the projects and the farm and keep up with the management. And one of those things that I want to dedicate that time to is customer orientation. And I want to have two solid events where we invite all of our CSA customers. We're going to do a farm tour. We want to end the farm tour with a potluck.
Or maybe just a meal that we make so that people are pressured to bring something. And that an 80% of people said that they wanted to come to those events, and it's hard to measure because if you have a Facebook event, you're going to have a hundred people sign up and then 50 people show up. But, I think if we really bring home, Oh, this is going to be a fun time.
You get to see where your food is grown. You get to meet the employees, you get to enjoy some food on the farm. I think that's really know. Glue them mind, body, and soul to everything that we do as a farm, because they interacted with us at the market and they get to hear how things are going in the emails, but they don't have that visual of where their food is coming from. I think if we introduce that, it's going to make it a lot more human.
Diego: [01:04:54] And when you invite that many people to an event and only part of the people show up who shows up the diehards, like the people that really care. They're the ones that. Give a damn about what's going on. And I think it's� Certain nuggets of any business, a nugget of customers that really is the bread and butter of that business.
They're the supporters. And if it further entrenches that nuggets, that's better if it brings in new people, so be it. But it's just getting the people who do want to come. Yeah, you're right. Five out of 10 people, seven out of 10 people might not want to come, but the three that come really counts. And this thing that my kids did, they kind of stack marketing on top of it.
So they did. Two events that were open to the general public before aimed at two different category. One was like a little kid, mommy and me thing. And one was towards older kids. So that was like, Hey, come view us, come visit, come try us out. Stay for the party after.
And then the party was really catered at the existing customers and I, it was nice to see it felt good. And it marketed them out in a new way. And another thing I think farms can do to draw new people in and reward the people that do.
Jordan MacPhee: [01:06:16] Yeah, absolutely. And, you don't want to be playing to the lowest common denominator of customers anyway, some people, a lot of people did say that it was for the convenience, or it was for the food value or the price that they were getting like the discount, but the diehards that are actually going to come to those events, they're going to have a better time and there's good and bad ways of doing it on-farm event too. I saw one in a CSA marketing discussion group that was about this woman who had a complete fail of an event. She was going to have people over for a dance party and a movie.
And I'm like, what does a dance party in a movie has to do with your farm? Like people want to connect with you and your farm. They don't want to do something that they could go to any nightclub or movie theater. And only one person showed up. It was super awkward. So you want to make sure that when you're going to try to introduce a human element, you're doing it in the way that cuts those diehard customers would want.
They want the nitty gritty. They want, maybe not need too nitty gritty. They don't want to see, messes up on your farm and broken pitchforks all over the place, but they want to see the actual place. They want to have that connection.
Diego: [01:07:22] That's it. And it's our job as business owners to create connections and foster those connections and provide a service, provide happiness for people, give people value at the end of the day.
You're doing a lot of that with everything that you're doing, it, Maple Bloom Farm for people that want to follow along with everything that you're trying on your farm and everything that you're doing, where are the best places to go to get more information on Jordan McPhee and Maple Bloom?
Jordan MacPhee: [01:07:49] We do most of our online action on Facebook.
Catherine, my partner, she's really great at keeping up with Instagram. I try not to, I'm already knee deep in technology, so I don't want to be waist deep and get an Instagram too. But we do a little bit there and you can see some shots of our market displays and how we do our microgreens, there.
And, yeah, otherwise our website, maple bloom, farm.ca we have, some great, information about how our CSA works, that I'm happy to have anyone pull, just grab it right off of there and use it for themselves if they want. And for our CSA management platform, wagon, and you can find that at Waggon.ca.
Diego: [01:08:34] There you have it. Farmer Jordan McPhee. If you want to follow along with everything that Jordan's doing, be sure to check out his information in the show description for this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to let me know, reach out and give me a shout on Instagram, either at paper, pod co on Instagram or at Diego footer, I manage both those accounts.
So you can reach me at either one. I'd love to know what you thought of this episode. And just to conclude this episode, I want to give you a little preview of what's coming ahead. One of the new products that we're unveiling at paper pod co, one thing that we've had a lot of requests for. Are solid trays to use for bottom watering, your paper, pot flats.
The request of came in again and again and again, and we listened. We made the trays and they will shortly be for sale. So custom bottom trays made for the paper pot trays coming soon to paper, pot.co stay tuned for more information on that in the weeks ahead. That's all for this one. Thanks for listening until next time.
Be nice. Be thankful and do the work.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.