PITTSBURGH (WTRF) – People in the tri-state area now have a new resource for fresh produce and food, Market Wagon. MarketWagon.com is an online farmers market which delivers food to every home in a 15-county region of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
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 50 of their favorite local farms and artisanal food vendors who offer a combined 800+ items for sale each week. Customers don’t have to leave their homes because everything is delivered to their door every Tuesday afternoon in insulated totes using ice packs to preserve freshness.
Wednesday, Market Wagon announced the achievement of an important milestone for the local food community in Western Pennsylvania: $1 million in cumulative sales for the farmers, chefs and artisans in and around Pittsburgh. But the sales figure represents far more than a number. For many family-owned businesses in the region, it’s been the consistent revenue that has allowed them to thrive and, in some cases, not permanently close when the pandemic changed the industry overnight.
The Market Wagon 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 November 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.
Market Wagon’s success has been instrumental in keeping many small businesses going including:
- All Things Empanada (Pittsburgh) – Coty Rastafar draws on her Central American heritage to offer a number of delicious ready-to-eat meals including, of course, empanadas. Market Wagon allows this female-owned business to deliver to customers 100+ miles away.
- Lettuce Ladies (Sewickley) – Rebecca Mees and her family offers freshly-picked lettuce and microgreens 52 weeks a year thanks to state-of-the-art hydroponic technology. By picking the produce the day before delivery, customers taste the difference compared to the grocery aisle.
- Logan Family Farm (Irwin) – For 125 years, the Logan family has been working the same land. Cattle are raised naturally with no synthetic hormones. Pigs feast on home-grown feeds with no growth stimulants or antibiotics. While Market Wagon started as a way to sell excess inventory, the Logans have quickly discovered that eCommerce has turned into a dependable profit stream and source of revenue.
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 would 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.