Centre Markets service connects local farmers with community
SPRING MILLS — Centre Markets LLC director Sabine Carey shares her passion for the local food movement by offering a service to local farmers and chefs that helps connect them to consumers.
“Our main service is really making it easy for our local community to connect to their local farmers and to buy from them.” Carey said, “Even folks that are really committed to it can’t always make it to the farmers market, or they don’t know where to find these farmers. And through Centre Markets, they find a one-stop-shop showcasing over 35 farmers and chefs.”
Centre Markets seeks to build community and relationships between consumers and local food producers.
Carey said, “It seems like the role that we are starting to fill is for folks that are just starting out that are still trying to figure out their marketing and getting their foot in the door. We are technically a food hub, and we are an aggregator. We bag the orders and hand them off to the consumer with a smile.”
Rather than have the consumer or farmers pay for all the costs involved, Centre Markets split the cost to keep it fair while offering a valuable service to both.
All employees of Centre Markets are paid a fair wage for their roles.
“It’s a little bit unique because people expect the organization to be a non-profit, and they expect our folks to be volunteers.”
Carey shared, “But they are not, and I feel really good about that. A sustainable local food system should not have to rely on volunteer labor, and we do like to be able to cover our costs.”
While there are organizations locally doing similar things with more wholesale-oriented farmers, Centre Markets focuses on helping new entrepreneurs and smaller farmers be noticed by consumers and find markets for their products.
Carey said, “I am all about working directly with small farms, and I really enjoy working with ones that are just starting out and helping them.”
Currently, Centre Markets is also working toward expanding local access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) so that recipients will have improved access to local produce at farmers’ markets.
Centre Markets takes the stress out of finding local food suppliers and is an alternative to farmers’ markets for those whose schedule does not allow them to attend.
Centre Markets offers a wide selection of unique locally grown and produced food products and fully prepared meals made by local chefs with local ingredients.
Consumers can shop directly with Centre Markets and place their orders online at centremarkets.com.
Customers can pick up orders at designated spots on Saturdays. If consumers live within allotted distances, delivery is also available for an extra fee.
Farmers or local chefs looking to work with Centre Markets to sell their goods can also contact Carey for more information on the website under the contact us link.
Carey said, “I am passionate about helping to create farmers and community connections. Through Centre Markets we are able to support small local farms and producers, help them to overcome common barriers and allow them access to a larger marketplace.”