Consumers looking to support area food producers and offset rising inflation now have access to more than 55 local farms, chefs, and artisans via an online local food delivery platform offered by Market Wagon.
The online farmers market delivers to almost every home in a nine-county region of southeast Michigan.
Market Wagon transforms the farm-to-table concept into a farm-to-front-door reality. Its mission is to enable food producers to thrive in their local markets by offering everything consumers can find at a physical farmers market — local farm-fresh eggs, dairy, meat, produce, baked goods, and more.
Adding demand to the local supply chain also provides an answer to skyrocketing food prices which the USDA expects to rise another 5 percent this year due to rising fuel prices, as well as the war in Ukraine, political shortcomings, and other factors.
Market Wagon allows customers to browse locally grown or produced foods online and place an order from multiple local vendors with one single checkout. For many family-owned businesses in the region, it’s been the revenue that has allowed them to thrive and, in some cases, not permanently close when the pandemic changed the industry overnight.
Local farms and artisanal food vendors offer a combined 750+ 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.
The 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, just a few months into the pandemic, food producers were offered 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, and now high inflation.
Market Wagon’s success has been instrumental in keeping many small businesses going including:
- Heaven Sent Farms (Webberville) – Ross Jeffrey went back to his roots after a career spent in the racing industry. He’s now continuing his father’s legacy by sustainably raising grass-fed and grass-finished Angus beef. He’s certified with the “Beef Quality Assurance Program of Michigan.”
- Metamora Greens (Metamora) – This family-owned operation grows fresh lettuce, herbs, and microgreens year-round in specially-designed shipping containers with no fertilizer. They also sell free-range eggs.
- Upper Hand Fish (Ann Arbor) – All fish is caught in the wild in the cold waters of the Upper Peninsula and processed and vacuum sealed immediately to retain the flavor of the freshly caught fish.
Other area purveyors that are part of Market Wagon include Brass Ring Beef in Metamora, Gaskill Family Farm in Milan, Upper Hand Fish in Ann Arbor, Bluebird Meadows Farm in Hillsdale, 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. Interested food producers can apply to become a vendor on the company’s website.
Overall, Market Wagon partners with more than 2,500 local farmers and artisans to take their produce and products the very last mile to the doorstep of more than 45,000 local customers.
Farmer and tech entrepreneur Nick Carter teamed up with logistics expert Dan Brunner to start Market Wagon in 2016. It now is available in more than 30 markets across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
For more information, visit marketwagon.com.