May 17th, 2018 by

Wholesale food app helps local producers

CEO and Co-Founder Marcia Woods has been working for the last six years to help develop and raise awareness about FreshSpoke to help local food producers distribute their products in a timely fashion and expand access. (Photo: Brock Ormond/Quinte News)

A wholesale food-tech venture is receiving federal funding to help grow the local wholesale market in Eastern Ontario, specifically in Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington Counties in the Quinte region.

Information regarding the local food distribution app FreshSpoke was delivered at Three Dog Winery in Prince Edward County on Thursday morning.

It’s a food distribution app that connects local food producers with wholesale buyers using a set of online tools that simplify order, payment and delivery. FreshSpoke’s web and mobile apps give institutions, restaurants and retailers a chance to receive fresh, local food delivered right to their door using a shared delivery system, helping to boost the local economy.

CEO and Co-Founder of FreshSpoke Marcia Woods explains what the general aim of the app is.

Marcia Woods 1

The Eastern Ontario Development Program has invested an initial amount of $10,000 that will go directly to “onboarding” of local farms and agri-food businesses and has helped reduce costs for qualified producers from $1,500 down to $400

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis was on hand at Three Dog Winery in Prince Edward County Thursday to announce federal funding going towards the development of FreshSpoke with assistance from the Eastern Ontario Development Program. (Photo: Brock Ormond/Quinte News)

Woods says the cost-controlling parts of the venture are a big bonus for producers.

“In our particular case, the local food producer sets the price and we only take 5% of that price. The producer is getting 95%, so of every dollar they make through FreshSpoke, they get 95 cents.”

Because local farmers and producers don’t have the time to go around marketing and delivering their products after they grow them, Woods says the focus should be to let them just grow their food and let their technology take care of the rest.

“What we need to do is obviously find ways that we can stimulate economic growth and the way you do that is by addressing the biggest challenges and biggest barriers that are preventing that from happening – it’s distribution,” she adds.

Woods says hard work and determination for the last six years in getting through to the big grocery chains like Metro and Sobeys has helped raise awareness about this endeavour.

Marcia Woods 2

A link to the FreshSpoke website can be found HERE