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Local businesses join together to participate in farmers market delivery service

Posted at 11:36 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 16:20:36-04

TAMPA, Fla. — With farmers markets closed, many independent vendors are searching for places to sell their products. One Tampa hot sauce business decided to bring the market to people’s homes.

Michele Northrup’s kitchen is like an assembly line, box after box, being packed with various items from local independent businesses.

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“It was really one of those three in the morning ideas, ‘what if I can bring the farmers market to customers doors,’” said Northrup.

Northrup has been selling her Saucy Queen hot sauce at farmers markets for 13 years, she works with over 200 local vendors.

“All of a sudden poof, we have no more markets or shows,” said Northrup.

Customers can choose between 12 to 15 items from various local vendors to be delivered in one box. This week, Northrup received 55 orders.

“For a vendor to sell 40 to 60 items in a week is fantastic,” said Northrup. “They would potentially have zero income, and now they have something to look forward to every week.”

Massiel Villanueva started her YUJ Granola business two years ago. She didn’t expect things to go this way, but is glad to know she is not alone.

“You have to be coachable and willing to pivot and that’s what a lot of businesses are trying to do,” said Villanueva.

While customers say when every day seems the same, a Farmers Market Box is something to look forward to.

“It helps you not notice that you aren’t going somewhere because you have something new in the house it’s almost like a toy at Christmas,” said Lynnette Offutt.

Five dollars from every box goes toward the the Working Women Foundation. In the last month, they have raised $1,015.

“The money from this will go to help women in your community start new businesses,” said Northrup.

For more information on the Farmers Market Box, click here.