Customers can visit 100milemarkets.com and choose their groceries from various vendors around Saratoga, from fresh fruits and vegetables and meat to granola and peanut butter, and pick it up nearby without having to go from place to place. Everything is local and helps to support the local economy.
While this idea has been in the works for some time now, Covid-19 really made co-owner Erica Gilchrist think.
“We’re in a time where there is a need, but not a convenient way to get everything all at once. We want to celebrate the local vendors and make it easy for the consumers.”
“We are building 100 Mile Markets as a way to support producers and small food businesses. We are inspired by farmers and ranchers who care deeply about the land they grow on. We are motivated by the people who hand make incredible yogurt, aioli, pestos and more - people who are doing the thing they love,” said Rita Higgins, Co-owner.
As it works, customers can sign in to www.100milemarkets.com to pick their items from various vendors from different locations to be delivered to one location to be picked up. Currently, the drop off point is Lily and Rose, a catering business in Ballston Spa.
“Our goal is to promote and celebrate local business, it’s a process,” Gelchrist said.
Gelchrist says she has been fortunate with her vendors, stating they have all been supportive of her cause.
“They’ve been amazing! It’s my favorite part of the job,” she said. “Everyone is really excited about this.
When they think about why local food is so important, it falls into three buckets:
• It’s better for you. Locally sourced food is fresher, more nutritious and bursting with flavor. You’ll be able to taste the difference.
• It’s better for the environment. The producers we work with care about the environment and sustainable farming practices. The 100 Mile Markets model leads to fewer emissions and less waste.
• It’s better for your community. When you shop with us, you are supporting farmers and small businesses in your area. This strengthens the local economy and increases community connection.
While she loves the business, she doesn’t want to take away from local farmer’s markets. Keep shopping there, she said.
“Time and time again, we heard that it was challenging to sell products locally. In fact, only 8% of farms in the US do so. We are determined to create a business that supports small producers -finding ways to make it easier for them to focus on doing what they love most, which is usually the growing, making, animal raising side of things and not the selling, marketing and business side of things. That’s why we do this,” said co-owner Rita Higgins.
If you already shop at the farmer’s market or from a local vendor, keep doing it, Gelchrist added. This company supports anything locally sourced.
In the future the company will accept SNAP and WIC benefits, however that is still in the works. The main goal is to help as many people as possible to get fresh food while supporting local farms and creators. The service will eventually be year round, Gelchrist said.
Currently, 100 Mile Markets is working with 18 different vendors from within 100 miles of Saratoga. There are future locations that will offer local goods in Norwalk, CT and Westport, MA.
To learn more, please visit www.100milemarkets.com.