News

Euroa women launch ‘drive-through’ farmers’ market

By Charmayne Allison

Two Euroa women have launched a ‘drive-through’ farmers’ market to provide a vital link between the region’s artisan producers and their customers.

The new market, Strathbogie Local, allows customers to order their weekly produce online through web platform Open Food Network.

Their order is then packaged and dropped into their boot on Friday afternoons when they visit the drive-through collection point at Euroa transport company Brady and Kibble.

Euroa's Renata Cumming and Shirley Saywell came up with the bright idea after a former Euroa Village Farmers’ Market stallholder came to them asking for help.

“We always go to our local farmers’ market and buy a lot of produce and speak to the producers, so we knew there are a lot of producers who are really struggling because of coronavirus shutdowns,” Ms Cumming said.

“Historically, these producers have been selling their products through farmers’ markets or to restaurants.

“They’ve now lost 90 per cent of both of those. So how do they sell?

“We decided there had to be an alternative way of supporting these producers who were losing revenue.”

Eight local producers have already signed up to sell through Strathbogie Local.

These include Miramonte Beef, Freeland Pork, Ross Tomatoes, La Dolce Vita Artisan Bread, Lisadurne Hill Olives, permaculture farm Murrnong and Somerset Heritage Produce.

The women hope their new enterprise will keep growing, with a goal to at least double the number of suppliers in the future.

Setting up the new market has been anything but simple — especially as many producers are new to the world of online sales.

“It's quite a big project. I'm spending at least an hour or two every day on it,” Ms Cumming said.

“In addition to running the market, we’ve needed to set up pages for our suppliers as many of them are not tech-savvy.

“We're going above and beyond to help our suppliers get online.”

To order from the drive-through farmers’ market, head to the Open Food Network website at openfoodnetwork.org.au and search ‘Strathbogie Local'.

A full product list is available on the site, including links to each of the producer’s pages.

While the website is always open, each shop is run in seven-day rounds, opening Thursday morning and closing Wednesday at 11 pm ahead of collection at Brady and Kibble on Friday from 12 pm to 4 pm.

To collect your order, simply drop into the Brady and Kibble ‘drive-through’, where your box of produce will be delivered to your car.