Times are tough. We're ready to help change where you shop and give you the best Florida has to offer! No one expected the whole world to crank to almost a halt just a few short months ago. But now we know that even a tiny blip of food insecurity, supply chain breakdown, and panic can cause major issues for your household! By eating local, you rely less directly upon major retailers and their suppliers. By choosing Florida's finest small farms as your grocer, you support the local economy at its best, provide income for a family instead of shareholders, and make connections that can easily last a lifetime. Very few people say, "That was a great peach. I've got to go back to "MAJOR GROCERY CHAIN" and ask how they grow them like that!" But everyone says, "Wow! I can't believe how fresh those eggs/fruit/veggies/fish and seafood are!" when they were picked, harvested, or butchered just days or even hours ago.
What makes Florida Farm Finder different?
No-fuss, no fees, all Florida favorites!
We took on this task with one goal in mind, to reintroduce Floridians to their food. And we mean all Floridians. Our goal is 24 MILLION happy customers! Everyone deserves to have access to our incredible small farms, markets, ranches, and delivery services, and our goal is to make finding local food as easy as possible.
How did you get started?
One fine quarantine day in May, our Farm Finder in Chief, Jillian, was feeling a little bummed about the pandemic and was randomly scrolling through Facebook trying to kill the seemingly endless time before her three boys' bedtime. She noticed that one of her friend's farm/zoo's had started a little self-serve contact-free produce stand to supplement income lost during the shutdown. Jillian decided to share the page with almost 100 different local Facebook groups to get the word out and support The Backwood's effort. Within hours her Facebook was overloaded with comments, questions, Likes, and Heart Reacts. The demand was incredibly high for fresh produce available outside the confines of a grocery store. Initially, she thought she might get into the produce business herself, but being an essential worker, a full-time Mom, and now a full-time teacher as well, the logistics of that seemed impossible. PLUS, the more she looked into the opportunity, the more local resources for produce she found.
It didn't seem smart or fair to jump into a saturated market, but an idea had begun to grow about how to connect people with those existing resources. She created a Facebook group and added everyone she knew who had expressed interest in sourcing farm-fresh food. Then the real work began. Searching through the depths of the local Facebook algorithms, she started to fill the group by sharing content created by other local farms. Some she knew, some she didn't. Before long, the group was full of hundreds of small business posts, all searchable by county or keyword. The response was electric. Almost 6000 people had joined by 90 days out. The response was so great that she even got a spot on Fox 35's Good Morning Orlando. The people clearly needed access to farm-fresh food, and now they have a great way to find it!
So that's it? A Facebook group? What's so special about that?
Great question! Our Facebook group is unlike any other (at least that we've seen so far), and it is a continually evolving creation. Because we bring the content from other farmers directly to you, you'll never see the same things. One day it's full of milk, cheese, and rare fruit, the next day, you'll see dozens of pumpkin patches, upicks, or nursery posts. It's never boring. We don't have "favorites" unless we can make a specific recommendation based on personal experience. We shop in our group too! You'll NEVER have to ask the question "WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?" because each post has the city and county stamped right on it. And because we've connected with many of those farmers, we are able to anticipate questions, solutions and reach out on our member's behalf. Do you need camel milk? We can find you camel milk!
So it's just farms?
No way! We have thousands of posts from hundreds of small businesses all over the great state of Florida. Farms, farmstands, farmer's markets, ranches, tropical fruit growers, edible plant nurseries, bakeries, apothecaries, herbalists, growers, makers, crafters, brewers, carvers, potters, chefs, delivery services, shrimp boat captains, oyster growers, crab catchers, fishers, simply the best that Fresh From Florida has to offer. Our members are energized, helpful, and fun! Our webstore is stocked with great gear to help promote our love of local businesses and keep our website and activities self-sufficient. We even have plans to organize all of our data in a comprehensive way to make searching more fun here on the website, plans for a huge Florida farmer's market listing that will (hopefully) bring back the emphasis on local goods, and maybe even a podcast! Our administrative team is filled with growers, homesteaders, farmers, small business owners, crafters, and hard-working Moms. We are all about fresh Florida food and small businesses.
Is there a cost for participating in the group? Do you charge the farmers who post?
No and no! Our efforts are based purely upon voluntarism, and some of us spend up to 20 hours a week developing content and making the group stronger. We will never charge for our help. That's not how we do things! This resource will remain free for as long as it is available. And charging farmers? We want to MAKE them a dollar, not take it.
Ok, we're in. How can we help?
Share the wealth! Just kidding, what we mean is share the food. If you help us share our group and our content with those who need it, you are doing more than just inviting friends to a Facebook group; you are renewing partnerships between your neighbors and local farmers, connections that can very easily last a lifetime. If you'd like to financially support our efforts by purchasing a sticker or a t-shirt or a bag in our shop, that'd be great, but really we just want to get to know all of your Florida friends. :)
Thank you so much for supporting local Florida farms!