(The Triangle Trend) — At the risk of stating the obvious, the need for groceries has not gone away during the pandemic. Rather, there was and continues to be a pronounced and sustained increase in the demand for the essentials of everyday life.
At the height of the pandemic, when many of us were confined to our homes, the continued need for essentials resulted in a rapid paradigm shift. Virtually every grocery store chain offered an online ordering/buying solution. Most of these were a drive to the store solution—you wait in your car and they load the groceries in your trunk.
Fewer offered a delivery to your home option. One of these is a company called Farmstead.
In addition to being the only grocer that does not offer a brick and mortar store, Farmstead’s mantra is affordability and that is best reflected in the fact that an order with Farmstead carries no fees. There are no sign-up fees, nor are there fees associated with becoming a member and, perhaps most striking, there are no delivery fees.
How can Farmstead provide a turnkey service like this without any fees? In a word (actually, two words) they use artificial intelligence (AI) to inform inventory levels and ongoing purchasing and replenishing decisions. Scaling and inventory levels are based on sales and consumption by customers. The software is constantly learning and adjusting as necessary. Waste at your local brick and mortar store is around 40%. Waste, on average, at Farmstead is 5%. The savings realized here is passed along to the consumer in the form of no fees.
A spokesperson with the company said prices are in line with other local grocery stores and apart from offering the usual array of national brands customers expect from a grocer, Farmstead has partnered with a robust network of local artisans and vendors to ensure there is a local feel to the experience. They hold themselves up as an online grocery store that delivers all of the benefits of going to the local grocery store without having to actually go there.
Leveraging technology on the ordering side allows customers to build what Farmstead calls a forever cart. Customers can set up (and modify as necessary) a list of essential items in their online shopping cart that will be purchased and delivered automatically on whatever cycle is desired (e.g., weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc).
Considering the foundation of cutting-edge technology at Farmstead, it’s no surprise to learn who the founders are. Back in 2016, Pradeep Elankumaran and Kevin Li, two former Yahoo product managers, were inspired to plot a new course for grocery shopping after being disappointed by other grocery delivery companies.
“How easy would life be if we could get all of the things we need delivered?” they asked. Then they acted.
The first Farmstead warehouse was opened in San Francisco in 2018. Success in Silicon Valley led the owners to look at the Triangle, which they viewed as the Silicon Valley of the East coast. It made good sense for Farmstead to establish a footprint in the Raleigh/Durham area.
The Raleigh Farmstead hub opened in April 2021 and was soon filling orders. It did not take long for Raleigh to scale up to a seven day a week delivery cycle.
Farmstead will deliver to anyone within a 40-mile radius of the Raleigh hub. Apart from making grocery shopping convenient, safe and cost-effective, another benefit Farmstead brings to the community is filling the gap created by locally-acknowledged “food deserts”, areas within the community that are lacking access to affordable and nutritious food. For those impacted, Farmstead becomes an oasis in the desert.
Customers came in all demographic shapes and sizes. From the young to the old, from the healthy to the immunocompromised, from the tech savvy to the tech neophyte.
Farmstead’s cutting edge grocery shopping solution offers another option for an ever growing and diversifying Triangle community. For many, it’s welcome news to know their local grocery store can be found right outside their front door.
To learn more, check out Farmstead’s website.