How I found Kathleen Barsotti's business -- word-of-mouth meets hot coupon idea.
My friend Andrea told me about Groupon. One of the first offers came from Farm Fresh to You with a coupon I couldn't refuse, $15 for $31 of organic veggies delivered to my door. Even if I never used Farm Fresh to You again, I had my money back -- and then this box arrived on time filled with gifts from the earth. I was smitten, and that's when I dug in and learned the legacy story of Kathleen Barsotti, student and practitioner of the earth.
It starts with a sad ending. Kathleen is no longer with us; cancer met her before I could. She started the farm with her husband Martin in the 70s, but four sons and a divorce later left just she and her boys to keep the farm stand open. Those who knew her described her this way, "Kathleen is beloved by all who knew her as a devoted student to ecological sciences, an excellent farmer."
Apparently, they all had a knack for the world wanted, today the boys now have about 30,000 customers all eating more fruits and vegetables collected from their farm or nearby partners.
What is stunning about this service is that it's almost the same as going to store; instead, you do something more fun than grocery shopping and this no-excuses-to-eat-better-box arrives at your door.
To prove that the pictures on their site aren't faked, here's a sampling of what showed up last week. They encourage you to leave the flattened box for them to pickup when they drop off the next batch. I'm not too happy with the plastic bag, but given that all the other packaging, i.e. skins, have no plastic and I can send the bag back; it's not a bad trade. It's like Nutrisystem, but without all the packaging...
Out of the box came this beautiful array of color. Just makes you want to start cooking looking it, doesn't it? And if you're stumped for ideas, Farm Fresh to You gives them to you matching the ingredients provided that week.
Kathleen's legacy is a consistent alternative to driving to the Farmer's Market, trying to find parking and lugging home weighty food.
Her legacy is teaching thousands how to cook and WHAT to cook while it's in season and not shipped a bazillion miles from another country. Her legacy helps keep organic farming alive and profitable in a way that is scalable.
Her legacy also promotes the use of untampered seeds that produce tasteless food with questionable parentage.
Her son's expanded the farm stand business via modern marketing by taking their word-of-mouth business online. Their offering to spread the word has rewards for both the giver and the taker. Whomever orders a box of veggies using the special promo code* and my name Mary Clare Hunt, will get $5 off of their first order and I get a free box of goods. Of course you have to be within their California delivery range.
No wonder they have 30,000 customers instead of depending on drive-by business. Everyone wins, especially Kathleen who created a life's work that put's life into others and back into the ground. What's not to trust?
*Code intentionally left off, this is a story about a well planted seed of an idea, not getting more free veggies for myself.