On April 23rd, Loreann Grimes, General Manager of Frontier Kitchen spoke at the Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA) Conference in Richmond, Virginia. The one-day event provided farmers and farmers market managers with access to marketing ideas and a variety of state-wide resources that are specifically available to help farm businesses build stronger business models and relationships.
There is a growing awareness across the state that Farmers Markets stimulate local economies, healthy communities, and contribute to the overall preservation of farmland and rural livelihood. VAFMA actively supports and promotes farmers markets across Virginia, and this day of training was created to spearhead efforts to give these farm-preneurs greater access to the information that they identified as strategic to stronger business development capabilities.
Six state agencies and partners introduced themselves as members of the VAFMA resource network and discussed the specific capabilities each of their organizations use to assist traditional farming businesses. A panelist in the first workshop of the day, Grimes explained that Frontier Kitchen has a unique relationship with local farmers market vendors because her members are bulk purchasers. “Frontier Kitchen actively advocates a distribution system that largely bypasses the big box providers so that our members have access to local suppliers and are better able to partner with and create ongoing support for the local farmer.” Frontier Kitchen members in the Haymarket and Lorton locations prefer to use fresh produce for the foods they prepare and cook at the kitchen, and those foods are later sold at markets or served directly to consumers.
For additional information about VAFMA, a 501c(3), please go to www.vafma.org