Letter From Our Founder

March 19, 2018

Dear Members,

I write this, sitting in an old barn overlooking the snowy land of Upstate NY. This is the home a talented farmer whose vegetables have made guest appearances in Local Roots NYC. This talented farmer is also now a dear friend of mine. This moment, a New Yorker embracing the nature and beauty of farm life, sitting next to a harvest of Winter vegetables, is one that I strive to share in different ways with all of you through our markets, the story telling we do on our Instagram, and throughout our work.

One of the most wonderful things about being an entrepreneur is to see an idea come into fruition and to let it develop into what it needs to be. It means nurturing your business so that it naturally finds its own form as it matures. In short, Local Roots NYC is growing up and I’m goshdarn excited to witness its evolution.

Sometimes we are so busy, that we forget to celebrate the big and small achievements so I wanted to take a moment to list some ways in which we’ve grown – but also to note challenges we’ve faced. One continual lesson I’ve been learning this past year is that maturing a business past 6 years is intense, hard, beautiful, and exciting. Seeing the larger vision becoming more clear and being closer to achieving your goals sometimes hurts when you want it so badly. But patience is important and slow growth can sometimes be more impactful than quick scaling.
Here we go!
🙂 We moved into a new warehouse space back in May. We’ve been figuring out new logistics, systems, communication, etc but we can now grow Local Roots NYC because we have more cold storage and office space, though using my living room as an office had its perks as well. Thanks Hall Street Cold Storage for being our new home!

🙁 All the new systems at our warehouse were really hard and frustrating at first and a few flats of berries and cases of lettuce were accidentally frozen in the process, but we got through it!
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🙂 I have had the honor of speaking at conferences, radio shows, and tv segments on farm to table logistics, zero food waste, and food as medicine. And I was NYer of the Week for NY1!

🙁 Some of our longterm members have moved out of NYC or to different neighborhoods and we miss them. But hey, we do offer home delivery!

🙂 Local Roots NYC has a new team that is comprised of a former restaurant owner, a farmer/hospitality guru, cookie business owner, and an urban farmer.

🙁 Through our staff transition, we missed a few emails and our communication wasn’t as smooth as I’d like, but our amazing team has transformed our company and is working to streamline our operations. Phew!

🙁 Sometimes it’s hard to know the best direction to grow a business and it can be disorienting. Everything should be meaningful, but it’s also got to be efficient and done well while having a small team.

🙂 We’ve started to cater meals at offices for special meetings/events and have hosted pickle parties at The Wing, Etsy, and other offices.

🙂 I was invited to the mayor’s holiday party for community leaders – what an honor!

🙂 Half our markets are community run – it’s amazing to see how committed these NYers are to local food and community building that they dedicate their time to managing our markets. Power to the people!

🙂 We’re working with a new egg and meat purveyor called Stryker Farm in PA and Nolan the farmer is as sweet as can be and its unbelievable how good his food is…..how is it possible?!

🙂 We donated local veggies to the farming community in PR and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our members. After 6 years of wanting to offer subsidized shares so all New Yorkers can access local produce, we’ve finally launched a Give Back program! Now you can donate to help subsidize the cost of fresh veggies to students on scholarship through CCAP

On our radar for next year:

Growing our Give Back program

Finding ways to make home cooking more convenient and helping to support your food loving lifestyle!

Finishing up our app and launching our new website

Offering recipe videos

+ more.

Thanks for being part of our Local Roots family as we go through the teen years of being a business. Luckily, we’re not dying our hair and wearing insane outfits (I had a lot of purple and pink hair when I was a teenager). Excited to be growing in sync with your evolving needs!

Love,

Wen-Jay

 

Post from December 22nd, 2017