Help Provide Equipment to Support Local Food Production

Dreamer: Ellen Walsh-Rosmann Winner

Business: FarmTable Delivery

Location: Harlan, IA

Industry Contest: Retail/Wholesale

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FarmTable Delivery is an infrastructure, marketing, wholesale and delivery support for small local producers of produce, dairy, meat and dry goods. We strive to improve our local food system by providing sound and reliable distribution for local farmers and producers.
Business Description:
FarmTable Delivery grew from our farm's relationships with chefs at restaurants in Omaha. Many chefs requested that we grow a certain product next year or asked if we knew of anyone that did. Ellen had been procuring for various events that were seasonal and local food centered, so she had already built a network. One thing led to another, and soon we were delivering farmers’ products and marketing it for them as well. FarmTable Delivery began in November of 2013 and the demand and growth has been substantial ever since. FarmTable Delivery has the advantage of being one of the only delivery and marketing services available to smaller producers in Iowa and Nebraska. The demand for local food is at an all time high, and farmers need adequate infrastructure to grow their businesses which FarmTable Delivery hopes to be able to provide. Our services help farmers grow more food and simplify their post harvest process. The products we distribute and procure for them are handled safely and are of the highest quality. The market consists of both producers and end users, both of which are passionate about local food. The end users demand an affordable high quality product, while the producers want a fair and simple way to distribute their products. We offer aggregation, distribution and delivery services to local farmers. We market their products to area restaurants, grocery stores, buying clubs, etc.

We would like to offer a variety of services for farmers and consumers including:

- A certified kitchen for product processing
- Storage of farmer’s items
- Local procurement services for events
- Post harvest handling - Wash area
- Food Box Program for work-sites
- CSA Fulfillment
- Packaging supplies
- Equipment storage and rental
- Group bulk orders of seed
- Delivery service

We currently are looking for a warehousing/storage facility that will allow us to hold products safely and efficiently. This would allow us to buy back stock from farmers we do not see very often, which is more cost effective. We also will use this space for an office and for housing the services we plan to provide for producers.

We are in conversations with large purchasers of local food like hospitals, nursing homes and schools.
Reason for Entering:
We'd like to offer more services for farmers like safe and proper storage of producers' goods. We would like to use the money to purchase walk-in coolers and washing equipment to better serve more farmers and increase local food production in our area.