Business Spotlight: Local Fare Farm Bag South

Posted by: Cathy Eng in Business Spotlight

If you’ve accidentally bought eggplant out of season, wondered what chemical they’re spraying on your broccoli, or watched your store bought tomatoes wilt within a couple days, rest assured there is better way! Many Villagers have discovered a more convenient and healthier way to get their produce with Local Fare Farm Bag South.   A St. Augustine-based produce delivery service, Local Fare Farm Bag South harvests produce from local farms each Wednesday and delivers “farm bags” to its customers from St. Augustine all the way to Daytona and Port Orange within 24 hours!

Says co-owner Bryant Loeffler, “We feel that it is very important that we support our local farmers as a community and bring a healthier avenue to all the area’s residents.”

Bryant recently provided us with details about his innovative company and how it works.

How did Local Fare Farm Bag South get its start?  I was the head chef of a Farm-to-Table restaurant in Savannah and Laura, our co-owner, managed the front of the house. Local farmers would drop off their just harvested produce on a weekly schedule.

We started a program to deliver this same produce to our customers’ homes, and for the next year and a half I was able to watch the program grow. We decided to venture out on our own. St. Augustine was a good option since our family lived here and there wasn’t a business like ours already established. So, we packed up our things, moved to Florida, and set out on foot to find the local farmers.

How did you get into the food industry?  I started in the food Industry at the age of 15, working my way from dishwasher to head chef. Laura started out as a hostess at 15 in her parents’ diner. She waited tables for about 10 years until she was given the chance to manage a couple of establishments.

I have finally found my calling here. Working with such a fresh product and being able to help our neighbors and friends gain access to local produce is a complete joy! Then, I get to show them how to utilize it and get them out of their everyday norm. It doesn’t get any better than this.

What makes your service a better option than buying at a supermarket?  When buying at the supermarket, you rarely know where the produce is coming from, what was sprayed on it, how it was grown, etc. With our program, we physically go to our local farms, harvest what is available, and deliver it the next day! We only work with farmers who exclusively use certified NON-GMO seeds and organic methods for insects.

How does the service work in a nutshell?  Customers can sign up on our website by choosing their area and subscription preference. They can use their account to change their subscription, hold delivery for vacation, update their payment details, and add items.

We offer three bag sizes and many different types of flexible delivery schedules. We will make up a farm bag based on what is seasonal and ready for harvest. We also offer many locally sourced artisanal items – farm fresh eggs, local cheeses, stone ground grits, local honey, datil pepper jams, and finishing salts to name just some. Each delivery includes a fresh baked loaf of bread, baked the morning of delivery, from the French Pantry in Jacksonville.

Once delivery begins, all they need to do is leave a cooler with some cold packs on their front porch and we will do the rest!

Beyond delivery, what other features does your company offer?  Each week, we post our newsletter on our website with four recipes that use the vegetables for that week. 

We also host what we call “Local Fare South Socials”. We come to your house with wine and cheese and present our company to up to 10 of your friends. At these events, we also prepare some tapas style fare for your guests. We love getting to know people in this way.

What do you like best about living and working in the St. Augustine area? We love St. Augustine because it is a town that kind of has a small town feel – not a lot of traffic and not too commercialized. It also sits right in the middle of Jacksonville, Daytona, and Orlando so you don’t have to travel far to find some amazing things to do. Everyone is very nice and super helpful, and we have the best customers in the world!

Visit Local Fare Farm Bag South’s website at http://www.localfarefarmbagsouth.com/ or visit their Facebook page featuring farm photos, videos, and customer reviews.


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