Two local entrepreneurs want to bring the bounties of Maryland's farms to your neighborhood, maybe even your doorstep.
Here's the concept: Friends & Farms
goes out and gets the freshest produce, meat, dairy, and seafood from farms and suppliers around the region. Then they divide it all into a basket that you pick up once a week from a designated location in your area. They also plan to provide direct delivery to homes, says co-founder Tim Hosking
In the works since last fall, the venture will launch May 31 with the first basket pick-up in the week of June 4. The company will start in Howard County and plans to expand to locations as far north as Baltimore City and County, and as far south as Northern Virginia, Hosking says.
Baskets will include two proteins, a myriad of fruit and vegetables, milk and bread every week, and occasionally items like eggs, bacon, herbs and spices. The food will have been picked, baked, or harvested within 24 to 48 hours.
They are priced more along the lines of Giant as opposed to Whole Foods or a farmers' market, Hosking says.
Hosking says he thinks that quality, freshness, and price will differentiate Friends & Farms from other retailers and markets. Large baskets designed for a family of four will retail at $76, while smaller baskets for two will run at $51.
The company recently leased a 4,500-square-foot office and warehouse space in Columbia as its distribution base. It currently employs four full-time employees with plans to hire additional part-time workers.
Hosking and co-founder Philip Gottwals have both worked in areas of community development, food and agriculture and finance. They are hoping to better connect busy, working people with high-quality, fresh foods straight from the farm and sea.
"We really want to work in the food system, and many aspects of it aren't functioning well, some may even say it’s broken. We are putting our money where our mouths are with this project," Hosking says.
Friends & Farms will host a launch event May 31 at Boordy Vineyards in Hydes.
Source: Tim Hosking, co-founder of Friends & Farms
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, firstname.lastname@example.org