Meeting Announcement: Local Growers Wanted for Bloomingfoods Garden Center

Greetings,

The Bloomingfoods Garden Center, located at the Bloomingfoods East store, 3220 E Third St, got off to an encouraging start this year.  Now, as the growing season winds down, we’re already turning out attention to how we can make it even better next year.  We believe that one of the best things we can do is to dramatically increase the number and variety of locally produced flowers, shrubs, and other products (including an enhanced offering of native plant species) we offer our customers.

Bloomingfoods is strongly committed to promoting a sustainable, local economy, and one of the ways we do that is by providing local producers a venue for their products.  Abundant evidence of this can be seen throughout all departments of our stores, and next year we want that local presence to extend more prominently into our Garden Center. In conjunction with our expanded plant offerings, we are also considering the development of a gardening education series for both adults and kids.

We know that to do this, we need to begin working closely now with local growers, as you wrap up this growing season and begin to plan what and how much you’ll produce next year. We’d love to be an integral part of your plans, as you will be ours. So to get this relationship started, we’d like to invite anyone who produces a product he or she believes is suitable for sale in a garden center to join us on September 15th, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Monroe County Extension Office Meeting Room (3400 S Walnut). There, we will explore ideas concerning next year’s plant and product offerings, and we will discuss with local producers how we can cooperate together to bring these items to the Garden Center in a way that is efficient, sustainable, and mutually beneficial for both the grower and the co-op.

Specific topics we’ll cover include:

·      Arranging both wholesale or a consignment agreements

·      Types of plants that will stock

·      Education programs for next year

·      Fertility of plants - what we expect for resale

·      Container sizes for each plants

·      POP Materials - producer supplied or GC supplied

·      Photos of each producer and a write up about them, to be displayed at the GC

·      Plant signage for the Center, and how that will benefit local producers

·      Scheduling for plant materials to be received at GC

We’re delighted by the early success enjoyed by the Bloomingfoods Garden Center, and we’re excited by the prospect of working closely and in harmony with you, the growers, as we offer our shoppers the finest in locally-produced plants and other products.  Please join us on September 15th so that our work together can begin. If you will be joining us, please call or email JD at the number or email below.

Sincerely yours,

JD Lucas, Manager of the Bloomingfoods Garden Center

812-345-6750   gardencenter [at] bloomingfoods [dot] coop