“FoodHub is a giant rolodex,” said Rachel Reister of Reister Farms Lamb, who joined FoodHub in 2010. “When we started looking for customers on the site we put in how many miles we wanted to travel and what buyers we were looking for and got a huge list of prospects. Then we looked at their menus and made a key list of clients who we shared common values with and wanted to sell our products to. The first restaurant we called responded.”
According to our research into how to make money using FoodHub, Rachel’s approach to prospecting is a winning formula.
Rachel and her husband Jake started Reister Farms Lamb after college and, having come from farming families, entered into the business fully aware of the challenges that would come along with it.
“We adopted a lot of sustainable methods for our farm,” Rachel said. “They were practices we believed in, but we realized that if we went the traditional route for selling our animals we wouldn’t make any money.”
When the Reisters started direct marketing they sold nearly 100% of their product through farmers’ markets. Now, that number is closer to 10% as the Reisters have shifted to a direct to wholesale model and work with clients who buy product year-round, many of whom they found with FoodHub. Last year, Rachel said, they attributed more than $35,000 in sales to direct connections they made using FoodHub, or referrals from FoodHub clients.
“I would be at a loss without FoodHub because it saves us so much time,” Rachel said. “And no one likes to make a cold call. That’s the most intimdating part of marketing a product. FoodHub warms up a cold call for us because at least you know they’re engaged enough in the industry to put up their information. It helps me determine where my most valuable time is spent.” Read the rest of this entry »