Farm-to-Table Grocery Store Makes Local & Organic Foods Accessible to the Community in a Unique Way
New Prague, Minn. – August 27, 2015 – A unique retail food store, Farmhouse Market, is opening soon in New Prague and using a keycard entry system and self-checkout technology to bring more local and organic food options to the community in a really convenient way.
Owned and operated by New Prague native Kendra (Sticha) Rasmusson and her husband, Paul Rasmusson, Farmhouse Market will open up at 120 W. Main Street and focus on sourcing products from local farmers and food producers, as well as rounding out the inventory with products from large natural foods distributors.
“Living in New Prague is great but the closest co-op or natural foods store is more than 20 miles away. We’d rather shop local and figured others had to feel the same way,” said Kendra. “We believe it’s time for this unique kind of retail store as consumers are eager to work with local farmers and food producers.”
The Rasmussons’ initial research proved that the idea might be fruitful when earlier this year, they surveyed people in the community about their grocery buying habits and received more than 250 responses in just three days. The survey revealed that nearly 80% of respondents routinely purchase local or organic products, identifying health and a desire to support the local economy among their top reasons. More than 70% cited “convenience” as the main reason behind why they chose to shop at a particular store. Finally, the most promising finding from the survey was that nearly 85% said they would shop at the kind of store the Rasmussons were proposing. The “convenience” factor mentioned by many survey respondents was what led the Rasmussons to the idea of following a unique, technology-based business model.
Farmhouse Market will be primarily unstaffed yet open to members 24/7 using technology like a keycard entry system and a self-checkout. Patrons will be encouraged to become members of the market for an annual fee. Though becoming a member is not required in order to shop at the market, members will enjoy numerous benefits, including a 5% discount on all purchases, the convenience of shopping 24/7 and a voice in the kinds of products the market carries.
Farmhouse Market expects to be open to the public (non-members): Tuesdays 12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.; Thursdays 3:00 p.m–6:00pm; and Saturdays 9:00 a.m.–Noon. “As a member, the market is always open to you,” said Kendra. “You just let yourself in using your keycard, purchase your items using the self-checkout and you’re on your way.”
The Rasmussons’ primary motivation in opening Farmhouse Market is to support the health needs of their three-year-old daughter with epilepsy, as diet can be a treatment option for some with the disorder. They were inspired with the idea after the closure of Cedar Summit Farm’s dairy production, whose products were staples in their household because of their daughter’s dietary needs.
Farmhouse Market is slated to open this fall. The Rasmussons plan to eventually also offer classes and hold special events at the market, hoping that it will become a community gathering place.
Memberships to the market are available now. A first-year memberships is $99 which includes the one-time $79 technology set-up fee plus the annual $20 membership fee though the Rasmussons are extending a $20 discount on all first-year memberships purchased before the doors officially open.
“We will donate 10% of every membership sold between now and the grand opening to the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota in honor of our daughter and the 65 million people worldwide living with epilepsy,” adds Kendra.
Learn more about Farmhouse Market and how to become a member at www.FarmhouseMarketNP.com or visit the booth in front of the market during Dozinky Days!
About Farmhouse Market
Farmhouse Market works directly with local farmers and food producers in addition to natural foods distributors to make more health food options available in a convenient way for Minnesotans living outside the great metropolitan area. Farmhouse Market is a primarily-unstaffed membership-based local and organic foods market open 24/7 thanks to technology like a keycard entry system and a self-checkout. www.FarmhouseMarketNP.com