From Transactional to Community Building
Updated: Feb 28
Hello Future Fit Food Fans,
So, what is a market? Well according to the Oxford Dictionary, “it's a regular gathering of people for the purchase and sales of provisions, livestock and other commodities.”
Back in the day, this meant “farmers going to market”. When the farmers brought their goods to market they may have sold these goods to members of the community or bartered for other goods or services. A carrot farmer may have bartered their bunches of carrots for their shoes to be mended by the local cobbler.
These exchanges created livelihoods and kept goods and services flowing in the local economy. It also provided an opportunity for farmers to sell direct to consumers increasing their profits.
These markets generated stronger social and community ties between rural and urban populations. The market traffic also generated more traffic for traditional brick and mortar shops on the main street in towns and cities.
A few years ago, when we had the opportunity to live in Madrid, Spain, we quickly noticed the difference between the largely transactional relationships that we had had with most of our merchants in San Francisco, California, where we lived before, with the more conversational and personal relationships we built with the local market merchants in Madrid. We were fortunate to live blocks away from a daily market so we were able to develop personal relationships with the bakers, confectioners, vegetable farmers, and other market mongers. The transactional culture disappeared, and we shared our experiences and theirs. The conversation was sparked and social networks developed.
Last weekend, we took our our Future Fit Foods to the Fort Collins Winter Farmers Market in Colorado which was actually in a shopping mall.
The Fort Collins Winter Farmers Market saw the opportunity as a symbiotic opportunity for local, small and rural to engage with big box, national and global. Some customers were at the mall to shop big boxes but found our Future Fit Foods stand, and others were there for the farmers market and then discovered the mall.
The mall was transformed into an experience center where big and small mutually benefitted.
We were grateful for the many interactions with the community in this space who sampled our product, provided real-time feedback, made purchases, or signed up to receive these blogs (maybe you are reading now).
The conversations and exchanges were enriching and went beyond the product into our and their stories developing social fabric. We left inspired and energized.
We are at it again this weekend at the Miracle on 4th Street Local Market in Longmont. The market will be happening on our very own main street through our stellar partner Bricks Retail who carries Colorado products.
Our main street like yours has suffered through the pandemic. We hope markets like this will bring people back to the main street and support local businesses.
We hope to be at some of your local markets soon. In the meantime, we're eager to get to know you and we make our Future Fit Foods available in our online store.
Paloma and Sean