Help Restock Berkshire Organics Market

$4,333 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 52 people in 1 month
Created November 29, 2018
“By giving to Berkshire Organics, you are directly putting groceries back on our shelves!”

Berkshire Organics customers, new and old, often comment on how much they enjoy, appreciate, and rely on our market.  Recently, however, many of those same patrons have been turning around and walking out the door because inventory is so low and incomplete.  This has been a growing occurrence for weeks, and even our most frequent shoppers are now letting us know that they won’t be back until we have replenished the staples sufficiently.  The business has gone through a major transition and now money is needed to stock our shelves.  We are asking for residents near and far to support this effort by contributing.  All donations will go to replenish our inventory and revitalize the market that we all love.  

I'm reaching out to you as the new owner of Berkshire Organics Market.  My wife, Amanda, and I have a lot of love for this market and are dedicated to keeping the doors open.   I have a strong connection with the Berkshire Organics team having spent three years as a delivery service manager and business developer, as well as being a regular customer for over 7 years.  Coming from an educational background in medicine and nutrition, I’m passionate about wellness and ultimately have an interest in ensuring that my family and community benefit from the tremendous resources around us.


SUPPORTING LOCAL FARMS
For over a decade, Berkshire Organics has remained committed to supporting over 50 farms in the area by ordering faithfully season after season and year-round.  The investment in our local economy helps ensure these farms remain viable.  For us it means we can offer you locally and organically grown fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of freshness and harvested only hours before we pick up field side.  This is where Berkshire Organics really stands out from anyone else in the region.  

We’ll also continue supporting local artisans and food makers and work to build new relationships that will significantly expand our offerings.


GROCERIES WITH SIMPLE CLEAN INGREDIENTS
When it comes to the groceries that we order, ingredients mean everything to us.  My plan is to keep offering groceries with simple and clean ingredients at the lowest prices we can find.  

We know our customers are faced with a daunting amount of information about what to eat and not eat, what is considered healthy and unhealthy, and what should be avoided altogether; it can all, simply, be extremely confusing for health-conscious consumers.  Our solution is to offer a market stocked only with safe options altogether where customers can thoroughly enjoy their shopping experiences, develop a deeper relationship with food, and ultimately have a love affair with cooking and cuisine.  Amanda and I will take this to another level using our knowledge of the human body, nutrition, wellness practices, and collaborations with like-minded folks in the area, to bring in even more great products, develop practical recipes and cooking instructions for you to use, and offer tools to empower you to live a life of vitality and feel your best self.

Berkshire Organics began in 2008 as a delivery service of local organic produce. This branch of the business funded the growth of the market and remains today as a labor of love that helps us reach numerous people who otherwise would not have access to year-round nutrient packed whole foods.  I feel this is the heart of the business and we’ll work tenaciously to keep it alive.


STATE OF THE MARKET AND INVENTORY
I believe transparency and honesty go a long way.  While the business has remained strong and profitable for nearly a decade, funds were withheld from local farmers and vendors to cover unrelated expenses, which resulted in a two-year accumulation of debt.  In taking over the business, we knowingly assumed this debt.  It will take time to pay it off, but we’re committed.

At present one of our biggest challenges is being able to order groceries.   Some of our accounts with major grocery distributors have been frozen since the summer because of outstanding balances exceeding $50,000.  We owe dozens of our local farmers on top of this.  I’ve been tenaciously negotiating repayment plans, but we’re struggling to pay minimal payments and have any significant money left over to buy product.  Even with the money we've been spending to replenish our shelves, our inventory isn't increasing enough to meet the demand.   Customers are leaving the store because they are not finding the products that they need.  Wishing they could stay and buy their groceries, many simply apologize and go elsewhere.  The reality, as of this week, is that this trend will not change unless we have the support of our local community and beyond. 

 
So, when we get right down to it, we are in need of your contribution to help fill our shelves again.  All profits will go to rebuild our grocery inventory.  Without products on our shelves, there is no influx of money and, quite simply, no way for us to keep this relevant resource in our community.  


 By giving to Berkshire Organics, you are directly putting groceries back on our shelves!


 We are truly grateful to have your generous support of this amazing local business, and we hope to serve you extremely well for years to come. 



In solidarity,

Shaun Opperman
Owner, Berkshire Organics
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$4,333 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 52 people in 1 month
Created November 29, 2018
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