Hello to our WONDERFUL community! This is a lengthy, but very important update so stay with me...
Dates to remember this Month:
- Wednesday, February 17th at 11am MST, sale opens for VIP Insider's Members
- Thursday, February 18th at 11am MST, sale opens for everyone else.
- Wednesday, February 24th at 4:30pm MST, LIVE sale on Facebook for clearance foods (90% off) ONLY (not our normal food and meat).
- Friday and Saturday, February 26th and 27th are the pickups in the following counties: Weber, Davis, SLC, Utah, Cache and NOW TOOELE!!
Remember how we took December off to not only spend time with our families, but to also make MASSIVE improvements to our technology, communication, staff, volunteers and the actual co-op foods?
Well, December was VERY productive.
The snowball we started in December
We started many projects to make improvements all around after learning so much about running a co-op since our start in May 2020.
Although we started multiple projects, it can take weeks, even months, for many to actually come to fruition. That means between now and the rest of 2021, we will have blessings and surprises around nearly every month this year!
The beginning of the snowball in January
When we opened back up in January, many probably noticed some new website changes and features. The biggest noticeable one is the new calendar feature to help you select a location MUCH easier on the cart page. And this will be necessary as well when we begin expanding the co-op to other counties in Utah so that all can find their selection fast. We also had about 20% of people that skipped selecting a location on our old system. This made for manual work for both Vanessa and myself, which wasn't much at first, but by November, was hundreds of people to personally contact and assign to the right pickup.
So now you cannot checkout without first picking a location. :) It's for everyone's benefit as we are adding more trucks to our deliveries and this will help be more precise in the correct amount of product on the right truck.
A bit bigger snowball in February...
Well, February is bringing two other major projects coming to light and we wanted to share a blog post to lay it all out as we are moving fast. True to its nature, Facebook is only bringing bits and pieces of news to newsfeeds which makes it confusing.
As such, one place to explain it all and answer questions via the comments will hopefully bring the community up to speed!
Before we lay out February's exciting happenings/changes, we wanted to mention that God is so good putting so many amazing people in our path to make these projects happen. Things are moving along quickly due to all the enthusiasm for what we are doing on the inside of the food community! It's an incredibly exciting passion project filled with lots of blessings for all involved! This is what community is all about and Vanessa and I are loving it!!
1. NEW Texting service and platform!
Does 888-634-8565 sound familiar to you?
Well...maybe not yet, but hopefully it soon will! This is the co-op's NEW dedicated 1-888 TEXTING only number. Direct help and texting to communicate better than ever!
The only complaint we receive is the lack of getting our emails or text messages. Many are quite frustrated and upset when they missed a sale due to not hearing from us. It's not us, it's the services we have used, or settings in your email or phone.
We can't do much about email. This process can be long and that requires you to whitelist (get us to your inbox) us and add us to your contact list. Moving forward, this will hopefully help our emails make it into your inbox instead of spam. Cross your fingers! 🤞🏼
BUT...we knew we could find a better texting option. When we first started back in May, we were personally texting everyone individually. Then it just became impractical. So we jumped on the easiest and most budget-friendly texting service we could quickly migrate to. In doing so, we found it's not the highest quality service. We were sharing a short code number with dozens of other businesses and so there was likely a lot of spam going to that short code number (not from us, but we were looped into it by being on the same number and service).
Instead, we now have our own dedicated 1-888 number!! This will hopefully prove to be a game changer so we look forward to hearing from everyone.
Thanks to the help of a friend who has been running her own texting service for many years for various businesses, she is now helping us migrate to this new system. It's super cool and we are transitioning slowly right now (VIP Insider's, you will get the first set of text messages so hang in there with us).
We *hope* this means that if you are truly subscribed that you will get better text message deliverability for better communication from us. Again, crossing fingers! Real quick, head over to your account and check to be sure the box is checked.
*Please note, we are migrating NOW and you may receive a notice via email and the short code 474747 to watch for the new text opt-in for the 1-888-634-8565 in the next week or two. Please be sure to pay attention when this happens to give us permission to text you from the new platform.
2. NEW Live Sale Opportunity!!
This does not change our current ordering system or process. That will stay the same. It is in addition to what we currently are doing. Just think of it as an added bonus for food security opportunities.
This one is super exciting and just landed in our laps. We have...let’s call it, "fooditunities", that pop up all over. That's the benefit of the co-op growing - we work together to get bigger and have better buying power as we grow which means continued awesome prices on all of the foods we find. Even as prices are rising!
One “fooditunity” that recently came up was that many food warehouses have overstocks and clearances. We have been buying these overstocks by pallets for many months (and we know how much many of you LOVE these foods with an extra level of savings). So with that, there are many that may have quantities ranging from 1-30 that need to be cleared out. It's really not practical to list them on the website for our regular sales unless we have dozens and dozens available.
After brainstorming, we came up with this "live sale" idea that will allow us to go into the warehouse and show the foods that are super deeply discounted (like up to 90-95% off) that only have like 1-30 available that will not be listed on the website and allow those in our community to claim those items live to add to their regular co-op order.
So that is the next cool part rolling out! We will STILL have overstocks and the same FRESH, super high-quality meats when the sale opens as we are buying those by the pallets, but the clearance foods are going to be sold via a live sale. This will help local suppliers and distributors clear out their inventory and bless our community on a new level.
However, to participate in "claiming" a product during the live show, you will need to have a Facebook/Instagram account and register before the sale HERE.
This system will automatically invoice you while we are live, allowing us to automate the process for ease on our end!
The first LIVE sale of clearance products is going to be Wednesday, February 24th at 4:30 pm on our Facebook page HERE. We will be sharing over 30 food items at 90%+ savings.
How the snowball is growing for the future months...
There's a lot, I mean A LOT of amazing things coming in 2021. We have only scratched the surface. I am not going to spill the beans on anything else right now...except....
We are working on an App!!
Yes, one of our goals was to try to not rely on Facebook so much for communication as Facebook only shows sporadic bits and pieces of information and this has caused much frustration for many trying to use it to receive timely co-op news.
So...a new app is in development now and it will have features growing over time, but out the gate, it will inform you when a sale is open without the need for relying on the Facebook group and page.
It is also going to be a place that we will be doing our future live clearance sales. So although this month's clearance sale mentioned above is going to be exclusively on Facebook and Instagram, you can also simply login to the app and shop the live sale in the app instead.
We will be able to communicate and go live with just our community and not be at the mercy of Facebook deciding who gets to see our videos or not.
This is VERY EXCITING for our community! We have been trying to come up with a live/interactive alternative to Facebook to keep our community close.
An app process is many months. We are already a couple into it, so we hope to share this with you very soon! Stay tuned!
Whew...that was a lot of information. So now you can see why a long blog post was necessary! If you have comments or questions, please leave them below so we can answer here for all to see in case they have the same question.
Cassie and Vanessa