Whidbey Green Goods
   
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Michael Nichols of Whidbey Green Goods has an extensive knowledge of the Puget Sound farming community. In our 9th year, it is our commitment to You to procure and deliver the freshest and healthiest food to you and your family! 

Whidbey Green Goods - F.A.Q. Frequently Asked Questions

How does Whidbey Green Goods work?

Once a week, WGG collects the various offerings from farmers, artisan producers & suppliers located within the northern Puget Sound region. The majority of our Items are produced on Whidbey Island. These offerings are assembled into the WGG Web Store. Think of WGG as the farmers market delivered to your door where the shopping experience is done from the comfort of your home. Since less than 15% of a population uses farmers markets regularly to secure Local Food, the WGG online/delivery model opens up a new distribution channel for Local Food to the other 85% of a population.  

Web Store – The Web Store offers the full selection of Local Food available for Ordering. Each weekly Web Store is numbered to better organize the Ordering & Delivery sequence. For example, WK #410 is the Year 2014 and Week 10 of deliveries. Over the 9 years WGG has been in business, have found this is more workable than using day/date, particularly when comparing year-to-year data.

Weekly Schedule – When the Web Store is loaded for the week on Sunday afternoon/early evening, WGG sends out an email to inform you that the store is open. Unlike Big Grocery, WGG can only sell what is locally available and this does change on a weekly basis. On Monday, around Noon, an email is sent with the latest additions to the Web Store along with notes on what’s “Hot”. On Tuesday morning, a final reminder email is sent out. Orders need to be placed before 8 PM on Tuesday’s. There is no “Island Time” in cyber time…Please, no change orders after the deadline…Just goofs up the works!

Wednesday is the usual pick day for the farmers and fulfillment day for the artisan producers. WGG is a Pick-to-Order system so food waste is kept to a minimum for the farmer compared to a farmers market set up. Wednesday evening, the Food begins to arrive here at WGG. The remainder of the load for the week is picked up as I travel north to Coupeville on Thursday morning.

Delivery is Thursday/Friday. Approximate delivery schedule: Thursday’s – Coupeville, Greenbank, north of Freeland, Wahl Rd “environs”, East Harbor Rd, Lone Lake Rd and Bayview Rd between Coles Rd & the 525. Friday’s – The remainder of the Island…South of Bayview, Langley, Clinton and Bailey’s Corner area.

Minimum for Home Delivery - To qualify for FREE Home Delivery, Orders need to be above the Minimum stated for that week. This Minimum amount can/will change as the season progresses, but basically lower Minimums in the shoulder seasons and higher Minimums during the summer & early fall when the Web Store is bursting with goods. The Minimum for the week is posted in the emails sent out Sunday, Monday & Tuesday. It can also be found in the “The Weekly Scoop” link @ www.whidbeygreengoods.com.

Neighborhood Drop Sites - About 90% of WGG’s sales are to households with 1 or 2 people sitting down to partake in a meal. And even if that household orders some larger-ticket Items like meat, fish or cheese, that still translates into way too much Produce for that household to use without way too much waste. So, these households forego ordering. From the WGG perspective, I have to set Minimum Order requirements to make WGG a successful, sustainable operation. We are all aware of the Island "tithe"...Gas, hardware, food just cost more. My suppliers face this tithe, as well, and that fact is reflected in the pricing I pay for their goods. This is "Local Food for Local Folks"... WGG doesn't have the option of buying wholesale from Charlie's and marking it up 200% like the groceries. With my Cost of Goods, I just cannot drive all over the Island making $20-25 deliveries, fiscally.

So, how to put these smaller Orders that meet your needs together with the efficiencies WGG needs to be sustainable and prosper?
There are a couple locations already where 2 or 3 households each make their separate, smaller Orders and WGG delivers to the 1 “Drop Site”.  Each Order is packed separately into your cooler.  Each household cuts WGG a separate check for their amount due…Each has a separate, unique account in WGG’s farmigo ordering system so there is no “who owes how much for what??” dilemmas.

So whether it is a neighbor(s), friends or relatives that come together as a Drop Site, WGG will deliver to that location weekly. I envision a neighborhood such as Admiral's Cove or the Holmes Harbor Golf Course having a Drop Site...At the neighborhood level. More than likely, it's going to take a while to build up to this. Presently, we have established Drop Sites in Coupeville, Freeland and Langley along with my place for those living south of Deer Lake Rd.

If you would like to sponsor a Drop Site, please let me know so that I can match you to folks you do not know who are looking a location. Might make yourself a new friend! Other than a couple extra coolers in the driveway on delivery day, I do not foresee sponsoring a Drop Site as too much hassle.

The idea is to move Local Food from local farms and artisan producers into your kitchen in a timely and efficient (both yours & mine) manner.  

How do I get started?

On the Home Page of the WGG website, click the Home Delivery Ordering button close to the top left. This takes you into the Farmigo.com website WGG is using for Ordering, as well as, for Payment options.

Web Store – Under the “Available Now” header, Items are organized into broader Categories or “Tabs”.  Be sure to shop all the Categories to see all that is available.  Clients from former times will recognize these Categories from the old Excel Order Form. Click “Details” to find out more about the Item and the Producer. Click “Add” to purchase the Item. Click “Checkout” to finish your Order.  You only have to do the Sign Up process once! For your next Order, just click the Login button on the WGG Home Page or in the emails & shop away!  

Payment – This is WGG’s first year using an online ordering program…There is wording & components of their system that WGG has no power to edit/change to relay information to you more accurately.  During checkout, it is the Farmigo.com system that prefers the Electronic Check option for Payment…Farmigo skims 1% for this service.  Please choose the other “Mail the Check” option. Rather than mailing the check, WGG PREFERS your paper check or cash in your cooler at delivery.  Feed the farmer, not the system. 

Cooler &/or Place to Stash the Food – We are dealing with perishable goods with this Service…Really don’t want your Order to “melt” on your doorstep! Great care is taken throughout the process of moving the Food from farm-to-table to keep it at its Freshest. Please have an adequate-sized cooler in which to store the delivery if you are not home. There are several clients that have us put it straight into their refrigerator/freezer!

Fulfillment – WGG takes fulfillment very seriously. However, there are times when a particular Item cannot be procured or I just plain miss getting it into the van for delivery. I will leave cash in your cooler if an Item is not delivered to balance the account to zero. 

What is the Service Area?

WGG provides Delivery to Coupeville and areas south on Whidbey Island, WA. 

Where does the food come from?

One of the tenets of WGG from Day One has been to bring together ALL that is Local Food which is more than a “bag of greens, some kale and a dozen eggs”. WGG generally follows the guidelines of the WA Farmers Market Association in that the majority of the Items are grown and/or produced in Island County or a County that “borders” Island County.  Items from outside the upper Puget Sound are usually secured from small suppliers that run stands during the summer months here on the Island.

We bring the season’s best mix of local produce & artisan products to you by partnering with trusted farms and artisan producers. 95% of these suppliers would be termed “Mom & Pop” operations. WGG does do some growing, as well.  You are able to view the farm and location of each Item listed by WGG. Over the years, I have come to believe that smaller growers still put their “heart & soul” into their production & you can taste the difference!

WGG suppliers range in size from hundreds of acres to the backyard gardener. WGG will never get too large or too busy not to buy the extra 5 pounds of beans from quite a few backyard gardeners. We NEVER buy from the regional wholesale distributors.   

Is it organic?

All the food is grown by what is termed Naturally Grown or Certified Organic methods. For most, this question means “Has it been sprayed with inorganic bug juice and the answer is No. All growers follow the organic-growing guidelines, but many do not have the USDA or WA organic certification. Most of WGG’s suppliers are not large enough to afford the Certified Organic process.

Once a week, I am at each farm to pick up their orders for that week. This gives me the opportunity to walk their fields and to view the processing areas. My reputation, along with the growers, is at stake here. In the Item descriptions, WGG usually details the growing methods.
 
What if I only want to purchase local food?

Each item in our Web Store includes producer information so that you can have 100% control over which farms you are supporting.

Can I customize my order?

Within the Web Store, you can completely customize your Order. Having company for the weekend, Order more. You can Order as much of what you want, when you want. Unlike some CSA’s, if you are going to be gone, there is no need to put a “hold” on your delivery. Simply, if you do not order, WGG does not deliver!

Do you sell items other than produce?

The Web Store carries some 150 Items during the shoulder seasons & up to some 350 Items during the peak of the growing season. WGG is a full-service Local Food grocery. Categories other than Produce in the Web Store include Meat & Seafood, Dairy & Eggs, Breads & Grains, Snacks & Treats, Coffee & Tea, Jams, Honey and Body Care.

Are there any fees?

There is no fee to sign up or to cancel.

How do I pay?

We do accept electronic check. WGG prefers check/cash at the time of delivery.  At this time, WGG does not accept cards.

Is my information secure?

Definitely!  All payment related information is done via HTTPS and we are in full compliance with all PCI standards.
We also never sell or share your information with other parties.

What do I do if I have an issue with my delivery?

Email WGG at wggmike@gmail.com. Or you can call 360-579-3604 to get the office…Please leave a short message & I will get back to you, quickly.  We guarantee the accuracy and quality of our products and service 100%.