Wholesome Harvest LLC
The first memory I have of a smell is when I was two or three. I remember my mom carrying me down a back alley and into a warehouse-like building. When we entered it smelled of herbs and spice, aromatics and earth. When I got older and we moved off my childhood farm I struggled with food allergies and overall discontent with the sterile box and bag chain food stores available in the city. Slowly things pieced together, I moved to Frostburg, MD (where I live now) and studied Ethnobotany (the relationship between human cultures and plants). After graduating from the Undergraduate program and taking on a self-prescribed local food challenge (eating 85% of my food from local farms and my own garden), I went back to the University and received an Interdisciplinary Masters of Education with a focus on business and biology.
I have spent the last three years working as the curator of the University Museum to save up and pursue my passion of local, seasonal, resilient food, so that I can share these otherwise hidden treasures with my community. Currently my evenings and weekends are spent enjoying the task of making handmade organic corn tortillas and selling them at a local farmers market.
In the future (after getting the market going) I hope to publish a cook book, expand my ability to process and preserve food using low impact/ low energy use methods, and hopefully return to school to continue my healing food journey and study Integrative Health and Nutrition with the intention of providing healing consultations to my community. I am truly grateful for the blessings of food that I have in my life and am excited to share what I have found with those that are interested.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Wholesome Harvest is the Up-coming brick and mortar, year round, food market serving Frostburg, MD. The guiding philosophy for operation is “Food for Health, Food for Community, and Food for Knowledge.” The goal is to provide high quality wholesome food products from local producers (or, for those items not available locally, from socially, ethically and environmentally conscious producers who invest in their communities), and then make these products conveniently available to consumers while promoting local economies, environmental stewardship, and informed product purchases. The conception of the market idea began over four years ago when it became clear that although Frostburg is surrounded by farms and wholesome food, it is essentially unavailable for the average full time working consumer. Additionally, local farmers have few outlets to get fair payment for the sale of their food and there is little information easily available to guide healthy food decisions.
The greatest challenge so far has been seeing the disappointment on the faces of community members when they are told the market is not open yet and patiently waiting for the pieces of the business plan to fall into place. I am most proud of the farms whose products will be sourced for the market and the opportunity to offer them a convenient outlet to make a profit on their amazing products. I believe fair trade should be a priority within our communities (not just between), and that starts with the foundation of life, our food growers. Lastly, by locating in a food desert and focusing on storage for off season sales, Wholesome Harvest will begin to provide on the ground solutions to help address these food insecurity issues that are reducing the resiliency of our community.
What is the purpose of this loan?
This loan will be used to purchase equipment and fixtures required to effectively market products to customers. The following list includes a breakdown of the items and prices rounded to the nearest whole dollar:
Item: Cost 2 Door Glass Display Fridge: $2,800 2 Door Glass Display Freezer: $3,000 Nut butter Grinder: $2,300 POS/Cash register System: $1,746 Fees/shipping: $154
This equipment will make the products more accessible to customers, help manage and track inventory, and give the market a strong set up to attract customers when the doors open.
This loan will allow the Wholesome Harvest dream to come into reality as imagined, and provide some financial support and breathing room at the start. Additionally, by receiving a kivazip zero interest loan, more of the profits will be invested back into the growth of the market and the typical 10 year interest bearing loan process commonly offered businesses can be avoided. Lastly, because Wholesome Harvest works to be “Food for Community”, sourcing a loan from the community as opposed to a private for-profit enterprise aligns much more closely to the business mission.
Years in operation: 6 months – 1 year
A loan of $10,000 helps Suzy purchase the equipment needed to manage the market operations.