Before last week I never knew raw milk was a flammable liquid. But I guess it is. My email got hammered after we announced that we had been approved to bring you raw milk from the De Smet Dairy. So please allow me a few moments here to further discuss this new addition.
By carrying raw milk, I am NOT telling everyone that they need to drink it. I am not saying that it will cure all the gutter balls you throw at the bowling alley. Our offering the milk to you is based on two straightforward things.
First is the demand. We sold over 160 half gallon jugs of raw milk this week. You cannot see numbers like that and say there is no demand for raw milk. Our members have been asking (begging) me to bring the raw milk for years, so we are happy to be able to make this happen.
Second is that helping local farmers and ranchers grow is an integral part of the our mission. I want boots in the fields across this enchanted state. So if we can help keep boots in the dirt, we are going to do it. And for the De Smet family, that means bringing their milk to the 675,000 mouths who cannot go into a store and buy it. So I stand behind supporting family farms 100%.
Lastly about the milk is we are not forcing anyone to drink it. This is a choice, an option. We have posted the CDC’s warning on Raw Milk on our product page. I want to educate our members, offer options, and then let you all make the decision you feel is best for your lives. Freewill is an important and necessary responsibility we have.
Next up this week is a little look behind the curtain. So jump into the board room with me for a second as we look at our “Off-Season” state of the union or CSA. As a business, I do not like to change big things up more than once a year. With that said, we do a pretty thorough self-examination at least once a year to see where we are and how previous decisions are affecting the farm.
Last year we did something that we have never done before in our 10 years, we lowered our prices. We have built so many amazing relationships with growers and suppliers around the region that we had finally reached a point that we could (and did) pass the savings along to you. That has been all very good news and a sustainable move.
On the delivery side of things, we have been tracking every minute and every gallon of gas that it takes to deliver an order to a member’s door. The verdict….drum roll please.. $4 an order. That covers vehicle, fuel, insurance, labor, and the occasional breakfast burrito for our drivers.
At first glance, I was like dang that is pretty efficient for a mom n pop shop like the farm. I bet a lot of big delivery companies cannot boast that kind of cost per delivery. But on closer examination it hit me that $4 is too expensive when we have such a small minimum order of $30. And I don’t think anyone can argue with that.
So I hit the internet to see how other folks in the delivery industry juggle delivery fees and minimum orders. I saw $40, $75, $50, and then I went to Amazon. $35 for free delivery. I was forced to concede. If Amazon cannot deliver for free for less than $35, then we sure cannot do it for the long run either. So, here is my thought.
We could raise the price of the items to help cover these costs. We could give you less food for your money. But honestly that does not feel right to me. The issue we are faced with is simple, we can make the current price level work if the order is big enough. That way the delivery cost is a smaller percentage of the total order. Makes sense.
So instead of playing pricing games, I will be very honest. The free home delivery model does NOT work at $30. I am confident that it will work for us (and you) at $35. Therefore, any orders beginning 11/17 that are less than $35 will pay a $4 delivery charge. Any and all orders of $35 or more stay at the free delivery. I feel confident that this is the most fair and equitable solution for all of our members.
Thank you for understanding.