Clint Bland, a Jacksonville-based farmer and merchant, was skeptical of a website called Market Wagon when he first saw a promoter from the company hawk its wares at the Old Capitol Farmers Market a few years ago. He sees advantages to meeting people where they are and explaining what his products are and what makes them better than other, similar products.
"A lot of people at the farmers market like to meet, talk and know the farmer," Bland said. "You build that form of trust with those people and because they know you (and) like you, they start to buy your food and that relationship grows."
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, making it difficult for Bland to sell his products at year-round farmers markets, he decided to sell his products on Market Wagon. He joined a wide range of local merchants who are selling everything from produce to eggs to fresh meats on the website, which calls itself a "DoorDash or Grubhub for local farmers and restaurants." [continue reading]