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Community food-buying club to start in Ballard

Posted by Meghan Walker on July 16th, 2013

A local woman has started up a community food-buying club for our area. A food-buying club is a group who combines their buying power and labor to buy in bulk, thus making food more affordable to members. It’s called the Real Food Buying Club, started by Kelly Schneyer, who was a member of buying clubs in Portland for several years.

According to their Facebook page, the club is a farm-direct bulk food buying club for Seattle residents. Their mission is to “increase access to natural and local food options by purchasing in bulk and eliminating the middle man (i.e.grocery store), thus reducing food costs and keeping our families healthy.”

How does it work? In her introductory video (above) she says the club uses the “strength in numbers approach to get wholesale prices on any kind of food you could get at your grocery stores.” Schneyer is putting together an online catalog of what is available to order, and all deliveries will go straight to her house. Then, each buyer picks up their order. She says it’s a great way to not only save money and time, but is a strong tool in community-building. Items will typically be delivered in bulk, so she’ll even give tips on how to store bulk goods in your home.

“With a substantial club size and 10+ distributors, we use our collective buying power to save money and increase the quality of the food we eat,” she writes on her Facebook page. “We focus on offering organic and natural meats, produce, eggs, milk, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, oils, and more.”

The Real Food Buying Club will host a webinar on July 30 to give an orientation on how the club will work. “Buying clubs are pretty straightforward, but they do require a different mindset,” Schneyer writes. The webinar will cover how to become a member, order cycles, placing and paying for orders, how deliveries work, picking up orders and volunteer opportunities.

Schneyer says the catalog will be up on the website soon, and that everything should be up and running by the beginning of August.

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