CANNON FALLS, Minn. — Instead of going to the farmers market, the farmers market will come to you. Market Wagon, a farm food delivery app, is now operational in seven Minnesota counties, including Hennepin Co. and Ramsey Co.
Rotational Roots in Cannon Falls is one of 24 Minnesota farms now using Market Wagon to sell produce and other products. Farmer Betsy Wentz says the app is allowing Rotational Roots to expand its customer reach.
"We hadn't been able to reach the Twin Cities because it is a bit of a commute," Wentz said. "We've had a lot of interest up there but we've had to say 'no' forever. So that's a huge advantage of getting connected with Market Wagon."
Previously, the Wentz family only sold produce at two farmers markets in nearby Northfield. They also made deliveries but only to the immediate area of their farm.
Here's how it works. Customers can add items to their cart throughout the week. They just need to do a final check out by Sunday night. The delivery fee is $6.95 regardless of how many times your online cart is updated.
Then, every Monday, Market Wagon notifies farmers of specific orders. Farmers then pick exactly what's needed from their crop and drop it all off at a hub in New Hope.
Wentz says it's less work than preparing for a traditional in-person farmers market.
"We won't have the food waste of going to market and coming home with half of what you didn't sell," Wentz said.
On Tuesdays, orders are delivered. Market Wagon co-founder Nick Carter says they'll deliver to any address within the 7 counties.
"One of the things we've done very intentionally is we don't micro-engineer our delivery area," Carter said. "We know that delivery to the door is one of the best ways to solve some of the food desert issues."
It's a win-win for consumers and farmers.
"We've had a lot of customers reach out to us on Facebook and have driven down from the Cities to come to our farm, which has been a lot of effort for them so we're really excited to connect them with Market Wagon and our produce that way," Wentz said.
There is space for more Minnesota farmers to become vendors. If you're interested, contact Market Wagon.
Market Wagon has been around since 2016 in other states but this is the first time it's available in Minnesota.
The app plans to accept EBT cards in the future.