New online market delivers local products throughout Charlotte County

St. Stephen – Love the bounty of fresh produce and homemade products available at a farmers’ market, but would like to have it delivered right to your door? A group of young entrepreneurs is bringing those products to the people of Charlotte County through an online farmers’ market called Fundy Market. Owner/Operater Xander Gopen said this is a way to be able to highlight local products, from Charlotte County and other parts of New Brunswick.

“We wanted to highlight local, New Brunswick products, specifically Charlotte County because that’s where we’re located, although we do have some that are outside the county,” said Gopen. “We’d actually started talking about it before everything got locked down because of COVID, with the idea of being at the farmers’ market and bringing some of the further afield local product to the St. Stephen Farmers’ Market.”

Gopen, along with Brianna Cowley, Zoe Fitch, and Heather Almeida, thought the idea of an online delivery service made a lot of sense, and made things much more simplified. They can offer products from local producers without having to worry about where to stock items for sale. Doing everything online allows them to not have an actual inventory, and ensures that all items are delivered fresh.

“We have an online market essentially, and we have the producers’ inventory,” said Gopen. “We don’t keep any of the inventory. People order stuff, when the orders close, which is Tuesday night, and then we tally up everything, send the list to the producers of what the people have ordered, and either they deliver it to a central location, which is where we’re going to be packing. Or, with a few producers we are picking it up.”

Many of the vendors are ones that have long been popular with Charlotte County Residents, including Terry’s Beef & More, Heather’s Cold Foods, Fundy Soap Co., McGuire Chocolate, and Bread Riding Hood, which operated at the St. Stephen Farmers’ Market last year under the name of St. Croix Bread Company. They have people who grow fresh produce, and many other items available to order online.

Gopen said the process is really quite simple. Orders are placed by Tuesday evening, then the orders are sent to the various vendors on Wednesday. By Thursday, Fundy Market receives the items that have been ordered, and then they do the deliveries to customers on Fridays. All ordering is done through the website, www.fundymarket.ca. You can sign up as a user, providing your name and address, and all of the products available to order are listed on the site.

“We’re really excited to be doing this,” said Gopen. “There’s quite a bit of activity in the area around supporting the local food market. We’re definitely not the only game in town, but we saw this need.

“We want to support local producers, so we just kind of jumped on it. I’m amazed at how quickly everything happened. We’ve been having remarkable support. We had 41 orders for our first week when we expected to have 10 to 20.”

Gopen said they want Fundy Market to be a year-round business, and eventually, they would like to have a brick and mortar store in St. Stephen. He said it won’t happen this year, but it is something they are looking at for 2021.

“We really want to bring it up and find people with skills who make things and highlight them. There’s clearly a market for it.”

Gopen said they are always on the hunt for new vendors and producers. If you are a vendor and wold like to sell your products through Fundy Market, you can contact them through fundymarket.ca, or their Facebook and Instagram pages. They are also available by email at fundy.market@gmail.com

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca