EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — Ben Coerper and his wife started Wild Harmony Farm in Exeter about seven years ago, raising certified organic livestock.
“There’s a big movement for local food,” Coerper said.
But Coerper concedes he has struggled to connect with consumers who want to buy locally sourced food, but who don’t have time to make it out to the farm or to a farmers market.
“The way we farm takes so many human hours on the farm, so we’re here almost all the time,” Coerper said. “So reaching those people is often our biggest difficulty.”
Now, Wild Harmony farm is tapping into a new app called WhatsGood. The service promises local food deliveries right to consumers’ doors, according to co-founder Matt Tortora.
There are more than a dozen Rhode Island farmers and fishermen, including Wild Harmony Farm, on the WhatsGood App. Products can change each week, based on what’s seasonally available.
Before he launched WhatsGood, Tortora was a restaurant chef. He says he saw a need to bring the growing online grocery shopping industry to the local level.
“What’s in your grocery store and what’s on the menu at the restaurant is typically coming from very far away,” Tortora said. “Consumers needed a better, more convenient option to get the better food.”
According to consumer data firm Statista, online grocery sales in the US topped $14 billion last year, and are expected to reach nearly $30 billion by 2021. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, Shipt and Instacart are leading the way.
“They’ve opened up the opportunity,” Tortora said. “As you see their services evolving and the consumer is spending more and more time online shopping, we built a mobile app to really allow for the consumer to do that with local food.”
The delivery fee for WhatsGood is about $10. The company will deliver anywhere in Rhode Island currently, and hopes to expand to other delivery areas in the future.