- Curran Mckee, Courtesy Of Ryan Nakhleh
- Local Maverick founder Ryan Nakhleh (left) and team member Alex Farrell shopping at the Hudak Farm stand at the Burlington Farmers Market
The Burlington Farmers Market is partnering with Local Maverick, a Burlington-based technology and marketing company, to launch BFM Direct. The online platform will offer customers a central place to preorder food products from market vendors.
BFM Direct is a pilot program for Local Maverick, whose larger goal is to build a digital platform that will serve as a one-stop shop for local products.
"We were trying to figure out what would be the best first step for us to really make an impact," Local Maverick founder Ryan Nakhleh said. "After speaking to Mieko Ozeki [market director of the Burlington Farmers Market], we realized that, due to COVID, there was a need for more exposure for the market — and especially for the vendors who were not able to be at the market."
The pilot program will kick off with products from five market vendors; Saturday pickup will be available at the market and an alternative location downtown. The participating vendors and pickup and delivery options will expand over time, Nakhleh said.
"BFM Direct goes back to the essentials of what a farmers market is," Ozeki said. "It's food-centric and food-distribution-centric. For us, it's one more alternative we can provide."
The website will launch this Friday, August 14, with vendor pages and a loyalty program; the target for the first pickup day is August 29, with preordering tentatively scheduled to open on August 24. Find more info at localmaverickus.com.
"We want to create an added level of seamlessness and convenience for local [products] and start to get more people involved," Nakhleh said.