If you have any further questions, please let us know! Email us at BirdhouseBuyingClub@gmail.com.
Here are some frequently asked questions:
- Are there membership fees?
- How do I order?
- Do I have to place a minimum order?
- Will I have to buy vegetables I don't want?
- When do I pay?
- When and where do I pick up my order?
- Is there delivery service?
- How are prices set?
- Why should I support locally grown food?
- How can I sell through this market?
- How does the Co-op validate & approve a farm that is not certified Organic?
And here are some answers:
Are there membership fees?
Currently, there is no required membership fee. We do greatly appreciate the support you provide Birdhouse when you purchase a membership. Your membership also secures your discount when Birdhouse becomes a certified co-operative. Only the first 100 customers to buy memberships will receive the discount!
To help us provide farm tours, educational programs, and to help us with our overhead costs, we will eventually ask that you pay an annual fee of $25 per household for one calendar year. You are welcome to try us for two orders before officially becoming members.
Once we have filed for official cooperative status with the State of Florida, we hope to institute a $200 lifetime fee or $45/year for 5 years or an hourly volunteer rate per month to get the membership discounts.
How do I order?
First, create a username and password for the Birdhouse Buying Club of Tampa Bay website.
After you create a username and password, on Mondays, you will receive an e-newsletter with a list of available products via email.
By 11pm on Monday, place your order for the week in our Market.
Wednesdays, your order will be ready for pick-up at our location between 5pm and 7pm.
Do I have to place a minimum order?
Yes. Currently, you have to order at least $10 each week. Once we establish an economy of scale, then we will be able to remove the minimum order requirement.
Will I have to buy vegetables I don't want?
With Birdhouse, you can order what you want, in the quantities that you want, from the farms that you want it from. The weekly Sunday e-newsletter lists all the produce, milled products, fresh flowers, and artisan goods available for the following week. Although the Birdbox is the most economical option to purchase a variety of produce, you can also browse items in the Market before you place your order.
When do I pay?
We accept cash, checks, and most major credit cards when you pick up your order. Because we may have to adjust your total then (to account for unnannounced items you decide to purchase or items that were unexpectedly unavailable), we do not accept advance payment on the website.
When and where do I pick up my order?
Pick up your order on Wednesdays from 2pm to 7pm at the Food Co-op Incubator @ 5108 N. Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33603.
Is there delivery service?
Yes. Currently, the price is $7 for delivery in a 5 mile radius around the Food Co-op Incubator @ 5108 N. Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33603.
We plan to develop a sliding-scale delivery fee based on delivery distance and the cost of gas.
How are prices set?
Birdhouse Buying Club’s growers and producers set their own prices, and Birdhouse adds a percentage to the set price.
While typical grocery stores and retail outlets take home 45-75% of a product’s retail price, Birdhouse retains between 25-36% of the retail price of products. When you pay that small addition to product prices, you help us cover our operating expenses and ensure our continued sustainability as a Buying Club.
Why should I support locally grown food?
When you purchase locally grown food, you…
…enhance your local economy. By purchasing produce and other items from local growers you are providing stability to your local economy through the support of local businesses.
…save natural resources. Buying locally makes you an invaluable link in the process of saving resources such as fossil fuels and packaging materials. Also, we are right here in your community so the expense of transportation and delivery is kept to a minimum.
…provide learning opportunities. Locally Grown supporters provide member growers the means to help educate our community about the importance of sustainable agriculture.
…support a way of life. The number of small farms in the United States has decreased dramatically in the last decade. Please help us preserve an honest and worthy means of making a living.
We believe that small, diverse, family-owned farms contribute to society’s overall health.
How can I sell through this market?
Like at a traditional farmers’ market, you set your own prices for the products you choose to list. We add a 15% mark-up to the products you post in the Market. The mark-up helps cover our overhead for the marketing and distribution of your products. We plan to charge a membership fee in the future.
Please contact BhbuyingClub@gmail.com for more information.
How does the Co-op validate & approve a farm that is not certified Organic?
Prior to the start of sales, any farm or kitchen that is not Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown must be inspected by the Co-op’s Market Director, or another staff person familiar with organic growing practices and philosophy.
To protect the integrity of our community and market, the Cooperative reserves the right to verify the production claims and geographic production location of everything sold through our marketplace. Any farm not Certified Organic must be physically inspected by the Market Director before final approval.
Additionally any farm or kitchen selling through Birdhouse Co-op is subject to periodic inspection with 24 hour notice if there is reasonable suspicion concerning any health, safety or production standards violation(s). Health and Safety violations include any standards or specification outlined in your Cooperative Producer Agreement that go above and beyond the U.S. Government’s Certified Organic standards.