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Below is an excerpt from an email response I sent to one of my customers regarding the availability of grocery items offered by one of our competitors. It roughly summarizes my viewpoint of the larger organic produce deliver chains that have moved into the Bay Area in recent years.


We have plans to introduce other grocery items as time and money allow, however, we are choosing to focus on the organic produce and our customer service right now. There are many legal issues, certifications, and equipment that need to be considered and purchased before we are able to sell those types of grocery items.

I have heard of Full Circle and researched as much as I could on them when I first heard about them. They just started service to the Bay Area in June with FREE boxes of produce to many of their first customers to entice them to signup and I started seeing them mentioned in different places. Please be aware that all the information here is what I was able to surmise from multiple online sources. Full Circle here in the Bay is a subordinate branch of the Full Circle Corporation from Seattle. They also have branches in Spokane and Boise and Anchorage, AK. They set up their entire warehouse, operations infrastructure, marketing office in Sunnyvale. The budget of which I am sure is more than the total yearly revenue of Golden Gate Organics. They even have a fleet of vans already while I am still delivering out of my own car.

They are bigger and, I am sure, have a much bigger budget than us. Their fine print says they ship in some of their items from their farm in Washington. After all, why wouldn’t they sell the produce from their own farms in Washington before worrying about our California Farmers. I will note that it is next to impossible to find specific answers to some of the questions on their website; like their SF address. All I can say is that Wayne and I started GGO here in the East Bay from scratch. Our website answers questions clearly and we list all the farms we get produce from. All of our produce is from local California organic farmers. We started this business to help make our local community and economy better and healthier. Of course we live in a free country; Full Circle, SPUD, and the other corporations that have moved to the Bay Area in recent years are free to do so. All I will say is that we are locally based and locally focused. Wayne and I do not have to meet profit estimates or worry about share prices. We worry about if our customers are happy and healthy and one day we hope to be able to offer even more services with better prices and better service to our neighbors here in the Bay without being bullied around by out-of-state competitors.

This has turned out to be a much tougher business than we previously thought it would, but that is ok. Are reputation and the personal relationships we have with our customers are very rewarding to me and speak volumes for how we operate. I believe we are making a difference in our community even if it is a little bit at a time. Just ask Hank the Executive Director at the Alameda Food bank who agreed to pickup our extra produce from now on because I can’t fit all of it in my car somedays.

I wonder if the CEO of Full Circle takes the time to personally write back to each of his customers and unquestionably hooks them up with Strawberries. Or packs the boxes personally for their customers. I would imagine not but that is one of our strengths. I would love to have more grocery items delivered to me as well but in the end I have to make a run to the store every once in a while anyway for wine, or toothpaste, or toilet paper, etc. No matter how much I hate the crowds or standing in line. And no matter what store I go to the produce is almost never as good as what we receive right from the farm and put in our boxes.

Thanks again for the email and I hope your strawberries are delicious and make you smile!