Buying Groups: Tell Us About Your Experiences

Are you part of a buying group?

Buying groups, or consumer collectives, are simply a group of people who come together to purchase food as a collective, enabling them to buy items at wholesale prices.  By coming together, individuals are able to purchase their food staples in bulk, thereby saving money as well as minimizing packaging.

Atlantic Canada is home to a wide variety of bulk food suppliers making buying groups an excellent way to eat locally. Possible purchases include freezer meat, flour and other grains, dried beans and more.

A buying group may be made up of neighbours, friends, co-workers or teammates. It may be small and self-organized or it may be large and formalized. Orders may be placed weekly, monthly or even every few months depending on the size of the collective and the needs of its members.

We’re interested in hearing about your experiences with buying groups.  Who do you buy from?  How many people are in your group?  What types of things do you buy?

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Buying Groups: Tell Us About Your Experiences

  1. We recently moved back to Nova Scotia from Waterloo, Ontario. While there we belonged to a “buying club” called Bailey’s Local Foods (http://baileyslocalfoods.ca/). There was weekly online ordering from May to October and monthly online ordering from November to April. Pickup was weekly at a local church. The selection of products was great (veggies, fruits, baked goods, preserves, meats, cheese, honey, peanut butter….) and the local food was excellent. It was great to support local food producers and eat well at the same time. Our experience was super – hope we can find something comparable here!

    • Hi Sandi, thanks for sharing your experience. There are a couple of open membership buying groups in Nova Scotia. Here are a few that we came across:

      • Ellora: “Located in lovely LaHave, on Nova Scotia’s beautiful South Shore, and serving member customers right across Canada, Ellora is a web-based buying service for over 5000 natural and organic foods and related products.” (www.ellora.ca)
      • Grainery Food Co-op: “The Grainery Food Co-Operative is a non-profit, volunteer run organization dedicated to making local and organic food affordable and available to Halifax communities.” The Grainery Food Co-op is located at 2385 Agricola Street in Halifax. The store is staffed by its members. Everyone is welcome to shop at the Grainery with members receiving a discount. (http://thegrainery.ca/)
      • Chester Organics: “Striving to provide our community with fresh local and organic foods year round. With a background in nutrition and kinesiology I am striving to learn and share a balanced approach to optimal health.” Chester Organics does weekly deliveries of pre-ordered food boxes to Hubbards, Blandford, East Chester, Chester Basin, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Bridgewater and are working on drops in LaHave and beyond. (http://chesterorganics.wordpress.com/).

      A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) might be a good fit for your produce needs as well. There is a listing of Nova Scotia CSAs on the ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network) website at http://acornorganic.org/acorn/databaseregional.html.

  2. I’m from Halifax, but currently go to school in Waterloo. I’m a member of Bailey’s, too! Aside from all of the great things about sourcing things locally, supporting local business, etc., I love that it’s possible to get things from Bailey’s that are otherwise unavailable in town. The Kitchener market is great (it’s no Brewery or Seaport market, however!), but I only ever find one type of beets, one type of carrots, no Brussels sprouts past November, etc. Bailey’s offers a much wider range of products.

  3. I would love to find one here in Yarmouth. No luck yet.

    They are starting up a CSA here (I missed out on the trial run) and I need to get signed up. I love local produce!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s