Information for Members of Bailey's Local Food Buying Club
Welcome to Bailey's Local Food Buying Club!
Thanks for coming! We can't wait to share some tasty food with you!
Mission of Bailey's Local Food Buying Club
- To make it easier for families in KW to buy, preserve and eat food from local farmers.
- To nurture interest in our local food culture.
- To support local farmers and encourage them to grow more people food.
Food Sources and Food Labels
All food will be from within 100 miles of UpTown Waterloo (usually much closer than 100 miles). We are committed to buying from the smaller farmers, mills, bakers, processors, canneries, etc... with a particular interest in buying from farmers who choose not to use the internet or motor vehicles. The food ingredients may not be 100% local (for example bread may be made locally but not from all-local ingredients - yet!) but it will be as local as we can find. The food may be certified organic, no spray, low spray or conventional. It will be labelled and you can choose what you want.
Why a Buying Club?
Each family needs to find a local food-buying system that works for them. For some, grocery stores work best. For some, the farmers market works well, others love CSAs, others prefer to pick up from the farm-gate. This Buying Club is one more option. The Buying Club is handy for some because members can pick and choose what they want each week. Bailey's Buying Club offers a lot more than produce and offers food year round - even in the deep and dark of Winter.
The Buying Club also offers members the chance to get to know other families who value local food and all that it symbolizes. The weekly emails from Maryrose and Rachael sometimes offer a few practical tips about how to use what is in season and how to preserve it. Buying your food through Bailey's means that much more of your food dollars are going to local farmers than if you shopped at a grocery store. Your produce is also fresher than from a grocery store since it was picked the morning, or sometimes the day before, you pick it up.
Bailey's Local Buying Club will offer fresh produce and other foods weekly from Late May to Mid October with weekly pick-ups. Bailey's will offer root vegetables, preserves, greenhouse vegetables, flours, baked goods and other foods monthly from November to May.
Bailey's offers a variety of organic, conventional and no-spray foods:
- Fresh Produce
- - includes hard-to-find no-spray strawberries and raspberries, no-spray sweet corn, Fall salad greens, greenhouse tomatoes in early Spring, spinach in March from greenhouses, organic melons...
- Winter vegetables
- - includes cabbage, potatoes (no-spray), beets, sweet potatoes, onions, turnip, celeriac, parsnip, carrots and salad mix from greenhouses
- - organic flours and grains from Oak Manor Farms near Tavistock
- Southern Ontario fruits
- - sweet cherries, peaches, plums, blueberries, nectarines, pears, grapes and apricots
- Dried beans
- - from near Aylmer
- Peanuts and Peanut Butter
- - from near Simcoe
- Frozen Beef, Pork, Lamb and Chicken
- - from Traditional Foods, no hormones, antibiotics, or GMO in the feed.
- Frozen Organic Beef
- - We have both organic and "natural" beef available in a variety of forms (patties, roasts, steaks, ground, etc...)
- - pear sauce, salsa, jams, relishes and more
- Baked goods
- - from many local bakers
- - from Millbank Cheese Factoryand others!
- - eggs, honey and maple syrup, nuts, popcorn, canola oil, pasta
- (no milk as it is highly regulated and difficult to offer)
The $20 annual membership fee is the difference between this Buying Club petering out or being sustainable and expanding. The first year our labour was almost all volunteer. That is not sustainable. We want to run this in a way that it is a viable business that you can count on to feed your family for years to come. We work hard to keep costs down so that the price of the food stays affordable WHILE paying the farmers a fair price. This puts us in a tight place in the middle. We only mark up 30-35% (most stores have an 80-100% markup on fresh produce) and so the membership fee helps to pay the rent and to pay for the 1,000s jars of preserves we commission farmers to process for us in September so that you can buy golden peaches in a jar in January.
How to Order
We will send you an email with the food news of the week on Fridays and a link to our online order form. You can order Friday at 11PM to Tuesday at 8PM. You can even go and change an order after you make it by logging into your account again. All orders will be final each Tuesday at 8PM.
Pick Up Location
On Fridays from May until October we will have a weekly pickup and from October to April we will have monthly (or more often) Monday pickup days at First United Church on the corner of King Street and William Street (16 William Street West) in Waterloo. Parking is off of Caroline Street in the City parking lot. Enter by the white kitchen door that faces the parking lot.
Pick Up Times
The pick up times are 3:30-7:00 PM.
What if I forget to pick up my order?
We will phone you at 6:30PM to remind you that you have an order waiting and at 7pm will pack up your order as if it is a pre-packed order ($15 fee). You have until 8PM to pick it up and then we (you, actually) donate it to a neighbourhood family or others in need of food. You still need to pay for your order because the farmers need to be paid for all the hard work they put into producing the food.
Pre-packing Order Option
If you are in a hurry or don't want to pack your own box, we offer a pre-packing service. We are happy to pack it and have it ready for you to pick up and pay for, along with a small service fee. Items that require refrigeration will not be pre-packed for health reasons but we are happy to help you gather them when you arrive.
How do I pay?
You pay when you pick up. Cheques are very handy. Cash is okay too. If you are not happy with what you receive, all claims for missing/damaged items must be made at the pick-up site before 7PM that same day. After 7PM all sales are final. Please do let us know if the quality is not acceptable and we will do our best to follow up with the supplier and make things right.
The Fine Print
- Bailey's Buying Club is not a store. We do not offer 24/7 convenience. We also don't claim to be as efficient as Zehrs. We are better organized now but it will take more than a few minutes to pick up your food so plan to not rush it. You can also take turns doing pick-up with a fellow member.
- It DOES require thinking ahead to order what your household will eat that week (or month). Each item is not available each week so some items may be available only once a month (flour, for example). This means you may want to put flour in a large ice cream bucket or in bags in the freezer so that you have enough until it is offered again.
- We are committed to paying farmers a fair price for their goods so the food will rarely be a "bargain" but it will be "reasonable" when you consider all the labour and energy that went into producing it. Because Bailey's is not a store, we have lower overhead costs and can keep our mark-up lower.
- Some weeks we will not offer local food because we are on vacation or due to family illness. We will try to let you know ahead of time when a week is approaching in which there will not be a pick-up day.
- We are figuring this out as we go. This is a new system for connecting urban consumers with food from local farms. We ask for your understanding and good humour as we figure this out together. We welcome your suggestions for how to make it work for everyone.
- Local food is dependent on local weather, local insects and local sweat. If farmers have difficulty finding enough pickers or a drought wipes out half of their yields or insects infest the sweet corn you were counting on - this means something you order may not be available when you come to pick it up.
- Bring your own bags, boxes, etc. to get your food home.
- If you can, leave your car at home. Consider walking, biking, bringing a stroller or wagon.
How local do you want to eat?
What percent of diet do you want to be local food? In 2010 Nina aimed for 60% local food. She said: "I think I hit 50% last year but my records are sloppy so I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that we've been eating WELL! We've eaten better this past year than ever before. So many amazing salads and stir fries and now lots and lots of savoury soups. The no-spray white-fleshed peaches are a highlight that sticks out in my sensory memory.
I'm not promoting a purist 100% 100 mile diet here, just substituting local foods for imported ones when it is easy to do. I still lie in bed smiling at the thought of all of our money going to local farmers instead of grocery chains."
Nina's Long range vision of Bailey's Local Food Buying Club
I see buying clubs every 1-2km in KW. I see 50% of KW families to spending 50% of their food budget on local food. I see farmers converting fields of corn into patchworks of vegetables and fruits.