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Organics survey

Mon Oct 16, 2006 Miss Vicky 

This came in today.... I figure any organic food business in Kitchissippi would be a welcome addition. I've filled out the survey, and I hope you will too!

Dear Miss Vicky: I'm conducting a survey of Kitchissippi dwellers and asking about their preferences for organic food and products. The intention is to use this info to determine the viability of a new business. I'd appreciate it if you would share the survey with your readers (or anyone else). The survey is at http://www.ottawaorganics.com.

By the way, congratulations on the new addition! I thought I was good at mult-tasking, but you've got me beat.

Matt
.

Some people were moved to reply

liss76 Oct 19, 2006 09:57 AM said:

I agree, as long as it isn't something that is going to compete with the Herb & Spice too much.

adavidso Oct 19, 2006 10:11 AM said:

I would be happy to see a little more competition in providing organic produce. More choice for the consumer, plus home delivery may be essential once our twins are born.

liss76 Oct 19, 2006 10:56 AM said:

We belong to a buying group for the ONFC: http://www.onfc.ca/

They're not local to Ottawa and product availability can be unreliable, but they are pretty much the cheapest way going for a lot of the organic stuff we buy. I've done price comparisons at the major grocery stores and the Herb & Spice (which uses them as a supplier as well), as well as Costco--the only place that I have ever seen fairly consistently undercut the ONFC pricing is Costco, but Costco doesn't reliably carry specific brand lines, so just because I see something there cheaper on one visit doesn't mean it will be there the next time I go. Cereal is about the only exception here--Costco tends to carry a number of the Nature's Path items.

If you are interested in organic/natural foodstuffs (excepting fresh produce and meat), you may want to investigate setting up a buying group.

Miss Vicky Oct 19, 2006 11:02 AM said:

TWINS, adavidso????????!!!!!! Congrats!

adavidso Oct 19, 2006 11:54 AM said:

Thanks for the informative post liss76. I was not aware of the onfc... what about joining your buying group? We're in the 'hood.

Yes, twins. Thing 2 and Thing 3 - we're very excited!

liss76 Oct 19, 2006 04:17 PM said:

I will drop an email to our group and see if they think there is room for another family. Our orders have been getting quite large (one of the last I was responsible for receiving and sorting was 40+ huge boxes of stuff to be reconciled with the order, sorted and then divided into individual family orders) and there has been talk in the not-so-distant past of limiting our group membership to keep the delivery sizes under control so we aren't placed in a position where we need to rent a delivery space.

Our group isn't really located in the 'hood--we have members from across the city. I believe there are other larger groups in Ottawa that may not have the space constraints, though. If our group declines, perhaps you could locate one of the other groups?

I will post back here.

Twins--wow! Exciting! :D

adavidso Oct 20, 2006 02:45 PM said:

ok, thanks. I didn't realize it was such a large group. Are there enough members in Hintonburg to form a smaller sub-group to keep things more manageable?

amckay Oct 20, 2006 02:52 PM said:

Feedback so far from our buyer's club indicates that they don't want to grow it unless we lose a family. But there is a group in Westboro and it's easy to set one up anyway. Just contact the ONFC. First ask them if there are any clubs in your area accepting members, and also ask for the info kit on setting up your own club. They are pretty flakey in responding to email, and flakey and unreliable in general when ordering. But you can't beat their prices so we tend to put up with it all.

Our group is currently pretty far-flung with members all over Ottawa. We basically formed out of a couple of sets of friends who were interested. And they had 2 friends, and so on. Personally I'd sooner be part of an all-Hintonburg buyer's club as it would be more convenient. But even with the far-flung club it's not that inconvenient. By far the biggest problem with the whole arrangement is the ONFC itself, not the fact that our buyer's club is far-flung.

liss76 Oct 23, 2006 08:29 AM said:

Personally I'd sooner be part of an all-Hintonburg buyer's club as it would be more convenient.

Ditto that. I've done a lot more of that actual "work" than amckay has with this, being the at-home parent in our dyad--it would have been a lot more convenient for me when sorting and such, if there were other more local people I could call for assistance with the order. The delivery time is not static, so it just isn't easy to plan on someone being able to cart themselves across town to help when a delivery arrives at rush hour, etc.

I am certainly open to the idea of belonging to a neighbourhood buying group if there is enough interest in starting one (and notwithstanding, of course, any remaining obligations we have with our current group).

adavidso Oct 23, 2006 10:15 AM said:

hmmm, this sounds like it requires someone with spare time, which unfortunately isn't me right now... a local club seems to make sense though. perhaps we will contact the ONFC and see where that leads. Maybe we can start one on our street... that might keep it manageable. Thanks for all the info, and don't hesitate to contact me @gmail.com if you are able/interested in setting something local up.

Miss Vicky Oct 23, 2006 10:52 AM said:

Well, you just might be an ideal candidate for this new business. Apparently it's going to be home delivery at first, maybe storefront later if it grows.

liss76 Oct 23, 2006 02:20 PM said:

It actually doesn't take a lot of spare time. The big jobs are accepting and sorting the order, and compiling and reconciling the order. In our club different people take responsibility for these each time an order is placed (usually ever 6-8 weeks). I did the first few orders for our club (recieving and sorting) primarily because I was home and it was convenient for me, and because we were still new as a club--it was easier for one person to do it a few times, figure out a "procedure" and then pass the task along to the rest on a rotational basis. We can't do the financial side as we don't run Excel on our computers, so we took on the handling side of things.

It really isn't as much work as it sounds. ;o) WEll, okay, one afternoon/evening every couple of months is nuts for someone.. and then someone has to get the final order reconciled (so needs to be good at numbers.. really good LOL).. but other than that, it's not that hard. ;o)

amckay Oct 23, 2006 03:59 PM said:

And just dealing with the ONFC in general is a huge pain in the arse because they don't seem to have their heads screwed on most of the time ...

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