If you have a question that’s not answered here, please send an email to: email@example.com. For routine questions, email is preferred over phone calls.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: When you open your account with our Market, please enter a phone number where we can reach you on delivery day. We will only call you if we have to speak with you about your order. (Please see Q&A’s for what happens if you forget to pay for an order and we cannot reach you quickly. Remember that we also have a delivery route and a schedule that we are committed to meet.)
Here are some frequently asked questions:
- Are there membership fees?
- Will I have to buy vegetables I don't want?
- How do I order?
- When do I pay?
- When and Where do I pick up my order?
- Why Support Locally Grown?
- How can I sell through this market?
- Do you have a Calendar of Events?
- Are there any Volunteer Opportunities?
- What should I do when I receive my order?
- Why do you offer non-native (non-SC) products in your Collective Buying Program?
And here are some answers:
Are there membership fees?
The management/operation of the Vista Marketplace is run by volunteers. To help us provide this website, and to help us with our overhead costs, we ask that you pay an annual fee of $40 per household for one calendar year. That’s less than 12 cents per day for your entire household to have access to fresh locally-grown produce year-round!You are welcome to try us for two orders before officially becoming members. This fee is being waived for the the first year (for the first 50 families ONLY). Any donations to help off-set our costs will be greatly appreciated.
Will I have to buy vegetables I don't want?
Online Market Program allows you to select the exact products and quantities you would like from the farmers and vendors from whom you choose to purchase. You will receive a weekly email list of the produce and other products available that week, and you can browse the items on this website before you place your order.
Collective Buying Club Program
If you prefer you can participate in the Collective Buying Club Program, where you will receive a basket each week of the freshest in-season produce available from our South Carolina Farmers. Whenever possible, organic produce will be included in your box. Fruits/vegetables not native to South Carolina or not in season will be procured regionally. Our collective bulk produce purchases will allow us to offer you a wonderful variety of fruits and vegetables at a great price of only $25.00 per week. You will still need to register as a customer under the SIGN IN tab on this website. That will allow you access to all of the other products available for add-ons to your basket. If you would like to champion a Collective Buying Club at your office and you have orders of more than 12 baskets, we will Deliver for FREE. Just send a request email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be a champion. We will provide you with fliers to pass out at your office.
How do I order?
Each Thursday afternoon, a reminder and a list of available products is sent to all of our registered customers by e-mail. DO NOT PRINT THIS EMAIL, the product list is forever growing and could get quite lengthy. Customers must place their order for the next week no later than Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Orders can be placed here at our website www.vista.locallygrown.net. Ordering through this web site is our preferred method as it is designed to reduce the amount of time it takes us to process orders as well as provide you with detailed information about our products.
A small amount of produce and products may be available for sell at the market, however, pre-ordering early assures you of getting just what you want!
The online ordering system is pretty easy to use. The learning curve, if any, is generally your first order. The good news is that you get to try before you buy (a membership)! You are welcome to try us for two orders before you pay for a membership. The website will automatically add the membership fee to your third order.
When do I pay?
At this time we can not accept payment online.We do however accept cash, checks and debit/credit to pay for your order at the time of pickup. If purchasing additional items at the market, these items will be added to your total due. If items are missing or unavailable, your account will be credited on your next order.
When and Where do I pick up my order?
Currently, delivering to downtown Columbia offices on Fridays. Deadlines for ordering is Thursday of each week.
Why Support Locally Grown?
On average, American farmers receive less than twenty cents per dollar for their products. The majority of food dollars go to middlemen, such as food brokers, distributors, and retailers. By comparison, when locally produced food is purchased, a much higher return per dollar goes to the farmer. With our program, Vista Marketplace, the farmer receives 90% of each dollar spent. In addition, money spent in the local community gets spent an average of seven more times inside the community before it’s finally spent outside. So, buying locally grown produce not only supports local farmers, but also supports the entire community. The same story is true for other locally produced items. Building the local economy is an essential step to a sustainable future. Our program encourages new and fledgling farmers and entrepreneurs by offering a low-risk environment for start-up and development. The program offers a local alternative that might otherwise be obtained from non-local sources.
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.
Supporting 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 and businesses contribute to society’s overall health.
How can I sell through this market?
If you’ve already created a customer account here, simply go to Our Growers and click on ‘Join this Market’. This will add you to our system and our market managers will contact you with the next step. We do charge a one-time-only fee of $40 (which we can deduct from your 1st week’s sales) as well as 10% of your overall sales each week. Like at a traditional farmers’ market, you do get to set your own prices and list your items as you wish. Contact email@example.com if you want more information.
Products included in the Vista Marketplace must be of the highest quality. Craft products are juried for inclusion.
All vendors/farmers are expected to possess the right credentials to make claims such as; Organic, Certified SC Grown, Certified SC Product, Certified Naturally Grown, DHEC and Dept. of Agriculture Inspections, Business License, etc. Please be prepared to submit copies to the Market Manager upon request.
Do you have a Calendar of Events?
Any special events and notices will be placed under the tab above “Weblog”.
Are there any Volunteer Opportunities?
YES! Members, Farmers, and Vendors are encouraged to volunteer when schedules permit. Please email Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements. Email and text messages are preferred over a phone call, but if you need to call, please leave a message at 917-4702. Your willingness to volunteer is greatly appreciated!
What should I do when I receive my order?
Please check the condition of your order and let us know immediately if it’s not what you expected. If produce is in plastic bags, please open to vent. Fresh veggies harvested the morning of pickup may have a little dew on them or needed to be rinsed off. Always dry your vegetables upon receipt to eliminate excess moisture which in itself causes veggies to spoil. Wash veggies before you eat them and refrigerate those requiring such.
If a member of the Collective Buying Club, PLEASE take produce out of basket when you get home and store it appropriately. WASH basket out and don’t forget to return with it the following week.
Why do you offer non-native (non-SC) products in your Collective Buying Program?
Because customers would like a variety of fruits, nuts and sometimes vegetables that just aren’t grown in South Carolina. However,we make every effort to bring you South Carolina produce first and ONLY when our growing season is over will we ever purchase other produce. Still, we will stay within our region except for maybe exotics that are specially requested. We have made a firm committment to South Carolina and our customers to provide you with the Freshest Produce possible and that means over 90% will always be local.