An interesting local option became available for buyers and sellers of produce last month.

Gladstone Country Market opened an online farmers market similar to Aurora Local Foods, which recently closed its cyber doors.

Owner Andy McBride said it will open up new options for local farmers for whom the current farmers market system is not an option. Mcbride explained that most farmers markets require sellers to haul their product to the market, sit at a competitive booth all day and maybe not even sell what’s necessary.

“You can spend the whole day doing that, and it may take up your whole weekend,” said McBride, who has a seperate job outside of his farm that takes up his time during the week. “Or you have to pay someone else to do it.”

Gladstone Country Market works in a completely different way, especially targeting those small farmers that have other careers like McBride. But the Country Market is not your typical produce stand: it’s completely online.

“Unfortunately, it’s all computerized,” said McBride. “So we can’t meet every shopper’s need. But we are not in direct competition with the farmers market, and we are open year round.”

Despite operating 12 months out of the year instead of the four of a farmers market, Gladstone Country Market follows the same regulations.

Farmers put their products on an online catalog, and the business marks up each farmer’s price by 10 percent. The customer then orders their wanted products online; ordering is open all week and closes on Friday at 8 p.m. The farmers get their orders and have all weekend to prepare boxes for customers.

Gladstone Country Market has two “crop drop” sites where the products can be picked up. One in Canby, at Canby Wholesale Feed, 1420 S. Township Road, which is operational on Mondays, and one in Gladstone, at Two Girls Catering, 125 E. Dartmouth St., in business on Tuesdays.

Farmers drop off their products before noon, and customers are able to pick them up after 1 p.m. This system also allows for the recognition of local businesses such as Two Girls Catering, which gets a shout-out on the Country Market’s website, and in turn uses as much local product in its business as possible.

Since its start, Gladstone Country Market has been growing pretty rapidly according to McBride. In two weeks, their business has grown to reach about 40 customers.

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