Ways to Purchase Maine Products
Looking to purchase fresh produce and locally crafted foods, beverages, and more? We’ve narrowed down your search to places where you can find all these Real Maine products. As you travel the state, you’re likely to find farm stores, co-ops, farmers’ markets, and other local food venues in many communities. Keep an eye out and you’ll also see locally grown and produced foods in area restaurants, markets, and specialty shops. Here are some terms that you’ll often see in relation to food shopping:
Many farms, food businesses, and others accept orders by phone for pickup or delivery. Check the business’s website for information.
Local Delivery to Home
Opportunities for home delivery vary by community, with more options appearing all the time. Some farms use a local service (like Belfast Delivers) and others may deliver certain products or during certain times of the year.
These are typically more informal, and often have no staff. Produce and other goods are displayed, and shoppers make their selections and leave payments in a lockbox on the honor system. Food is generally picked/prepared on site, and therefore offers peak freshness.
When you shop at a Maine farmers’ market, you’re buying directly from the producers. Each member of the market sets up their own booth to sell products they grew or produced. Some markets also have a central “information booth” where customer can pay for all their purchases with a variety of payment options.
Maine Senior FarmShare
More than 100 farms participate in MSFP, a USDA funded program which provides eligible seniors with a $50 farm share at no charge. Seniors apply to participate with an authorized farm beginning in April each year.
These are small shops, often located on site at a farm. Expect to find products from the farm where the shop is located, plus products from other producers in the area. Some farm stores also offer prepared foods or cafe service.
Community Supported Agriculture applies to programs that let consumers pre-buy agricultural products such as produce, meats, and flowers. This benefits the farmer’s early season cash flow, and often results in a cost savings for consumers.
Debit-Style CSA Program
Consumers purchase a set quantity of product in advance, then select what they want as the season passes.
Pre-Pack CSA Program
The farmer selects the products (most commonly produce) which are included each week.
Online Sales for Delivery
Some producers offer online sales with mail (UPS, FedEx, etc…) delivery. There are also opportunities to order curated collections (such as the Victory Cheese Box from Local Goods Gathered).
Online Sales for Pickup
This is a relatively new model that many producers developed in 2020. Shoppers select the products they wish to purchase via a website or emailed order form, then pick the product up at the store, farm, or farmers’ market.