The Pandemic Forced Farms, Restaurants to Offer Online Ordering. They Don’t Regret It.
On Tuesday morning, Brendan Tuckey was putting the finishing touches on a germination incubator he built at his farm in Sugar Camp. The chamber, about the size of a large locker, is heated to help vegetable seeds begin to sprout in the spring. It will get its first use in the coming weeks. Tuckey and his wife Jenny own EverGood Farm, an organic vegetable farm serving the Northwoods. Most years, they sell much of what they grow at local farmer’s markets. But as the pandemic spread last spring, they pulled the plug on that plan. “The farmer’s markets, we weren’t confident that we’d have any control over [them],” Tuckey said. “One, they might get shut down anyway. Two, how are we going to really control how people are behaving at a farmer’s market?” A business pivot seemed obvious: Tuckey, who has an IT background, would help set up an online ordering system. Customers would order the in-season veggies they wanted, and each week, he would drop the orders at one of several pickup locations