Case Study: Fresh City Farms

Fresh City Farms, a Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund (YSI) loan recipient, is a Toronto-based urban farm and farming network.

Ran Goel at Fresh City FarmsFresh City locally cultivates organic groceries without using harmful pesticides. Fruits and vegetables are packaged within 48 hours of being harvested and delivered to subscribers through eco-friendly means to maintain a minimal carbon footprint.

In April 2013, YSI formed a partnership with Fresh City to further their core social and environmental values.

Since receiving a YSI support package, Fresh City has experienced remarkable growth and success.

Challenges

In the first quarter of 2013, Fresh City identified two barriers to organizational growth and development:

Packaging

  • Fresh City delivered groceries to customers in packages sourced from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Although these boxes were reusable and environmentally friendly, they were costly and limited in supply. The Fresh City team concluded a new packaging option was needed to reduce operational costs and address increasing delivery demand.

Online order-to-delivery system

  • Customers order groceries from Fresh City’s website using an order-to-delivery system provided by a third-party vendor that charges high transaction fees. Fresh City identified the need to replace this system with a new in-house ordering software developed specifically for the organization to reduce costs and improve usability.

Fresh City required additional financial resources to address and overcome these barriers to organizational growth. Securing a loan would allow Ran to fulfill his vision of establishing a socially and environmentally responsible urban farm and farming network.

YSI Solution

Fresh City produceIn April 2013, Fresh City and YSI formed a partnership to drive positive impact. YSI disbursed a $10,000 loan to Fresh City to overcome organizational challenges and support their vision.

With this financial support, Ran was able to implement a new, cost-efficient packaging system that also improved the quality of Fresh City produce. It directly addressed previous concerns surrounding availability while remaining environmentally friendly. Today, Fresh City delivers organic produce in reusable bags.

Fresh City additionally used the YSI loan to design and develop a new online ordering system tailored to their specific business needs and use cases. The project will go live in Fall 2013 and is expected to cut operational costs by a sizeable margin.

Alongside the financial support provided by YSI was a series of non-financial resources to facilitate successful venture growth.

YSI has provided outstanding support to Fresh City. From supplying financial resources to connecting us with experienced industry experts and business professionals, YSI is completely dedicated to Fresh City’s success.

Ran Goel, founder and owner of Fresh City Farms

YSI’s financial and non-financial support allowed Fresh City to overcome organizational barriers and expand their operation. As a result, Ran was able to grow his business and positively impact his community.

Moving Forward

Fresh City cartRan and his team are thrilled with Fresh City’s progress and continue to be committed to the organization’s vision. As subscribers increase, Fresh City meets the challenge and exceeds expectations without compromising their core environmental and social values.

YSI is proud to play such a key role in the growth of Fresh City and is excited to be a part of their future developments. Going forward, YSI will continue to connect Fresh City to the resources required to build upon their momentum and drive their organizational vision of becoming a socially- and environmentally-responsible urban farm and farming network.

 

 

For more information on Ran Goel’s Fresh City Farms, you can visit their website at freshcityfarms.com or follow them on Twitter (@freshcityfarms).