REVEALED: Sell-out subscription box saving farmers
A GYMPIE caterer's idea for a subscription box featuring products from local suppliers has been a massive hit, with orders coming in from overseas after just one month.
Cindy Bogan started The Local Graze after seeing how hard the Gympie region's farmers and suppliers were hit by COVID-19.
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"There was a loss for everybody," Ms Bogan said.
"We thought how can we help out the ones that are out there and I have a love affair with subscription boxes, so I tried to think if this could be something."
Ms Bogan personally visited local farmers and artisans, who were all eager to jump on-board and she started putting together a subscription box for June.
Mary Valley Food Company, Herbal Valley Apothecary, Click Clack Cafe, Fudging MAD, Forage Farms and Queensland Quails are just a few of the nearly 24 local suppliers who have since signed on.
"They lost all their chances at markets and everything like that when COVID hit," Ms Bogan said.
"It's my kind of way of giving back to those who have helped me over the last three years."
Ms Bogan had the first lot of subscription boxes ready by June, which were $80 and included Forage Farm eggs, handmade soap, fresh fruits, artisanal beef jerky and bone broth and a 200ml old fashioned rum from The Bartenders, which was a hit.
"We capped it at 30 boxes not thinking we would even get close to that, and we ended up selling out of all 30," she said.
"This month we increased it to 50 and just today we sold out of all 50, which is brilliant.
"We started it off with a three-month minimum subscription but because we understand everyone is getting back on their feet after COVID all you do is pay month by month.
"We've put together all the recommended retail pricing from all the farmers and the box actually comes up to a value of about $160 for only $80."
Ms Bogan said they didn't set up the boxes to make a profit, but to find the little people and help local farmers.
"We've found a whole bunch who we didn't even know existed, like Queensland Quails, who is in this month's box.
"She's out at Wolvi and she doesn't actually have any local suppliers of her quail eggs; she actually drives to Brisbane and the Gold Coast once a fortnight, so she's so excited to get in the box.
"With any of the fresh produce we get into the box, we're teaming that up with my catering business The Mad Hatter and putting in recipe cards.
"So when you get a box with fresh produce and you have no idea how to cook a quail egg, there's a recipe card."
Last month Ms Bogan hand delivered each box, taking eight hours, but this time around customers will be able to pick up their box from a local collection point.
"This month instead there will be pick up points for locals to collect their boxes, with one at Oska and Willow in Duke Street and one Click Clack Cafe for the Mary Valley," she said.
"We also will be shipping them; we've got one that's going down to New South Wales, South Australia, Japan."
"What we're doing then is alternating the fresh produce with something that is going to last the postage and the trip."
Lucky subscribers to this month's box will be enjoying delicious Fudging MAD fudge, Mary Valley Food Co dried limes, Forage Farm eggs, organic kimchi and sauerkraut made from entirely local products, avocados, The Bartender's alcohol syrup, dark chocolate-coated freeze-dried persimmon crunches, oils, pates, pastes, fresh rosemary and lavender bunches and more.
This month's box also includes a Click Clack Cafe voucher, for customers to stop in for a coffee when they pick up their boxes.