Exciting news! After many months of planning and hard work, Skookum’s Abundant Pantry Bulk-Buying Project is ready for prime time! The coordinator Wendy Pelton and her husband Barry Bookout have created a fantastic website for Skookum members to place their bimonthly orders for bulk food and all members of Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative are invited to sign up and check it out.
Here’s how it works:
- In the odd months (January, March, May, July, September, & November), Skookum members who have signed up with The Abundant Pantry will be invited to shop for bulk goods, using the new website;
- Members can work together to split bags or cases, using the splits page;
- The deadline for each order will be the second Sunday of the month;
- Once we have closed the website and received the orders for that month, we pass our collective order to Melissa Call at Sunshine Organics/Ecossentials, who acts as our local distributor;
- Ferries permitting, our order will come in on the following Wednesday and be ready for members on the Thursday of that week to come up to Melissa’s warehouse in Wildwood and get their food.
We currently have access to the catalogue from Horizon Distributors and plans are afoot to get other distributors’ catalogues into our online ordering system. Stay tuned.
Beyond that, one of the most exciting aspects of this online ordering site is that we can list local producers and their products there for our members to buy in bulk quantities. Currently, our only local distributor is Skookum member Mischa Brooks-Thoma, the Powell River Natural Soap Lady, but Wendy is hard at work finding more local food other products for us. If you have suggestions, contact her. (Local producers whom we buy from do not need to be members.)
We’re also thinking ahead to frozen refrigerated products, but we plan to run a few simple orders before we start complicating things.
In February, we ran a small test run, and everything (well, almost!) went off without a hitch. And so we are now ready to try a larger order with more members involved. The order deadline this time around will be 11:00 PM on Sunday March 11, and the pickup day will be Thursday March 15.
You can check out the current catalogue here. (Please note that the full catalogue might take some time to load if you’re on a slow internet connection.) Information about joining The Abundant Pantry Bulk-Buying Club and getting your own secure online login information is here.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email Wendy or phone her at (604) 485-6664.
On behalf of all our members who will benefit from having a simple accessible online bulk ordering system, the Skookum board would like to acknowledge the contributions of the ‘guinea pigs’ of the pilot order, as well as Melissa Leigh, who has helped with invaluable advice on bookkeeping procedures financial sanity; Mischa Brooks-Thoma, for being the first local producer providing so much useful feedback; and above all, Wendy and Barry, who have given us so many hours of hard work trying to get the website all the procedures in order. Thank you, all!