80 Acres still providing carryout pickups, ‘pivoted’ to stores

80 Acres Farms is offering produce pickups of tomatoes, salad mixes and other products in downtown Hamilton, at the former Miami Motor Car Co. building at 319 S. 2nd St. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
80 Acres Farms is offering produce pickups of tomatoes, salad mixes and other products in downtown Hamilton, at the former Miami Motor Car Co. building at 319 S. 2nd St. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

80 Acres Farms, the high-tech indoor farming company now based in Hamilton, says it’s time to “Romaine Calm & Veg Out” — a slogan now on its website — and continues to let people order its salads and produce online and pick them up in Hamilton and Cincinnati.

The pickup days have changed through the weeks, with the company now offering touch-less pickups from 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays at two locations, 319 S. 2nd St. in Hamilton and 4535 Este Ave. in Cincinnati.

After people order products using the website https://shop.80acresfarms.com/ , they can show up at either location with their last name in the front passenger window or can text their last name to the number on the receipt so employees can take their items out to them.

Products include fireworks tomatoes, various salad mixes, two coffee blends and hand sanitizers. Customers can also donate some greens to frontline healthcare workers.

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Hamilton Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson said customers are amazed they’re able to buy fresh produce out of the normal growing season for this area “and know that it’s been grown here, and the manner which it’s been grown here.”

“At one point, we had a lot of restaurants we were servicing, and since the closures, we had to shift the supply to retail,” said Rebecca Haders, the company’s vice president of creative & marketing.

“We’re definitely pivoting. The world isn’t the same as it was three months ago, so every business, to survive, they need to pivot and figure out how to best fit the world today.”

The curbside pickups “have really taken off. It’s been awesome to see how excited the city of Hamilton and Cincinnati have been,” Haders said. “They’re still supporting retail, but they do enjoy their trip to the farm.”

And the services are expanding, she said.

People order online and pay for it online, and when you show up, you put your name in the car window, “and we run it out to you,” she said.

“It’s pretty seamless and we’re starting to involve more people in the community,” she said. “We’re offering some local coffee, some local vinaigrettes, we were offering some local hand sanitizer.”

“They can buy all their veggies, but we’re also this artisan hub,” she said. “We’ve been doing it for just a little bit over a month, and every week we learn a little bit more and I think at this point it’s pretty seamless. And the gratitude coming from our customers and the response on social media and personal emails is pretty cool to see just how grateful they are that they can come directly to the farm.”

Construction of the large indoor farm 80 Acres is building in the Hamilton Enterprise Park is coming along. The company hopes to be starting operations there by the end of summer.

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Some restaurants that are 80 Acres customers also have pivoted to serve as many customers as possible. Some have shifted toward making family-style meals during the coronavirus crisis, while others that offer outdoor seating in particular are eager to open those operations soon.

“Each individual restaurant’s kind of doing it at their own pace and in their own way,” she said.

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