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Author Topic: Porcupine Buying Club  (Read 2583 times)

MaineShark

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Porcupine Buying Club
« on: January 21, 2008, 02:42 PM NHFT »

No, not a way to buy porcupines...

https://www.nhteaparty.org/index.php/topic,686.0.html

We were thinking of starting a buying club.  Initially, the focus would be on natural food, groceries, etc.  There are some pretty good prices available on a variety of products, and a NH warehouse that we can pick up at in order to get better prices and smaller minimum orders.

There would be a small cost for the subscription, which pretty much just covers the monthly catalog.

Minimum order would be $350, I think.  That's for the group, so the exact frequency of orders will depend on the size of the group.  If we can get a few families involved, we could likely do monthly orders with ease.  Increasing the volume could knock it down to weekly.

We'd have to figure out pickup procedures and costs.  I can drive to the warehouse with my truck and get a fairly large order loaded in there.  Then deliver to a designated point in some of the major cities.  If all the deliveries are happening in one day, there would need to be a crowd at each point to unload the truck, break out the products for that group, and re-load the truck so I could head to the next city.

The other alternative, if we can manage a larger minimum order, is to have it delivered to a central location that everyone comes to for pickup.  Less convenient than several points, and we'd need to order more or spread the orders out over a longer period to create a larger minimum, but it would save us on gas as a group.  Particularly if the central location was Manch, and someone was willing to store the items so that folks could pick them up when they are making the trip anyway.

Eventually, I'm thinking we could order other items in bulk.  For example, I bet we can get decent prices on ammunition if we order a whole pallet at a time.  I regularly get deliveries of boilers here, so I can easily have a freight truck drop off a pallet of ammunition.  Then the buyers just come and get their share of it.

The thought is to run this as a non-profit.  All orders could have a flat percentage added to them, which would go into an account.  Expenses would be paid out of that, and at the end of the year any surplus would be re-distributed back to the members (based on a ratio of how much they paid in), unless they unanimously decided to do something else with it.  Or there could be a monthly membership fee, which would be treated the same way.

As far as what's available... pretty much everything other than fresh meat and produce.  There are frozen meats and veggies.  They also do have fresh produce and meats available, but it can get difficult to manage, as a result of the short shelf life, so we'd rather not deal with that hassle, at least initially.

The focus is on natural products, and they cover most anything that would be available in a supermarket.  It does include dairy products and perishables like that, as well as frozen foods.  And then huge variety in boxed/canned/etc goods and such.  Vitamins and other supplements.  Personal care items, as well.

I'll be bringing the catalog to the Taproom tomorrow.

If there is any particular item that someone uses a lot of, post it and I'll get a price.  We've been going through it and there's typically a decent savings, even on some of the specialty items (like hemp milk) which are going to be in smaller quantities and, therefore, not as good a deal.

If you're interested, let me know.  I think we already have enough interest to make at least an order a month.  If we get a few more people, we can likely get it to the once/week order.

Joe
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 04:19 PM NHFT by MaineShark »
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sandm000

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 03:58 PM NHFT »

Does this place have a name or an online catalog?
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MaineShark

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 04:17 PM NHFT »

Does this place have a name or an online catalog?

The distributor we're currently looking at is United Natural Foods.  They have a listing of manufacturers, but not an actual online catalog (unless we get an account with them).

Joe
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porcupine kate

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 08:44 PM NHFT »

I'm interested in taking a look but I won't be at Taproom Tuesday.
Kate
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Lloyd Danforth

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008, 08:02 AM NHFT »

Same here
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Dave Ridley

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2008, 01:10 PM NHFT »

i'm also interested but mainly just want to see what's on the list and how much it would cost me.
i'd love to see the catalog and would probably spend half an hour on it comparing it with my own best-price list.
i assume it has prices? 
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sandm000

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2008, 03:38 PM NHFT »

Joe,
How many pages are in the brochure you have?  Could I borrow it to scan it in, since there is so much online interest, where some of us can't or won't show up to Murphy's to check it out.
Brian
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MaineShark

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2008, 05:28 PM NHFT »

How many pages are in the brochure you have?  Could I borrow it to scan it in, since there is so much online interest, where some of us can't or won't show up to Murphy's to check it out.

It's on the close order of 200 pages, so scanning might be an issue.

If there's enough interest, we'll set up the account, at which point we should have online access to their product listing.

And yes, Dave, it has prices.  At least for the grocery items.  The fresh produce and fresh meats are listed online, since their pricing fluctuates.

As far as anyone else who wants to look through it, drop me a line if you will be headed this way at any point, and we can try to meet up.

Joe
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Eli

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2008, 08:09 PM NHFT »

Are there food storage items in the catalog?  Wheat, oats, honey, sugar, beans, etc in bulk?
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MaineShark

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2008, 09:57 PM NHFT »

Are there food storage items in the catalog?  Wheat, oats, honey, sugar, beans, etc in bulk?

Yup.  There's a whole section devoted to bulk food items.

Joe
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MengerFan

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2008, 10:58 PM NHFT »

Just curious. Do they have bulk malted grains (such as for brewing)?
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MaineShark

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2008, 02:34 PM NHFT »

Just curious. Do they have bulk malted grains (such as for brewing)?

I know they have bulk grains.  I'll check on malted grains.

In any case, we have enough people so this is definitely going to happen.

An accurate head count would be good, if folks would like to reply here, or PM or email.

Joe
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MengerFan

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2008, 02:45 PM NHFT »

Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention. MengerLady found a local buying group in our area that we are going to try out. It looks really cool to me, considering she has been driving 150 miles to the nearest natural food store.
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JonM

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2008, 03:14 PM NHFT »

If you contact them, they're happy to send you the catalog and a list of nearby buying clubs.
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porcupine kate

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Re: Porcupine Buying Club
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2008, 05:33 PM NHFT »

Hello Joe.
I was wondering if you have had a chance to get the ball rolling on your idea?  I would love to know when we can start shopping.
Kate
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