"It was not so much a shift, but growth. As our Community Food Access program grew, the interest in our markets exceeded our capacity.”
– Lindsey Hoffman, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, GoFarm
Golden, CO | Owner: Eileen O'Rourke
www.gofarm.org | Food, Beverage, and Agriculture Business
Q&A with Marketing & Fundraising Manager, Lindsey Hoffman
Give a high level overview of your business. What products or services you offer, where you're located, etc.
How did the idea for your business come about?
GoFarm is a nonprofit organization, based in Golden, Colorado, with a mission to train and support local farmers, connect people with local agriculture, and increase equitable access to nutrient-rich food grown in Colorado.
Through this work, we are strengthening the local food system (the process of how food moves from the farm, to our plates, and everything in between). Our work gets us closer to our vision of having a local food system that is equitable, resilient, environmentally sustainable, and inclusive. One in which farmers and farm workers have the resources they need to thrive and farm safely, community members have reliable access to healthy, local, and sustainably grown food, and everyone feels inspired to engage in their local food community.
GoFarm’s founder crafted the idea of GoFarm after doing research on local food systems and recognizing where the gaps existed. GoFarm focuses on increasing the supply of locally-grown food, building necessary infrastructure to distribute food, and ensuring that equity was a priority.
How long have you been in your industry and what do you love most about your industry?
GoFarm was founded in 2014. Our work spans different industries, including local agriculture, food access, and non-profit. Within these industries, there's desire to work together as a collective force. We love that we can work alongside our partners to better our food system!
What shift in your business led you to seek out new/additional funding?
It was not so much a shift, but growth. As our Community Food Access program grew, the interest in our markets exceeded our capacity. So we decided to seed funding to purchase a mobile market, a refrigerated vehicle that would allow us to provide more food for people in the community.
What was your experience like when trying to get funding for your business? Ie, how long had you been looking? Did you experience difficulties, etc.?
As a 501(c)3, we had experience applying for grants to help fund our programs and projects. Though there were always difficulties along the way with finding the right grants that fit our needs. We were grateful that we could apply for funding through CEF and continue to grow our impact!
What was your experience like in working with CEF?
Overall, it was a positive experience! They understand the importance of local agriculture and increasing food access, and they provide a lot of opportunities for small businesses to obtain low interest loans, which is what our nonprofit needed. Working with our loan officer was especially easy.
What were you able to do with the funding you received from CEF?
We were able to purchase a Mobile Market, #ChucktheGoFarmTruck, to host food markets across our region. The mobile market helps us achieve our goal of increasing equitable access to nutrient-rich food, and building inclusive spaces where everyone can feel welcome in their local food system.
What's on the horizon for you and your small business?
We have a lot of plans for GoFarm’s future! For example, we'll be hosting more education events, and are hoping to launch a new pricing model for our mobile markets to make our food even more accessible! Join our mailing list at Gofarm.org/join-our-mailing-list to get more updates.
What recent success(es) have you experienced in your business?
During the past year we had an incredible impact in our community. In 2021, we supported 67 local, sustainable farms and helped 12 beginning farmers start their own farm. We made food more accessible for 1,659 households and sourced $8,956 worth of locally-grown food to 3 food pantries.
What do you love about the small business community in Colorado?
We love that there is so much camaraderie and support within the small business community of Colorado. We work with so many partners and like-minded organizations who want to support our work, increase equity within the food system, and help combat climate change through sustainable agriculture.
Thanks to the following collaboration partners: