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And Ethical Business Practices 101

We’re not going to play a game of hide the ball before we get straight to the point: we are increasing the price of our meals from $30 to $40 per meal.

What the #*¢% ?! Why are you doing this?

When Chef Sam started this thing in early-COVID (23 March 2020), it was a purely spontaneous reaction to someone (a farmer) who had a bigger problem (a bunch of restaurant customers canceling orders) than Sam had (being furloughed with one kid in braces and another headed to college). So Sam bought a bunch of the farmer’s yield to help him out; cooked 10 meals at home; posted them on InstaGram; and priced them to sell based on those bare facts.

There was only the slightest analysis of cost in the price, and the price was set when Sam operated out of his home kitchen by himself with no intention or plan to make this a business.

Fast forward 6 months, and “this thing” had become Your Farms Your Table LLC; Sam was paying well above market rate to displaced food service workers to package and deliver meals; he was buying produce and protein from the same local farmers and markets that you can buy from; he was paying rent in a commercial kitchen; he had a bank account, an accountant, an attorney, insurance; he had to buy kitchen and office equipment. It was apparent even then, a year ago, that this little grass roots business had underpriced its product based on almost nothing more than a whim.

Before raising prices, Sam wanted to get a better feeling for the business and his finances. In considering his costs and pricing over the past year, he became even more resolutely committed to ethical business practices and transparency; supporting a community of local farmers, suppliers, and food service workers; and giving time and money to worthy causes. As he moved forward, COVID-related production, distribution, and supply issues forced up prices and costs across nearly all categories of expense.

So here we are, underpriced from day 1, trying to operate in a manner to support the various players who contribute to the business and feeling the effects of inflation. We’re figuring it out as we go along, and that’s why we are raising prices to what we believe will be sustainable.

This morning my wife noticed that someone had charged her an annual renewal for a streaming music subscription at something slightly north of $250. It took a few minutes to figure out that it was satellite radio. The subscription was for a car she traded in a year ago. She never really used it; she never transferred it; and she didn’t start a new trial for her new car. It took over an hour using online cancellation forms and phone calls to eventually get it cancelled and refunded. They make it hard on purpose because they want to separate us from our money. We’ve all had this kind of experience with countless cable and phone companies, utilities, retailers, subscriptions, and so forth. It strikes us as unethical.

So in telling you what we’re doing and why and being upfront about it, we’re trying to engage in ethical business practices. It’s not about greed, subterfuge, or sleight of hand. It’s about establishing a new business doing something new to provide uncommonly good, nutritious food at a price that enables us to operate without taking advantage of our workers and suppliers in the process. The food and beverage and hospitality businesses are in a state of evolution, and we want to be leaders and not followers that are drug along kicking and screaming all the way from the bank. We sincerely hope you’ll come along with us so we can keep this thing going.