When LoudounGo, a new web platform designed for ordering locally grown produce, meat and other items typically sold at farmers’ markets, launched in May, its creators, Luke and Ardelle Baldwin, suggested there would be more news ahead.
Several months later, the Baldwins have announced a new partnership with Chefscape in the Village at Leesburg. Through their combined efforts, deliveries will be assembled and customers can walk in and pick up orders.
“It’s amazing and exciting to support this next phase. Chefscape provides us with a bigger stage,” Luke Baldwin told the Times-Mirror.
Baldwin attributes the success of LoudounGo’s model to the vendors they work with.
“We have a lot of local business owners who are tenacious and do not want to shut down. They believe in the product. We are also helping our vendors better explain their story, which creates a connection with the consumer,” he said.
Chefscape co-owner Ginny Grivas says the prepared food services at Chefscape have grown considerably during the pandemic, and working with LoudounGo is another step forward in adding to their business.
“LoudounGo is incredibly important to our members here. This helps us help them,” Grivas said.
LoudounGo’s team includes Dan Hine of Eat LoCo Farmers Markets at Brambleton and One Loudoun, and Courtney West, owner of Chariots for Hire in their venture.
“It’s a great team. Dan Hine has been key for what we are doing. Eat LoCo is working with the vendors directly and helping with the marketing and business-to-business process. We are using technology to bring everyone together,” Luke Baldwin said.
Hine said the success of this model is it helps vendors who need assistance with selling and delivering their products.
“This is the perfect avenue for them,” Hine said.
Delivering the products within a 100-mile radius is one of the things that has added to LoudounGo’s success.
About 50 percent of the business comes from deliveries outside Loudoun County. They have traveled as far as Baltimore and Fredericksburg, and there are weekly deliveries into downtown Washington, D.C.
LoudounGo currently has 34 vendors with more being added each week.
As the vendor list grows, new categories are being offered such as local breweries and wineries — including Walsh Family Wine, 8 Chains North and Lost Rhino — for door-to-door delivery. Local flower farm Sweet Piedmont Flowers is another recent addition.
Customers can also shop from prepared food vendors, and LoudounGo also has a new partnership with Eric Foxx, chef and owner of The Polished Foxx, who will schedule mobile chef services.
“We are creating an experience — including the education nonprofit side, where we are working with Samantha Kuhn at JK Community Farm. We’ll encourage vendors to donate there ... they are interconnected,” Baldwin said.
The Baldwins and their four daughters have lived in Purcellville for eight years and enjoy traveling around to local farms to buy products and support different businesses. They said they were motivated to start LoudounGo because of their own shopping habits, and this project has been a two-year labor of love.
“We have been eating from LoudounGo vendors and we can’t go back. We know all of the farmers by name, and it makes the experience even more authentic,” said Ardelle Baldwin.
The website is designed to simplify the process for buying locally grown and crafted products. When customers place an order using the LoudounGo website, they can choose products from multiple farms and businesses and pay with one transaction.
“There is an assortment of anything anyone could want in our product list,” Luke Baldwin said.
Grivas agreed, calling it the “coolest thing since sliced bread.”
“This is an amazing service to the community,” she said. “It is helping our members and consumers get fresh products year-round. We are bridging the gap with healthy, local items. It’s convenient and it’s affordable.”
More information can be found at LoudounGo.com.