Sweetwater Organic Farm in Tampa, has recently cut a partnership deal with Whole Foods to make that store a drop-off and pick-up location for Sweetwater’s own customers. Tampa area customers pay between $475 and $849 a year to “subscribe” to the farm’s periodic boxes of veggies (twice a month or once a week). But before now, those customers had to drive to the far west Tampa farm itself for pickup.
Whole Foods is new to Tampa and is known to stocks stores with items that are organic or health-conscious or artificial ingredient free or upper-tier gourmet, making them relatively more expensive.
Sweetwater Organic Farm ranks as one of Florida’s largest organic producers, and is a popular destination for health-conscious customers and school field trips. Part of their business involves selling subscriptions to members who can either harvest at the farm or receive bunches of veggies, depending on what is in season. This week, the “Veggie Share” package contained one bunch of turnips, one bunch of radishes, cucumbers, eggplant or green beans, basil or cilantro, among other items.
Whole Foods and Sweetwater have cooperated before, including days when part of the grocery store’s proceeds go to support the farm’s operations.
The new pickup service will operate every Thursday, starting at about 4 p.m., and for now, the only pickup location is the store at 1548 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. It’s free to users, and in that regard, the project could benefit both organizations: Sweetwater potentially gaining more subscribers for their veggies and Whole Foods potentially gaining more customer foot-traffic in their stores.