To our Valued Customers and Community,
Now that we have communicated with all of our valued Suppliers, Family, Staff and Shareholders, it is with great and heartfelt regret that I formally announce the closure of Real Food Connections after 6.5 years of connecting those who eat in our region, to those that produce food.
We did not make this decision lightly. A lot of thought, consultation and discussion has led us to see this as the most responsible decision at this time. Over the years we have evolved and developed our services to better “solve” the problem of making local food more accessible. It is a broken system in our region and we thought we could play a part in improving that.
Many of our financial challenges actually come from past hardships and decisions that did not develop as desired. It is also very likely that right from the outset we did not source enough capital, or properly respect the amount of logistics and shear difficulty of our proposed goals. However, I also believe that without our naivety or bootstrapped finances we would not have gotten as far as we did. I can now see where we errored on our path, but I am also confident that we made the best decisions with the information known to us and the resources we had available.
Supporting local producers is not bad business. Please do not take that sentiment away from our own failure with Real Foods. Starting any business is a very risky and difficult task, creating a business model from scratch only amplifies such risks and difficulties. The very real shame of our situation is that if we could start today knowing everything that we have learned, we could probably make a much better impact on our local food system. It is my heartfelt desire that we can find some way to preserve some of the learnings, experience, systems, team and equipment in such a way that they can continue in a positive, productive effort along these lines but it will not be possible under the current stewardship of Real Food Connections.
This decision is extremely hard for us, and we are likely going to leave suppliers unpaid for their hard work and that weighs especially heavy. Continuing without confidence that we have a larger financial solution in the coming months would only impact our suppliers more negatively and we just cannot continue to purchase from our many local businesses if we are not confident that they will see payment in the future.
This decision, once made, was something we felt we needed to act on immediately so it is likely that many will be caught by complete surprise. We have shared many of our challenges with our community shareholders, investors and suppliers over the past months. We have always done everything possible to be transparent with all stakeholders. We have also been working on a very difficult, challenging project for years with an optimistic determination and that can often hide the internal stress within.
I know that this is a disappointing result for all, please believe that we have talked to everyone we could, looked at all options and have spoken with all kind of very supportive, intelligent people. This is not the fault of any and there is no government body or official that can be blamed or bring us back from where we are. My hope is that we see positivity and a re-engagment with our food system and concentrate on future solutions, not spend energy on negativity about the past.
Please support your local food producers, they need it now more than ever. Real Food connections spent Millions of dollars at local farms over the past years, and I fear for the coming year where that will not be so.
Sincerely and with regrets,
Levi and the Lawrence Family
Communications can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org only at this time.