Helping our local food economy thrive
by. Robert Yang | Dec. 5, 2022
Imagine having access to healthy, fresh and affordable groceries without going to the store. Well, you can stop imagining because that option exists today! Farm Link Hawaii, one of our small business customers, is an online marketplace that sells fresh and healthy grocery items all locally-sourced, affordable and delivered to individuals and families on Oahu.
I’ve always thought that healthy foods were overpriced. I didn’t want to pay more for vegetables that were labeled “organic” or “natural.” And I didn’t want to go out of my way to visit a Whole Foods or farmers market. Thanks to Farm Link Hawaii, I now have the option to order fresh produce online! It’s their mission to make healthy and affordable food options available for everyone, including EBT customers who receive a 50% discount and free delivery.
Farm Link Hawaii’s online marketplace highlights a variety of Hawaii’s local farmers and producers. Their strict review process to qualify items for their marketplace means if it’s not grown, raised or made locally in Hawaii, you won’t find it at Farm Link Hawaii. They have seasonal items that rotate in and out of their marketplace, as well as staple grocery items. Farm Link Hawaii is striving to ensure folks can get what they want and need every time they shop with them.
I bet you’re wondering; how does an online retailer guarantee fresh groceries upon delivery? Their inventory is stored in a large, refrigerated space at their warehouse in Kalihi. Orders are packed carefully in a box, with an ice pack if necessary, and delivered in trucks that have built-in refrigeration units.
As you can imagine, the large commercial refrigeration unit in the warehouse uses a lot of energy to keep everything cold and fresh. As a small business starting out, keeping their fixed costs as low as possible was a priority. To do this, Farm Link Hawaii requested assistance from Hawaiian Electric to help them understand their energy usage and identify ways to increase energy efficiency.
“Hawaiian Electric performed an energy monitoring project which gave us a better understanding of our usage. It turned out that what we had was already the best fit for us,” said Dabney Gough, director of engagement at Farm Link Hawaii. Their current model worked the best since it takes into account that they cannot turn off their refrigeration, which is their biggest energy user. Qualifying business customers can be offered different pricing models after an energy inspection is performed as part of the prequalification application.
“We were also offered a lighting retrofit option which we’ll act upon when the time is right,” said Gough. “We really appreciate Hawaiian Electric investing their time and resources to support Hawaii’s small businesses.”
If you’re also a business owner looking to save energy , please visit Hawaiian Electric’s website. Other energy-saving resources for businesses can be found at Hawaii Energy.
Remember, when you click the order button on Farm Link Hawaii’s marketplace, you’re also supporting local farmers and producers. For those who want to eat healthy and need convenience, Farm Link Hawaii makes it affordable and easy. They also ensure that the produce, meats, eggs, dairy and more are grown with aloha and care. Are you ready to start eating healthier? Get started today!
Robert Yang is a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric Company.