|Frequently asked questions about the Full Circle merger -
|October 1, 2011
Many of you had additional questions after our news on Tuesday that we’re merging
with Full Circle. I thought it might be helpful to consolidate many of those here with
answers. If I don’t know specifics yet, I’ll let you know that too.
Q: Will Eating with the Seasons now have produce from Full Circle's farm in
Washington, or from any farms outside of our local growing region in California?
A: We will work with all the local California growers that you’ve come to trust and enjoy,
just like before. That will not change. And, as we grow, we’d like to expand that
further to include more great local growers as well.
Q: Does the merger mean you will be expanding?
A: I hope so! We’ve almost doubled in the last two years thanks to the fantastic
support from our members and site host partners. While that has been thrilling, it has
also been draining for me, Bryan, and our small team. We needed help to continue to
provide members with great produce and service, and expand this great concept of
connecting people to their food and supporting local farmers.
Q: How will getting bigger allow Eating with the Seasons to maintain the commitment to
quality you have upheld thus far?
A: We’ll never waiver on our commitment to quality. That was true with the first CSA
member and order we took, up until the 1000th. And it will always be true. That’s why
we reached out to Full Circle. If we really want to expand this awesome concept and get
more local organic food to more folks – which will help change the food system, our
audacious goal – we need to do things better and more efficiently on the inside. But
quality – that’s a constant.
Q: Will an expanded offering mean Eating with the Seasons becomes an online grocery?
A: I don’t know too much about labels – some folks already call us an online grocery
since our members interact with us so much through our website. Being online is what
enabled our program to come this far – order customization, communication – all this
would not be possible 15 years ago in a primarily offline world. We hope to make it as
easy as possible to meet the needs of our members, and our website is a big part of
that. As far as being a “grocery” seeing the online shelves full of the same-old stuff you
can find anywhere will never happen – what type of farmers market to your door would
Q: What is the nature of the merger? Is it a buy-out?
A: Eating with the Seasons is now part of Full Circle. I have spent the past couple of
years looking for help to manage our growth in a sustainable way. Though we’ve had
success over the last few years, we were breaking internally. It was draining on our
small team. Many things others take for granted were a challenge for us – updated
facilities, tech support, HR, even providing health coverage for all of our employees. By
joining with Full Circle, we get immediate help on these and a ton of other things to
make life better for of all of our stakeholders – our members, our site hosts, our
employees, our vendors, and of course, our family.
Q: Why Full Circle?
A: Eating with the Seasons and Full Circle are very similar - we both have organic
agricultural roots, we're both committed to developing local food systems and
supporting local farmers, we're both committed to connecting members with their food
and growers, and we're both trying to change the food system for the better. The
relationship felt very right; I did not find anyone I would have called a partner until Full
Q: Does Full Circle only source from farms in Washington state? What is the size of the
farms that Full Circle works with? How do those farms operate?
A: Full Circle works with many farms in Washington and also other localities – including
California, since we have a year-round growing season. They work with farms of
differing sizes that have values similar to my Dad’s farm and others we buy from - a
responsible commitment to local communities through practices in sustainable farming
and fair labor. There are a few folks like Alba Farms and Lakeside Organics that we both
work with in fact, us more regularly and them when the growing season ends up there.