The MendoLake Food Hub increases the availability of local produce and the viability of local farms by connecting growers and buyers through an easy to use network.
The MendoLake Food Hub aggregates and distributes produce from small farmers and local food producers around Lake and Mendocino Counties.
Thanks to grant funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, we started operating in 2015 as a program of North Coast Opportunities with the mission of increasing the economic viability of local farms and increasing local food access in our community. We do this by providing farmers access to a shared sales and distribution network which serves wholesale buyers like grocery stores, schools, and restaurants.
COVID-19 response: As many grocery shelves sat empty, we redoubled our efforts to keep fresh, local, nutrient-dense food on local tables. In response to an outpouring of consumer need and interest, the Food Hub, once only available to wholesale buyers, now sells directly to Buyer’s Clubs (order minimums apply) and individuals in Mendocino and Lake Counties beginning Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Thanks to devoted work from many supporters, the Food Hub has seen dramatic growth over the last three years and is currently transitioning to become a for-profit Grower Cooperative.
We are part of a network of food hubs across California and the nation working to build a vibrant, diverse new food system where small farms thrive and the freshest local produce is easily accessible to customers.
All of our farmers are Certified Producers. This means that they grow what they sell, and they’re Approved Sources, so they follow stringent food safety practices.
Farmers login to the website and list their products for sale. During the sales period, buyers can login and order from multiple farms at once and on one invoice, for one single delivery.
The MendoLake Food Hub has a series of cold storage nodes (refrigerated shipping containers and walk-in coolers we call “nodes”) around Lake and Mendocino Counties. Farmers harvest produce to order and transport it to the nearest node. Our refrigerated vehicles pick up the produce and delivers to local buyers.
We cross-transact with other Food Hubs in the California Food Hub Network, too. This means Lake & Mendocino County growers can take advantage of the shared distribution routes and sell products as far away as San Francisco and Sacramento.
Farmers can simply list their products on our website, drive their produce to the nearest cold storage node, and take advantage of delivery through the greater Food Hub Network.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I setup a new account to sell produce for the first time?
First, call our office at (707) 467-3238 so we can get to know a little more about you and help you setup an account. Just like selling at a Certified Farmers Market, we have a registration packet and few forms that are required to sell on the Food Hub.
Please allow up to 7 days for processing your registration before you plan to list produce for sale.
I’m just getting started. Is there really a market for fresh produce? Do you have advice about crop-planning?
Yes, definitely! Our sales have gone up almost 100% in the past year, and we’re expected to continue growing. Our staff works hard to help coordinate crop-planning between buyers and growers to ensure that we have enough supply and to help avoid any unnecessary gluts. In general, the biggest demand we see right now is for shoulder-season produce and crops that are available in winter & spring. To set up an appointment for a longer discussion just send us an email.
How do I get paid?
You can expect to receive a check in the mail from us about 3 weeks after a sale. We collect payments from individual buyers, so you can rest easy and plan on a consistent payment schedule without any hassle.
Who can sign up for a buyer account?
We work with all kinds of buyers: grocery stores, restaurants, school districts, caterers, buyer’s clubs and now invidividuals (with some limitations).
Do you sell to the general public?
In response to an outpouring of consumer need and interest as a result of the countywide shelter-in-place order, the MendoLake Food Hub launched our direct sales & home delivery program for families in Mendocino & Lake Counties on Sunday, March 22nd 2020. We now sell directly to buyer’s clubs and provide limited home delivery service in the Ukiah area.
- In this pilot phase of the program, we are easily able to deliver to customers in the City of Ukiah ($35 order minimum) and the greater Ukiah valley ($65 order minimum).
- We have limited capability to deliver outside the Ukiah valley. Please contact us to discuss possible delivery locations and order minimums.
How does ordering work?
The online store is open for sales twice a week:
- Sunday 7:00 am – Monday 7:00 am for Tuesday delivery
- Wednesday 7:00 am – Thursday 7:00 am for Friday delivery
Note: the full selection of products isn’t generally listed until 7:00 am when the store opens.
How do I setup an account?
To setup an account, please fill out the Registration Form and we will contact you within 24 – 48 hours. Our staff is currently working remotely, we appreciate your patience.
How do I place an order?
It’s easy! Once you have an account, you can order through our online store on your phone or computer. We’re also happy to take orders via email, text message (via the REMIND app) or over the phone at (707) 467-3238.
For large or recurring purchases, feel free to contact us in advance. We work with many customers to create standing orders and we forward growing contracts to help accommodate the planning that many businesses require.