The farmer’s market on wheels

Tony Pavelko had an idea one day when he noticed the Schwan’s truck in a neighborhood.

“I remembered as a kid when they were in the neighborhood , you could buy ice cream and whatever off the truck,” he says. “That spurred the idea of a truck where you could just stop and buy carrots.”

Carrots?

“Well, not just carrots, but really good food,” he says.

A passion for really good food runs through the veins, apparently, of Pavelko and Gina DiMaggio, who are pursuing the idea of a mobile farmer’s market in the Minneapolis St. Paul area.

The Honeybee Mobile Market is getting plenty of support on Kickstarter, where the couple is more than halfway to the goal of $20,000.

Their idea is an extension of the company they run which delivers fresh food from local farmers to the office-bound.

“What we were finding is that a lot of people believe in the idea of community supported agriculture (CSA) and it’s great for some people,” he says, “if you’re up for trying some new vegetable and you have the time to cook. But we were finding that people would start with CSA and realize, ‘Oh, shoot, I don’t have much time as I thought I did.'”

“We wanted to come up with something that could offer flexibility and more choices, and not have to commit to a whole season and commit a chunk of money up front; something that fits with more how people like to shop and eat,” he says.

Pavelko, who was shopping for a trailer for the market when we chatted today, says the mobile farmer’s market would make scheduled stops in neighborhoods and businesses.

“We’re not going to be able to pull up on a random street. But when we pitched the idea in Minneapolis, I told them, ‘it’s OK for a truck to drive around selling ice cream, but you can’t drive up and sell carrots,” he says. “It’s crazy, and they were like, ‘yeah.'”

The couple was hoping for a May to October season for the idea, but the late spring is going to make that unlikely. Just as well, Pavelko says, because it gives them more time to work out details. Still, he’s hoping for a late May start.

  • Bob Moffitt

    I hope the Honeybee mobile market can be powered by a less-polluting fuel, like the Schwan’s trucks are (they run on propane).

    I’ll get in touch with Pavelko and DiMaggio and let them know what options they have in cleaner, greener rides.

  • Turophile

    My sister lives in Cologne Germany and they are visited once a week by local farmer with a big truck full of fresh veggies.

  • Andrea

    I hope a route that includes North Minneapolis is possible. What a welcome thing and a great idea!

  • Betsey

    Tony’s CSA delivered to my office last year and we were all so totally satisfied. I can’t wait to send my check in again for this year!