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Exploring Life & Business with Walter Lafky of Harvestly.co

Today we’d like to introduce you to Walter Lafky.  

Hi Walter, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Here at Harvestly our mission is to create a healthier and more sustainable world through localization. Harvestly connects local farmers and other food producers directly with the people in their community that want to shop for local food. 

This mission all started when I was 14 years old. My parents lent me $50 and a plot of land to start my tomato farm. I ended up growing an amazing product and creating a name for myself in the community. When I would go down to the market to sell my tomatoes, I only got about $1 per pound for my tomatoes when the retailers turned around and sold them for $5 a pound. I watched as customers came into the store in search of Wally’s tomatoes just for the retailer to make a huge profit off of my hard work. I didn’t have the money, time, or resources to sell direct to consumers at the time and figured there had to be a better way. 

A few years later I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to get my degree in Agriculture Business and decided to put my idea into practice on the central coast. Because of my experience with my own farm and the pandemic leaving many local producers without a platform to sell, I was inspired to create Harvestly. Harvestly is a hyperlocal marketplace where local food producers are able to retain the majority of the profit without all of the work and marketing associated with selling direct to consumers. 

We launched Harvestly in San Luis Obispo County in March 2020 and in our first year poured over $200,000 back into the local economy. Then in 2022, we launched our second market in San Diego County with 50 San Diego County vendors. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
First, I created and am currently running this business all while being a college student. I had to learn a lot about running a marketplace business as well as managing a team being so young. 

One of the most challenging yet most rewarding pieces of this business was working with local producers to launch them into the e-commerce market and explaining the benefits of having an online presence. The other main challenge was building our website and adding all the custom features to make the user experience and vendor experience the way that we wanted. 

As you know, we’re big fans of Harvestly.co. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I am the founder and CEO of Harvestly Company. We have brought the farmer’s market online and created a hyper-local marketplace where local producers are feeding the local community. 

Harvestly is the place to connect with and shop from local food producers throughout the county. We work with hundreds of farmers, ranchers, food makers, fishermen, and more, bringing you the freshest and highest quality food direct to your doorstep. You can find many of our vendor partners at farmer’s markets throughout the county. 

We’re focused on creating a healthier, localized, and more sustainable food system. We can guarantee the food on our platform is: 

– Fresh: harvested or prepared within 48 hours 

– Local: all food is grown, caught, or made within a 30-mile radius 

– High quality: many of our vendors utilize organic and regenerative practices that produce exceptional taste, flavor, and quality in their food 

– Affordable: forget markups at grocery stores, vendors set and control their prices

How to order:
-Head to harvestly.co, pick your delivery day and shop from our amazing San Diego partners.

Contact Info:

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