Interested in joining the Rockaway Buying Club? Please read the below on how it all works. This information, while lengthy, will give you a better insight on how the club operates and what you can expect.
What is a Buying Club?
A buying club is an arrangement among a group of people who purchases items in bulk and then splits up that item so that everyone gets lower prices. People can form buying clubs to gain access to any type of product - for example new parents who want wholesale prices on diapers, baby wipes, formula, etc. In our case, our buying club provides low-cost organic, local and/or fair-trade food to members of the Rockaway community.
the benefits of joining
There are many reasons to join. The food we purchase must follow a strict set of criteria - organic, local, and/or fair-trade. Sometimes the farms we source from choose to not pursue organic certification in which case their farms are still cultivated according to organic practices and are chemical-free. Of course if that is the case, or if a farm abides by conventional practices, we will let you know. Transparency is our goal! Any meat or animal byproducts such as cheese, eggs, milk etc. must come from animals that have had access to pasture and received feed that was free from GMOs, antibiotics and hormones.
By supporting the buying club, you’re also supporting family-owned farms in the tristate area and reducing the miles (and therefore carbon emissions) your food travels from farm to plate. Your dollar can say so much more than just your food preferences – join the buying club and you’re supporting a sustainable food system!
How to order
Every two weeks you will receive an email from us with a link to a Google Form. On this form you can select the items you wish to purchase. (Keep in mind sometimes farmers over estimate yields so we occasionally don't get one or two items on the order form). You will have two days to complete the form and submit your order. The following Saturday morning we have pickup at the Rockaway Brewing Co. (415 Beach 72nd Street).
HOW DO I PAY FOR MY ORDER?
For payment we accept cash or checks at pickup - however cash is preferable. Please keep in mind, if you place an order and do not pick up and pay for it, the buying club will lose money and will not be able to place more orders. We are fronting money to purchase these groceries and are therefore trusting everyone to complete payment on time and in full. If orders are repeatedly not picked up, we retain the right to refuse placing your order.
That said, everyone gets busy and caught up from time to time. So to help ensure that no orders are forgotten, we send out email reminders the night before pickup.
How does pick up work?
When you arrive at Rockaway Brewing Co there will be a clipboard that contains printed out summaries of everyone's orders. It will be alphabetized by last name. Once you find your name, you start helping yourself to items on your list. Volunteers are also available to assist if you're having trouble finding items. When you are sure you have completed your list, you check out. We'll do one last sweep to make sure you grabbed everything, add in the cost of any items that need to be weighed (such as meats), and accept payment. Please keep in mind we are not a grocery store nor are we a CSA. You will be responsible for collecting all your items, and there sometimes is a line to check out. Good thing Rockaway Brewing Co. has really tasty beer + food to kill time! =)
what are my responsibilities as a buying club member?
Our only standing requirement is if you place an order, you come to pick up! There is no long term obligation to join the buying club and there is no order minimum you have to reach to place an order. You can order $5 worth of vegetables once a month if you want! That said, we want you to think of the buying club as an alternative to the grocery store so if there's something you don't see on our availability list that you want to get through the buying club, let us know and we'll do our best to get it.
Have questions about the Buying Club? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.