You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Of course, always feel free to call us (800.861.8582) or email us anytime with questions, too. Thanks for your interest! Also, if you know what you’re looking for, you can use these links to skip ahead:
What is Fresh Fork Market?
We are a Farm Buying Club, kinda like a mega-CSA, located in Cleveland, OH. We provide you with a weekly grocery grab-bag that you pick up at the back of one of our refrigerated trucks in your community. Our food is the just-been-picked-this-morning kind, and includes a huge variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy, breads, canned goods, granolas and more – all from 100+ local, small family farms and producers within 75 miles of Cleveland. Check out our Visual Guide to all of our products here.
Do I have to be a subscriber to shop at the truck or online?
You need to be a current subscriber in order to place orders online or shop at the truck. Our structure– guaranteeing our farmers a market and buying wholesale direct from the producer– gives us great prices for our customers and fair pay for our farmers. We are committed to our loyal subscriber base, and committed to having enough food for all of them each week. In return, they commit to us by signing up for the season.
I’m not ready to take the plunge. Can I try it out for a few weeks before I commit to the whole season?
The way our program works, and the way we can get such great prices for such great food, is the commitment between our subscribers and our farmers for the whole season (discussed in more detail above.) That being said, we know its a big thing to take on the program for the whole summer if you’re totally new to this type of arrangement. We do have a liberal cancellation policy– you can always cancel for a prorated refund with just a week’s notice.
When is the season and how long does it last?
- Summer Farm Share 2017 is 22 weeks long, and runs May 31st – October 28th, 2017.
- Winter Farm Share 2017/18 begins on November 1st, 2017, and runs through May 5th, 2018.
When are the pick-ups?
Our pick-ups happen Wednesday through Saturday each week (during the Winter season, every other week.)
I missed the sign up date. Can I still join?
How much does it cost?
The Summer Share:
Small bags start at $594 for the season, which averages to just $27/week.
Large bags start at $946 for the season, which averages to just $43/week.
Full-Access: Small Plans start at $1144 for the season and Large Plans start at $1199 for the season.
The Winter Share:
The Winter Share starts at $675 for the whole season, which averages to $22.50/week
Do you have a payment plan?
We offer a variety of payment plans to accommodate our members. For the Summer Share, you can pay fully upfront or in monthly installments. For the Winter Share, you can either pay fully upfront or half and half (at the beginning and middle of the season.) Click here to read more.
What type of payments do you accept?
We accept cash, check, and Credit Cards: we accept Visa and MasterCard only, 3% processing fee applied. We cannot accept post-dated checks are not responsible if they are cashed early.
When do I have to make my first payment?
The one-time membership fee ($25) is the only thing required to hold your spot before the season begins.
For the Summer Share, your first payment is due around mid-May (unless you signed up for the Early Bird Rates, which would be due in March.) For the Winter Share, your first payment is due around mid-October. But don’t worry– we’ll send you a reminder email!
You must pay your balance in full from the previous season before you sign up for a new subscription.
What are the bag options?
For the Summer Share, we offer a few different bag options: Omnivore, Vegetarian or Vegan, in size Small or Large. We also offer a Full-Access Add-On, for those of you who often buy extras each week.
For the Winter Share, we currently offer only one bag option: Omnivore. It’s a larger bag than our Summer Small Share, and comes every other week.
What’s in the bag?
Each week’s bag contents are predetermined based on what our farmers have just harvested. Because we have a wide variety of farmers we work with, we’re able to provide considerable variety each week, basing the bag on a “center of the plate” item, and accompanying produce so that you can prepare a few great meals each week with your share.
What is the “Full-Access” Plan?
Full Access is an add on plan that you an purchase in addition to any base share (Large or Small, Omnivore, Vegetarian or Vegan.) By paying for your extras up front, you get a discount so you’ll have extra to spend all summer long.
The Full Access Add-On plan is an additional $25/week (or $550 for the season) and you’ll receive a value of $30/week to spend ($660) in credits. You don’t need to spend $30 every single week: spread it out over the course of the whole season however you’d like! However your credits do expire at the end of the season.
The real benefit to the Full Access Plan is that by committing to purchasing extras upfront, the Full Access customer gets a 17% discount on their credits: $660 worth of credits for just $550.
This package is a great bet for families who know they need extra food, particularly bread, milk, eggs, and other staples each week. The Full Access credits can be used to purchase any items listed online or available at the back of the truck.
Is it Organic?
Almost all of our farmers are small organic growers who practice traditional farming methods, which eliminate the need for conventional insecticides and fertilizers that are bad for our health and the planet.
However, there aren’t enough Certified Organic Farms to supply us with everything we need, and the growing conditions in Ohio for certain crops (like apples) require minimal treatment to produce fruit. Read more about our organic and non-GMO food.
Do I choose what I want?
Every week’s bag is pre-determined to highlight what’s fresh, local and in season, so all you have to do it show up and get it. We’ll also send you some recipes that feature that week’s bag contents, and we have loads more on our website.
What if I don’t like a couple items in the bag. Can I swap out and get more of something else?
If you have an allergy or a food restriction (ie, don’t eat pork/gluten/etc) we’re happy to make a substitution. Otherwise, we’re not able to make swaps if you just don’t like something. We do, however, provide recipes each week in your inbox to offer some ideas on how to prepare everything in your bag in case you’re unfamiliar with it. If you really aren’t in to something, you can always swap with another member who might love your Brussels sprouts if you’re not a fan.
Do you provide recipes?
Yes! Every week on Tuesday (the day before the week’s first pick ups), we will send you a newsletter via email with this week’s bag contents, and updates and announcements, and relevant recipes for you to prepare your share. We also have a huge collection of recipes we’ve written and gathered over the years here, so be sure to poke around and get new ideas for cooking up your kale.
Where do I pick up my share?
Our trucks come to more than two dozen locations spread all over town (more in the Summer than scheduled for Winter.) Please click here to see Summer Locations and click here to see Winter. Pick ups are scheduled Wednesday through Saturday.
Do I always have to pick up at my primary location?
You can pick up your bag at any location, regardless of where you selected to be your primary pick-up location on file.
Your Special Orders, however, are only available for pick up at your selected primary stop.
What if I miss my pick up?
As long as it’s not a Saturday stop, just go to anywhere we have a stop the next day.
If you missed your stop and it’s the last day of the week, we’re sorry but because we’ve already bought your food for the week, we cannot apply a “vacation week” retroactively or reimburse you the credits.
A great option if you know ahead of time that you are going to miss your pick up but haven’t scheduled a vacation week in time, is to call a friend or a neighbor and offer them your bag. All they need to do is come to any location and provide your name, and we’ll give them your bag and you’ll get the good veggie-karma.
It’s pouring/snowing/freezing! Are you going to cancel the pick up?
Nope! Unless there is a serious threat to the safety of our greeters and our customers, we will be there, no matter the weather. We often use Social Media or email to keep our customers apprised of any changes to pick ups– if we need to move the truck or if we’re running late– so follow us on Facebook to get those updates and check your email.
Can I buy extras?
You can place a Special Order online ahead of time, or make purchases at the back of the truck à la carte. Special Orders must be placed and paid for by Tuesday at midnight to be available on the route that week. Log in here.
Can I pick up my Special Order at any stop?
Normally, feel free to grab your bag from any stop you like, however if you have placed a special order, it will only be available at your primary pick-up location on file. So if you signed up for Lakewood as your home stop, you have to get your Special Order there. Click here to read more about Special Orders.
Be make sure to tell your Greeter that you have a Special Order when you pick up your bag.
Can I place an order online and just pay at the truck?
No, all orders need to be placed and paid for by midnight on Tuesdays. If you are looking to avoid the 3% credit card processing fee, you can buy credits at the truck ahead of time using cash or check. For example, you could bring $100 check or cash to the truck and let your Greeter know that you want to buy credits. They’ll add a note for the credit to be applied to your account and take your payment. Back at the office, we’ll apply the credits, and they’ll be posted to your account by Sunday of that week, so that you can place your order for the following week.
If you exceed your credits when placing a Special Order, however, you’ll need to remove an item from your cart and/or pay the balance with a credit card in order for it to be processed.
Click here to check out our full instructions on placing a Special Order, including a step-by-step guide with pictures.
Can I use my credits to buy stuff at Ohio City Provisions?
We’re so excited you want to shop at our sister-store (Cleveland’s first and only all-local butcher and grocery located at 3208 Lorain Avenue), however your Fresh Fork Market credits can’t be used there. We are both in the same family of companies, but we are separate businesses. The prices at Ohio City Provisions for most of your Fresh Fork favorites are slightly higher than what you’d see at the back of our trucks or on our Fresh Fork Market online store (to cover overhead costs in a brick-and-mortar), but just by a few cents. There are also lots more specialty cuts of meat available at the counter, and it’s open daily from 10-7. Be sure to stop by and check it out!
When I go on vacation, what happens to my share?
Each customer can have up to 4 weeks vacation from the share– during these weeks, you do not pick up a bag. Maybe you’re at the beach, maybe you have a huge project due at work, you get a new puppy, whatever– just let us know ahead of time:
Notify us online (signing into your account), in person when you pick up or on the phone (800.861.8582) before Saturday at midnight the week before you’re planning on taking off.
When you get back, for each week you’ve taken off, we will give you a bag’s worth of credit (credit equal to weekly bag cost for whatever share you are subscribed) to use towards buying more good food.
The credit cannot be used towards existing balance, but only going forward towards the purchase of extra goods. More info here.
ALLERGIES & RESTRICTIONS
What about allergies/food restrictions?
Let us know when you sign up that you need to avoid certain foods, and we’ll accommodate your needs as best we can by offering a substitution at the truck.
You’ll also get an email each week with a list of what will be in the share, so be sure to check it out online and touch base with your greeter when you pick up if you need a swap.
We do have your allergy information on file if you put it in our system, but it is easier if you inform your Greeter that you have an allergy or a food restriction when you pick up your bag. It’s safer and faster for everyone if you just let us know you don’t eat pork or are allergic to onions.
However, this does not mean you get to swap out something just because you don’t like it! Part of the fun of this whole program is getting to try new things and maybe learning to love them, even beets and kale. We try to provide you with enough recipes and ideas to prepare everything in your bag each week, and we hope you learn some new go-to tricks for all these delicious, locally grown foods.
SUBSTITUTIONS & REFUNDS
If I signed up for a Omnivore, but I want to get a Vegetarian bag instead, what do I do?
If you want to change your bag preference for the rest of the season, no problem. Just let one of our greeters know at the stop, or better yet, call the office (800.861.8582) or shoot us an email at email@example.com to put the change into your account.
If you want to just swap bag type for that week, no problem, you can do so at the back of the truck– just ask!
I thought we were supposed to get blackberries/pinto beans/garlic scapes this week. How come they aren’t in my bag?
If we forgot to put something in your bag, we’re truly sorry. It can get a little hectic at the back of the truck, and sometimes we make mistakes. Please contact us as soon as possible so we can fix the problem.
However, just like the weather (and usually because of it), our plans need to shift. We might have been planning on a particular item in your share (berries can be particularly temperamental) but due to reasons beyond our control (extreme or unpredicted weather, mechanical problems at the farm or warehouse, miscommunication with our Amish farmers who don’t use phones/email, etc.) we might have to change the bag contents on the fly. When possible, we will try to give you notice online, otherwise our Greeters will inform you at the stop.
What if I don’t like a couple items in the bag. Can I swap out and get more of something else?
If you have an allergy or a food restriction (ie, don’t eat pork/gluten/etc) we’re happy to make a substitution. Otherwise, we’re not able to make swaps if you just don’t like something. We have specific counts of everything on each truck, so we can’t double up specific items regularly or we run the risk of running out, and all our members need their full share. We do, however, provide recipes each week in your inbox to offer some ideas on how to prepare everything in your bag in case you’re just unfamiliar with it. If you really aren’t in to something, you can always swap with another member who might love your brussels sprouts.
We’re not going to be able to finish the season. Can I get a refund?
For whatever reason–moving, illness, preference, timing, whatever it may be– if our subscription doesn’t work for you, we still will. Just let us know, and we’ll refund the remainder of your subscription– all we need is one week’s notice.
Please call 800-861-8582 or write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let us know that you need to end your subscription early. We will issue you a prorated refund for the weeks you have remaining not including the current week (we need one week’s notice, so if you cancel on a Wednesday, your subscription will still be active that week, but as of the next week it will be cancelled.)
Your one-time $25 membership fee is not refundable, but if you ever join our program again for another season (and we hope you will!) you won’t need to pay it again.