In the summer of 2020, I first began working with Star Farm Chicago to create an e-commerce site. Star Farm is an urban farm and landscaping service in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood whose mission is to increase access to local organic produce.
Star Farm traditionally sells through farmer’s markets and pop-ups, and CSA deliveries. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, it was especially important for them to have an e-commerce solution to safely sell to customers – they began advertising on their nonprofit site, but the success of the service quickly saw a need for a shopping cart solution. Working together in the summer of 2020, we first created a separate website on Shopify to allow them to easily manage their orders and provide customers with a full e-commerce experience.
A major consideration during the first phase was limiting checkout orders to Chicagoland, and providing customers with the option of either free delivery or contact-free pickup at their location in Back of the Yards. I set up a solution for them that would allow customers to choose an option during the checkout process. The delivery option was set up to be limited only to customers in their delivery zone by zip code.
In early 2021, we worked together on a small re-design using the popular Simple theme. CSS tweaks were made to the theme to allow for easier product browsing.
In accordance with their mission of providing access to organic produce for everyone, they approached me about setting up an additional recurring subscription service for their CSA products. Purchasing a CSA share in full at the beginning of the season can be cost-prohibitive for many customers, so they wanted to offer a monthly payment option in addition to purchasing the full share with one payment. Since they have a year-round CSA service and many repeat customers, they also wanted to make it easier to continue their shares after the official end of each season.
We set up a subscription app to provide the option for automatic billing each month for their CSA products, compost pickup, and garden maintenance services. Customers who wished to pay in full can purchase through linked listings with a small discount.