By Michele F. Mihaljevich
INDIANAPOLIS – Market Wagon, an online farmers market which offers customers the opportunity to purchase local products such as meats, dairy, produce and prepared foods, has achieved a couple of honors from Inc.
Market Wagon was ranked 680th on the annual Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. It was also ranked as the 29th fastest-growing company in the nation in the food and beverage category.
“While it’s always nice to have recognition for success from the Inc. 5000 list, the real winners from this ranking are the farmers and other local food producers who are thriving with the revenue brought in by Market Wagon’s last mile delivery, and the consumers who love supporting local food in their community but haven’t always been able to, until now,” said Dan Brunner, Market Wagon CEO and co-founder.
Market Wagon customers order their items online and the company delivers them. Customers choose products based on where they live; product offerings vary by location and the time of year. The weekly delivery day also varies by location. Market Wagon doesn’t charge upfront fees and doesn’t require a long-term subscription.
In addition to fresh products, vendors may offer pantry items such as jams, syrups, teas and salsas. Non-food items are available, including soaps, lotions and pet supplies.
The company started in Indianapolis in 2016 and now serves more than 75,000 customers in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Market Wagon works with more than 2,500 vendors.
Brunner said he’s trying not to focus on the rankings from Inc.
“Instead, I believe it’s all about fulfilling the company’s mission statement, which is ‘enabling food producers to thrive in their local markets,’” he explained. “Thriving requires a complete team effort. Don’t get me wrong, the Inc. ranking is wonderful and a sign that we’re doing things the right way. But what gets me far more excited is when I hear about how Market Wagon is helping a farmer save their farm or achieve their dream. Even if it’s a less dramatic story – just Market Wagon helping them provide for their family – it is amazing to be a part of.”
Market Wagon also made the Inc. 5000 list last year. It ranked 450th in the fastest-growing companies category, and 15th in the food and beverage category. The 2023 rankings were announced in August.
The pandemic led to increased business for the company and Brunner said most of that business has stuck around. “It’s obvious that grocery eCommerce is here to stay, and in fact it is now projected to double in the coming years. Even though the dynamics surrounding the pandemic have changed since 2020, people increasingly care about where their food comes from. They want to support local farms, artisan chefs and small business owners. We hear from them all the time that they can taste the difference from eating local food.”
Brunner said the company’s fundamentals are what got it where it is today.
“But it’s also the case, if you refuse to adapt in a changing world, you may just be left behind,” he noted. “So, we are always carefully examining the best way to enable food producers to thrive. Our long-term plan is to be nationwide – to add a local food supply chain to many new cities in many more states. We know both farmers and customers want that to happen.”
For more information, including a list of market areas and vendors, visit www.marketwagon.com.