What we value
Produce boxes donated
Food insecure families reached
100 Mile Makers was born out of the realization that, regardless of location, small producers face the same struggles connecting to the people who want to buy from them.
We needed to know: How can we connect the dots? How can we make local goods more available and more accessible? What tools can we provide to small producers that allow them to connect to the true potential of customers that would buy from them? How can we redesign the system to support small producers and help them thrive?
The beginning: 100 Mile Makers events
We started with events because that was what we were familiar with. As many businesses do, 100 Mile Makers took twists and turns and over its first three years. We went from events to pop-up winter produce markets. All of us had day jobs which kept us from really diving in but we knew there was something there. We knew islanders were looking for local goods.
The turning point: pandemic
The onset of a pandemic created an opportunity for an online grocery packed with healthy, local produce. We felt it was time for our efforts to go from an infrequent event to a weekly one. This grocery has grown enormously since March 2020. Growth is only limited by the physical spaces we have run the market from. We have had tremendous opportunity to better understand the demand, the need, and the supply available to us on Nantucket. We have at last begun to understand what 100 Mile Makers can be on Nantucket.
The unique issues Nantucket faces, largely as a result of being 30 miles out to sea, made it clear that a space was needed. One place where local food and goods could be found. A space that was a community space - a place for people to connect to their food and to each other.
The birth of Pip & Anchor
As the online grocery gained momentum under the 100Mile name, Mayumi and Rita began discussing what this grocery had become for each of them. For Mayumi it was like watching a seed turn into a sprout. It was the seed of an idea that had been planted and was now pushing up out of the ground, the 'pip' of a business. For Rita, the grocery was a new way to tell time at a moment when our sense of time, our routines, we're strangely and unsettlingly fluid. The weekly grocery provided a distinct and consistent, even unrelenting, 'anchor' in the week.
We had an anchor thrown overboard, tying us to a time and place and we began to see glimmers of how this seed of an idea was taking root. It was still an unknown seed...we weren't quite sure what it would look like once it matured but we knew it was thriving. To help further the growth of this seed we knew we needed modern technology and heightened hospitality. In late 2020 we partnered with our tech team at Process First and our hospitality guru, Chris Sleeper.
Thankful for the community
With the support of our beloved community, we have seen how this online grocery is blossoming and has become an idea that anchors us, grounds us, roots us and our customers to a time and more importantly to a place.