While most 22 year-olds are indulging in post-graduation celebrations, Newport natives Ian Martins, Eliza Grace and Johnny Richmond are up to something much different; the talented trio is giving new meaning to going local.
Martins, Grace and Richmond make up the board of directors of Newport’s newest local market, Harvest Inc. Harvest is a non-profit market dedicated to sourcing and selling locally made products and produce, from hand-poured soy candles to freshly grown greens. While the team of entrepreneurs intends to support small Rhode Island farms and businesses, its mission goes beyond that. Harvest’s overarching goal is to improve the sustainability of Rhode Island.
Here’s the twist, the non-profit has adopted a unique system that allows vendors to receive higher earnings from their goods than they would from selling to traditional wholesale outlets. What kind of system is this? Consignment.
Contributing vendors deliver their produce or products directly to Harvest, which then sells the goods and returns a higher percentage of the profit back to the farmer or business owner that it came from.
“By allowing the farmer to directly consign their food to the people, and by Harvest being a non-profit, it allows the farmer to receive more money back for their product,” says Eliza Grace, Harvest’s chief development officer.
By introducing this consignment system into Newport, the team not only supports local farmers and businesses, but also moves closer to fulfilling its mission of creating a more sustained Rhode Island.
“Harvest is our chance to have a real impact on sustainability, especially here in Newport,” says Harvest chair and chief executive officer, Ian Martins. “By offering farmers the opportunity to avoid wholesale buyers and instead sell locally, they then have the ability to invest the higher profits made into their farms to make them more sustainable.”
The non-profit market has partnered with the neighboring art gallery, The King’s Lens and Friends to provide the ultimate local Newport experience. The gallery, owned by photographer Patrick Murphy, features an eclectic collection of Newport scenery and seascapes. The King’s Lens and Friends also functions as a revolving gallery that hosts different local artist’s apparel and jewelry.
“It’s exciting to offer a service where someone can come into Harvest and grab a cup of coffee that they know was freshly roasted that morning, and then head next door to enjoy Pat’s photos and check out the other featured art,” says Johnny Richmond, Harvest’s chief operations officer.
Harvest and The King’s Lens and Friends kick off the summer with an irresistible combination that both support the same mission, going local.
Harvest is proud to announce its official grand opening, which will take place Saturday, June 10 at 1 p.m. The Newport Chamber of Commerce will be honoring the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Located at 7b Carrol Ave, Harvest is on its way to leaving a big green footprint on the sustainability of Rhode Island.
For more information on Harvest, visit http://www.harvestinc.org/.