IDAHO — When the pandemic hit, small businesses and family farms were impacted by restaurants limiting capacity, farmers' markets closing, and retailers buying smaller inventory.
"I think we kept one restaurant through COVID in our case, and it was very scary," Tia Groves, co-owner of Groves Country Farms and Reko creator said. "We lost 80 percent of our business overnight and woke up the next day and were like, 'We have to get creative.'"
To keep their family mushroom farm up and running, they started REKO in the Treasure Valley.
"It's an online farmers market," Groves said. "It's an outlet that's connecting people to local farmers, ranchers, and producers of all kinds with the customer."
Each week, the vendors post the products and goods they have available so customers can shop directly from that list.
"You can scroll through the page just like you would push your cart around the grocery store and shop," Groves said. "We clean it weekly, so anything you see is available for that week."
You can shop for anything from meats to veggies to health and wellness products, and they are all grown and made locally in Idaho.
"People might like mushrooms but they really love mushrooms when they know who grew them, and when they know our story and when they got to see our little boys," Groves said. "It's really helped us get our story out there and or us to build relationships with customers and other vendors."
Once a week, REKO vendors have a meet-up at three different locations in the Treasure Valley including, Boise, Meridian, and Nampa, and deliver the products directly to the customers.
“It has been everything, truthfully, I don’t know where we would be without it," Groves said. "It makes me kind of emotional and I feel silly saying that but when COVID hit everyone was affected but especially so for small business owners and especially so for farmers.”
REKO operates year-round. To apply to be a vendor click here.