Nick Carter grew up on an Indiana farm, and left for a career in startups. He’s since gone back to the farm with the goal of boosting small farms around the nation with his e-commerce business Market Wagon.
Market Wagon is an online delivery service for local food. It’s been growing since 2016 from its start Indianapolis to currently 15 states. Most of that growth took place during the pandemic. The company serves Wisconsin as well in Green Bay and Madison, for example. But Carter says it’s not just for an urban audience. The company serves people in the rural counties between cities, too.
All of the products on Market Wagon are from folks in your area. You can interact with the farmers or artisans in your area to build relationships. Carter says e-commerce is booming right now. While the producers they work with are typically found at a farmers market, e-commerce is a way for producers to reach new audiences throughout the year.
Carter says the labor shortages are impacting the company. Market Wagon is looking for drivers. But workforce issues are challenging in ways you wouldn’t expect. For example, Carter says its difficult to find places to lease because landlords can’t find contractors to turnover spaces.
In addition to operating Market Wagon, Carter and his wife farm 3.5 acres of produce on the northeast side of Indianapolis. He says while it’s a small farm by USDA standards, the high profit margin per acre allows his family to make a full time income off of it.