Prior to the pandemic, Goldsmith’s Farm Market and Bakery in Thornbury made do with an outdated web platform with performance issues. A new website just wasn’t a priority for the busy on-farm specialty grocery store.

The Oakley family realized it was time to evolve, and fast, when the pandemic struck.

“As demand for local food grew, having customers come in person to reserve orders for special items like Thanksgiving turkeys or Christmas pies no longer worked,” said co-owner Debby Oakley.

Goldsmith’s qualified for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant from Digital Main Street (DMS), and took advantage of its free educational resources to adopt a new online reservation system and enrich its online presence. The business also invested in a new website.

Before, it might have taken several days to manually contact a list of customers about their orders and to schedule pickup times with COVID-19 protocols. With the new reservation system, the task has been reduced to the time it takes to draft a single email.

The result is an easier customer journey. When it comes time for a special reservation, pre-orders can be taken at any time of day or night. Customers have the flexibility to shop and order when it best suits them, as they juggle work and family obligations during the pandemic.

“It’s the way of the world right now – business, even for us, has become 24/7,” Debby said. “DMS has helped us increase sales because we are no longer limited to traditional business hours.”

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