The Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois (BFBL IL) directory is “powered by MarketMaker” meaning that it pulls relevant information from the BFBL IL MarketMaker profiles to showcase in our searchable, mappable directory at BuyFreshBuyLocalIllinois.org. MarketMaker is a digital platform and database that coordinates local and regional food supply chains by matching farm products, capacity and capability with demand and need. Each business and farm in the database is represented as a profile that provides details on their respective product characteristics and practices. Profile updates are synchronized across all participating domains, such as farm, producer, or commodity organizations. Using the MarketMaker system provides a variety of benefits to BFBL IL participants and partners:
- MarketMaker provides support for farmers and local food businesses to connect with business-to-business and wholesale opportunities, on top of the Buy Fresh Buy Local promotional support to reach more individual customers. Check out their Buy/Sell Forum and real-time product availability trade alerts.
- By working together to build a single database rather than a variety of unique lists, we can collaboratively take on the administrative effort of building and maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date directory.
- Updating a single MarketMaker profile updates the information for organizations across the State. MarketMaker helps reduces the number of profiles managed by farmers and local food businesses.
Create your MarketMaker Profile
Join the Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois network by signing up at this link, and then creating your MarketMaker Profile. Your MarketMaker profile includes details about your products offerings and services. The more detail you add to your MarketMaker profile, the more searches you’ll appear in, and the better Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois can promote you! Here’s what to expect when creating your MarketMaker Profile:
1 / Create an Account
Use your email to create a MarketMaker Account. Use the same email address that you did to sign up for Buy Fresh Buy Local. If you’re a member of the IL Farmers Market Association or IL Specialty Crop Growers, you already have an account! Visit MarketMaker.org to login and update your account, to add BFBL IL affiliation.
2 / Build Your Public Business Profile
Select your primary type of business (Farmer, Farmers Market, Restaurant, etc.) and then follow the prompts to identify specifics, including:
- Products you sell (including their form: fresh, frozen, etc.)
- Methods of Sale (be sure to add Online Ordering, Local Delivery, etc. is available!)
- Payment methods you accept (be sure to include EBT-SNAP, and Incentive programs, etc. if available!)
3 / Select your Buy Fresh Buy Local Regional Affiliation
Check the box for the Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois region where your business is located. Select only one. Use this map to identify your BFBL region.
4 / Take the Optional 4-Question Survey
The first question is about Business Ownership. It’s for all BFBL members, and your answer will be public and used to help promote your business. The other 3 questions are for Farmers only. Responses to these questions are NOT public, and will only be referenced in the aggregate.
5 / Add Your Connections
You’ll be redirected to your new profile, where you can identify the farms and businesses with whom you do business as “connections.” These connections increase transparency within our network and help Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois participants to promote each other. Learn more about the Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois terms of participation here. When editing your MarketMaker profile, click the blue “edit” button in the Connections section of the profile to add your connections.
6 / Update and Add to Your Profile As Needed
Login to your account anytime to update or add information on your business. The more up-to-date your profile is, the more searches you’ll appear in at buyfreshbuylocalillinois.org, and the more customers you’ll connect with. Add photos, a narrative “About Us” section. Updates may take 24 hours to appear in the Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois directory.
Tip: The first 200 characters/40 words of your “About Us” section will appear in your search listing at Buyfreshbuylocalillinois.org. Make it count!
Tip: If you run multiple types of businesses, you can add multiple profiles to your account. For example, if you are a Farm that also offers Agritourism opportunities like farm tours or events, create your Farm profile first, and then add an “Agritourism” profile to your MarketMaker Account.