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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Open Letter to the Lady Who Gave Me A Really Hard Time About Our Price Today

Dear Lady Who Gave Me A Really Hard Time About Our Price Today,

Hi, my name is Elliott, you might remember me from today, when you gave me a really hard time about the price?

The conversation went something like this.

"How much for the eggs?"
"A dozen, ma'am."

Then you reacted like I was charging 10 million rubels for a loaf of bread during the Russian revolution.

I don't have a problem with folks who think our price is too high, its up to you to decide whether our products are worth your hard earned money.

I do have a problem when someone seems personally offended by the price. That react like cheap food is their God-given right and that farmers are supposed to practically give their work away and take the few pennies thrown their way. Well, there is a place where you can get that, its called a grocery store. Do I go to where you work and say, "Oh, you make how much? To do THAT? That is really unfair, you should make less money."

It's certainly a fair question to ask how we arrived at our price. The answer is that this is what we need to charge to make a fair wage, which means a basic standard of living and a Farm Rolls Royce.

In depth:

- We work extremely hard to produce the best food that money can buy. We work in the rain, in the cold, in the heat, we work when we don't want to work, and then we work some more. You're never really off and unexpected problems are always cropping up, and they don't care whether its midnight or on Sunday.

- We are a small farm and there are advantages to this, namely - we can maintain high quality control, are more environmentally sustainable, and can provide great lives for our animals. However we cannot operate on an economy of scale or get discounts by buying huge amounts of feed. Even still - our prices are competitive with the higher end eggs sold in stores.

- We understand that you can find "farm eggs" for cheaper prices. But there is a big difference between those eggs and pastured eggs - which are the best, highest quality eggs you can buy. We do not have a few chickens running around in the yard, we are a legitimate, consistent, and accountable business that makes our products conveniently available to consumers, and there are costs associated with that.

- We love providing great food for people and we want to keep doing it. The only way we can do that is if we are financially sustainable.

I don't mean to come off as a martyr. It is just disconcerting when you put your heart and soul into your work and you are treated like a criminal for trying to make an honest living.

One more anecdote and I will get off my soapbox. Today I woke up at 6:30am, took care of the birds, set up to sell eggs in Savannah at 9:30am, ran my table until 1:00pm, came home and spent the next 2 hours in the rain putting down hay in our birds' coops and living areas. Tonight I went back out in the rain to put 200 soaked teenage hens inside their coops so they wouldn't get sick from exposure.

That is why our eggs are $4.75.



  1. I think they're worth every penny, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. I hope she enjoys her pale, unnourishing 99 cent eggs. Many of us appreciate what y'all do and the high-quality food you make available to us. Thank you.

  2. We appreciate what you do. The price of your eggs pale when compared to the price of our home grown eggs. We estaimated that we estimate that our flock costs at least two dollars a day to feed, and that is in fresh fruit and vegetables alone. That doesn't include the chicken feed they get every day. Luckily we have a small flock, so that is affordable for us, but if we consider that our hens, when laying, produce 2 eggs every three days, that means in a month we get twenty eggs, if we are lucky and both hens are actually laying at the same time, forty eggs a month. It cost us sixty dollars a month to feed, that means we pay approximately twenty-five dollars for a dozen home-made eggs. That doesn't include the down time for when they aren't laying but still eating. By those standards your eggs are a bargain and worth every penny.

  3. I haven't thought of it that way Kevin, interesting way to look at it.


  4. Elliott: The problem with selling in public is that random people feel free to get their jollies harassing the captive audience of vendors. Tell them to get stuffed. Your customers love you.

  5. I'm proud of you El! You guys deserve every penny. You certainly work extremely hard and care just as much. Next time you have to deal with a naysayer: in the words of Carl Cephas, most likely soon to be ex-Library of Congress employee, "F--k you, go suck eggs."

  6. Hi Elliot - We've been enjoying your eggs for a few weeks now, and can really taste the difference. We are glad to support local, sustainable agriculture and think your price is more than fair for the quality you're offering and the apparent well being of your flock.

    Thanks, and please keep coming on Saturdays to Forsyth Park.

  7. After volunteering with you guys, and seeing how hard you work and that your shoes were falling apart, I'd say you charge just the right amount. And didn't they used to be $5 anyway? So what's she complaining for - they're getting cheaper!