Dear Beloved Friend,
I am a homesick man originating from Turkey. Living in the US since 2002, I have come to appreciate all that this country has given to me. Having said that, I am still homesick and miss my people, my music, my food, and everything that has defined who I am as an individual since childhood. In 2019 I started a professional journey that I called Freerange Market. My original intent was to connect good food with the local people that care about what they eat and I started with the food items that I knew the best, Turkish food. Over time I received many good inputs from passionate food lovers and started exploring foods from not so familiar cultures such as the former Soviet Union, Nordic Europe, Eastern and Western Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and East Asia. The collection of cultures keep growing and as I move from one cuisine to another, I find myself in a magical pursuit to get to know other cultures with the common language of food and I am quite happy about it. My most special moments come in the form of people who live in and around Boston thanking me for bringing them the tastes of their homeland. I slowly started to feel a unique sense of accomplishment in becoming a cultural ambassador for these lovely neighbors by connecting them with the culinary pleasures of their pastime and current culture. Today, I am ever more encouraged to keep investing my time and energy in this very special mission and I encourage you to visit our store online or in person and join this journey with us so we can call you our “dost” as well.
Here is our business philosophy published in January 2019:
For as long as we can remember, the industrialized food system has dictated what we have put on our dinner tables and fed our families. We were taught that technological advancement is good. Right? Of course, it is. Without industrial food production, there wouldn’t be enough food to feed the masses (so we were taught). OK we buy that argument. So, what happened, in reality, that has turned the food that we’ve been eating into this tasteless and flavorless junk? The answer is simple: we got greedy. Not ‘us’ of course – the people sitting at the top of the food chain: the seed companies, the fertilizer companies, the multinational food companies with their deep marketing pockets, and yes, the mass market food stores (supermarket chains).
Is that all? So, we, the consumers, had no role to play in this tragedy? Unfortunately, we all did, and we keep falling for the same crap every single day because we ultimately vote with our feet and our credit cards at these massive supermarkets. Call them big box store, discount chain, natural food store. It doesn’t matter, we are all victims of the same broken, vicious cycle. Life is difficult but beautiful at the same time. We all struggle with money, health, career, and a zillion other daily challenge. It is clear that we lost our happiness in pursuit of other things. Addictions and unhealthy eating habits impact us all. No one is immune – not even the wealthiest and the most privileged individuals amongst us. So, what? Is there a solution anywhere? We don’t know, yet, but we are hard at work to create a solution that will fix this disaster one step at a time. Our challenge is that we are not a giant corporation with an endless marketing budget. Nor do we have buying power as big as half the world’s GDPs. We really don’t want to be like that ever. Volume discounts are a disease that cripples the food system and particularly the small artisanal manufacturers and producers.
Here is what we will try to do:
We will find the highest quality options available at the most affordable prices. We don’t care if it is labeled organic, but we deeply care that its manufacturer takes genuine care in making it. At the end of the day, organic labeling is a step in the right direction, but it also is another way to squeeze a few more pennies from unaware consumers. We will do this homework and give you the best options available. Over time we will get better and better. We will make radical portfolio decisions when healthier alternatives become available, and it is really the right thing to do. We will not follow trends for the sake of being popular. We will analyze and question everything, and we will only sell something when we are convinced that it makes sense. We will always give preference to the smallest scale artisanal products when it is economical and reliable to do so, and when it’s not, we will make good choices among what is available to us. We will not hide behind a private label that is nothing, but the exact same industrial production hidden beneath that label. You know which markets do this best! When we cannot find a good branded alternative, we will make it ourselves or work with a manufacturer who shares our values. We will always be transparent. We will be as affordable as possible. When possible, we will have our customers be involved in our sourcing decisions, and we will always be open to suggestions. We will be efficient to make sure we are the most affordable place for you to find these unique products. Finding the right product, that is also the most affordable option, will be important for us, and we need your support and patience to help us become what we strive to become. National identities or individual cultures don’t matter to us. What matters to us is the common language of all mankind: food, art, science, and living a peaceful and prosperous life, as one giant community called humanity. We will find great tasting and great-for-you foods in the most unusual parts of the world, made with the same values we are promoting. So, if it makes sense, and there isn’t anything like it closer to us at a better cost, we will go out and bring it to you. This is our mission.
We are hopeful that you will be our partner in this effort, and we look forward to serving you and bringing you one step closer to a happy and healthy life.
It is a long road ahead of us and we have lots of work to do.
Freerange Market Founder