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188. Veggie Vinder | Local produce for global communities | Hyperlocal economy | Sam Lillie | Port Townsend, WA
10th June 2018 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:05:55

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Sam Lillie the CEO and Founder of Vinder is going to be a household name someday and we will all say how did we live without it? Helping create a hyperlocal food market he brings local growers together with local eaters fueling our economy with healthy nutritious accessible food options!

Avalanche Lake Glacier National Park June 2017

Avalanche Lake Glacier National Park

The pre-chat includes thoughts and inspiration about Glacier National Park, the Olympic Peninsula and the Pacific Crest Trail. Takes about 3 months. and Sam’s Pacific Crest Trail confession “I hiked it in 2015. It took 5 months.”

Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 12.36.45 PM.png

OMGosh! You did it! I’m reading your blog!

So is it Vineder? Vinder?

I originally called it Vineder but when I got the things printed people said Vinder.

It’s like Do That Thing… When the band has a one hit and they’re called the Wonders but they want it spelled Oneders… but everyone called them the Oneders!

Are you a millennial?!

I’m 26!

I love millennials! This listener sends me this link on Facebook to this video bashing millennials but I love millennials because they are gonna be the generation that’s gonna do it! They’re already rockin’ this world! They care about social issues! They care about the planet! They care about the food they eat and feed their families! I’ve been working on my own version I really want to put together, I wrote my own verses.

Just another rockstar milennial to add to my list. All the millennial’s I talk to gardeners or in my podcasters…

… We’re a little lazy, but we find ways to be lazy so we find ways to be more efficient.

IDK, a lot of the millenials I know are just hardworking!

188. Veggie Vinder | Sam Lillie

Vinder is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and buy local produce. We want to connect home growers who have an abundant garden with community members looking for local produce. We’re here to create a transparent agricultural system that informs consumers about who’s growing their food, how it’s being grown, and where. Vinder makes it easy to buy ultra local food, boost your community’s economy, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Tell us a little about yourself.


My name’s Sam Lillie I’m 26! I’m founder and CEO of

Port Townsend Washington which is a Victorian, artsy seaport village in the upper left peninsula of Washington.

About 9-10,000 people, it’s predominantely  a retirement town.  I’m originally from San Diego. I graduated in 2015 from San Jose State. After I graduated I hiked from Canada to Mexico on the Pacific Crest Trail! After the trail, I had to re-adjust to society because I had done it solo! I was talking to trees and animals. 

I applied to 106 jobs, across 4 different states. I have a degree in Business. I recieved one offer to sell background check technology sales which I declined.

I developed a mobile app for plant Identification. When I was hiking, I saw all these different plants and flowers. 

take a photo

there is

a couple of them


MyGardenAnsAppmy garden answers is one

I can’t remember the name of the other off the top of my head.

I drew up a bunch of designs for this mobile app

I went to the Silicon Valley business plan competition

made it to the finals! 


  • pitched at the semis
  • finals
  • placed last in the finals

pretty much just like “good job” but still a lot you have to do! Still need to make some changes. 

That’s still AWESOME! 

I learned a ton! When I came back I was kind of torn up. I had worked about 5 months. It was hard to be told it wasn’t the right product. I took a look at how much it would cost between $5-700,000. It’s not like I have an extra $700k. So I took a step back to think about what I wanted to do. 

Young Professionals Round Table Discussion

I went into the Business Resource Center. They said come back to a young professionals meeting for a Rountable discussion. I came back and we went through the positives and negatives. 


  • cost of living is kind of high
  • have to work 2-3 jobs to live here and make ends meet
  • there is not a lot of time to go to Farmer Markets because of time limits so they end up going to Safeway which is easily accessible and low quality

talking about these problems

I think I can help them out in some way. I said, if you have a service that has

  • access to local produce
  • reasonalby priced
  • have the option to be delivered
  • you would use it

every person in the room said yes

I said ok, I’ll figure it out

I walked home, in late June. I saw everything growing in front yards. What if you could just buy from a neighbor? Why not? I walked up to a front door, with a big apple tree in the yard, knocked on the door, I said, Hey, I noticed you have apples. Have you ever thought about selling them?

Usually the response would be “no.” So, I’d ask, well would you be interested

all right why not


I’ll be back

I just walked door to door and asked if I could see veggies and fruits.

Vinder Delivery Bike

So I started on biking  these orders delivered 300lbs of backyard produce over the frist 3 months. I was probably biking 50 miles a week! 

I want that job that sounds awesome!

It was a lot of fun! Meeting the growers! They would invite me into their gardens! I would get my hands in the soil and I would learn all these different garden systems!

I’d be meeting the buyers! Usually families! I’d have a big box of veggies and knock on the door, I remember having a kid open the door and yell, “YEAH! VEggies!”

I thought wait a minute! When was the last time a kid excited over veggies and taking big bites of kale!

amazing experience to see that

parents got to see

they get a printout

port townsend

EOFire John Lee Dumas logo

I feel like I’m talking to like the guy who started amazon years before he launched amazon! IDK why I’m addicted to business podcasts. You have to listen to Entrepreneur on Fire! You should get on Entrepreneur on Fire! He’s always saying things like do things that don’t scale. My husbands alwaays like where’s the app for when you just hae a little bit of extra carrots or beets… She needs it on a consistnet sale.

And what’s the guy (Mark Cuban) on Shark Tank who’s like I don’t even want to talk to you if you haven’t gone out and done door-to-door sales. And here you are riding your bike! I love that you’re telllng people about their farmer! And you’re educationg people !Look I didn’t know I could do this! 

their growing methods

what kinds of

is it permaculture

That’s cool too

some are gardener’s themselves

now that it’s another online platform you can communicate with others

  • share tips and tips
  • insect infestation
  • can ask “has this happened to you?”
  • “what have you done to solve it?”

not being able to Safeway or your Coop you don’t produce enough

getting rid of the excess you can’t eat 

that get’s rotting on the ground or compost. 

  • All the cherries, or kale that’s always there…
  • apples that always…

can’t give them away, and you’re neighbors 

You’re so not lazy?!!! Maybe you weren’t talking about yourself? What did you say that trail was 2500 miles?

2658.8 miles!

I hear so much what your doing, I know this is gonna be a great thing, the way you went to the meeting and said this is the problem and you found the solution. And the way people can communicate with each otehrs. And Then when I interviewed JM Fortier he was taling about an app that was like bugs are coming through and you’re puttin gthat connection in there too, if they have problems with a bugs or to give them a heads up.

Yeah! If it’s what’s happening in their area! Can be very geographic specific…

We were talking about not being able to supply Coops with veggies, and Vinder was just made for the excess! If you can’t eat it you can list it and just sell it to that other neighbor

community member can be 5 blokcs away

They know where it’s being grown

How it’s being grown

They can have it delivered there’s an option for that

Grower deliveres and they can charge what ever they want for a delivery fee

their own price for their veggies

don’t charge our growers

a dime.

you make money

20% to service fee

Make it so much easier to make it fit in people’s schedules. 

which is great

2 things

Farmer’s Markets

  • fee for the day
  • annual membership cost
  • daily sales
  • adds up for cost

from the farmer’s I talk to the farmer’s profit margin is just 1%. Which I think  is ludicrous. Distributers charge 35 and 55% of total sales.

  • growers
  • gardeners
  • farmers

Put all the work

  • water
  • soil
  • weeding
  • pest maintenance
  • packaging
  • delivering it to the farm stands

They shouldn’t be making 45% of the total sale

why we don’t charge our growers anything

they’re doing all the work



For the farmer if they use Vinder

could accept pre-orders which would allow them to know what they are going to sell at the farmer’s market and reduce the waste of unsold produce. 

A lot of times they just cut it in bulk and hope to sell it all. 

  • try to sell it the next day
  • but another day off the vine so nutrients are being depleted
  • deliver it to food banks which is an incredible thing

more people need fresh produce

a little bit of an outlet or a useful tool for farmers

used to be able to go online and place an order, talk to your grower and find a time that you guys can meet up it cuts down on the harvest

Our average time from harvest is about 30 minutes

sometimes you’re getting lettuce with dirt still on it!

That’s better then when you get that stuff at teh store and they spray it!

Average Time from Harvest to Market

For lettuce it could be 2 weeks before it gets from farm to market.

avg is 15 miles

 Vinder‘s average is under 5

hyper local produce!


Tell me about your first gardening experience? Growing up in So Cal I imagine your parente had a garden but maybe not.

My very first memory, I’m reaching far back, I remember a backyard garden. 

I don’t remember what they were growing I’m sure

  • tomaotes
  • sunflowers

I remember the sunflowers being taller then I was. I was getting lost in this vegetable garden....