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The reason Roanoke, Indiana made my list this month highlights just why employer stories are so important.  I don’t know the economic developers in Roanoke or in Huntington County, but I do know Seven Sons Farms.  The great job they do connecting with their customers and talking about where they are from was the whole reason I was inspired to find out more about this place.  Here’s the story:

One of my favorite things about living in downtown Chicago is that, strangely enough, I get to walk to a bunch of farmers’ markets.  Our options are huge because so many of the vendors supply the hospitality industry.  At the beginning of the pandemic, I converted to grocery delivery and started to look for farmers that were offering home delivery alongside their commercial deliveries.  As time went on it became obvious that it was important to them too.

So I googled around and found Seven Sons Farms from Roanoke Indiana and, long story short, they deliver eggs, chicken, pork, beef, and a few other things whenever I want.  Along with the food, they regularly deliver emails to me, written by a variety of the Seven Sons, telling me about their family, their animals, their farm, and their farming methods.  Along the way they told the story of how new home delivery customers have enabled them to offer jobs to neighbors and use their infrastructure to help other local farms market and deliver their product.  In fact, it turns out that they had developed software some  years ago and licensed it to other farms across the country.

All of this led me to get a little curious – just how much of an impact was it on the town of Roanoke to have a business like this add 30 or 40 jobs?  So I browsed around a little and learned a little more about the town and the country – something I probably never would have done if not for the way the direct marketing of one company led to my indirect exposure to the place where they do business.