About Zilnicki Farms
Fourth-generation farmer John Zilnicki spearheads the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which offers customizable farm boxes. The farm has a strong sense of community, partnering with other local farmers, artisans, and chefs to provide the best local food Long Island has to offer. In 2023, Zilnicki Farms introduced Beef Bundles, offering customers the option to add delicious Long Island raised grass-fed beef to their CSA box.
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Zilnicki Farms had thoughtfully considered launching a CSA program for 5 years before even getting started. “Serious logistical roadblocks” held them back, John Zilnicki recalled. “It delayed us a year or two just because we were also running a business on a 150-acre farm. It just wasn’t feasible.”
When their CSA finally launched, Zilnicki Farms offered only local pickup at their farmstand. However, the family knew that if they wanted to reach more customers, they would need to expand into home delivery. John started doing the deliveries himself. His sister, Jackie, would also take another route in an effort to “divide and conquer.”
There were plenty of challenges with the family-run delivery operation, and finding support was difficult.
- Deliveries were made one day per week and would take a combined 10 hours to complete, averaging 200-300 miles per run.
- As a result, the farm lost the equivalent of a full day’s worth of work per week — a big strain on a small family business.
- The family tried hiring their own drivers, but since they only did deliveries on one day, many opted for jobs at Amazon, which was hiring aggressively at that time.
- At least one local courier service was too costly and not the right fit. The farm could lose money per delivery, defeating the purpose of growing the business.
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When John heard of Trellus, he saw potential. He created a Trellus account but still tried to manage the delivery program himself for another year. At this point, his own family was growing and he had less time to drive or manage drivers. Finally, he reached a wall.
“This year  came around, and I thought we gotta figure this out,” he recalled. Trellus had promised solutions, and he was open to the possibilities.
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With 10+ hours per week saved, John refocuses his efforts on marketing the CSA, reaching new customers and growing his bottom line.
“I would definitely recommend Trellus to other farmers — and any other small business — running programs or offering some type of delivery service. It’s a hat you don’t really have to wear. There’s enough stress in life. With Trellus, you’re still in charge of what you have to do, but that layer of stress on the delivery side of things is removed.”
– John Zilnicki, Zilnicki Farms
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