Meeting unique not-for-profit eCommerce needs with Magento Commerce, part of Adobe Commerce Cloud

Freestore Foodbank: a Magento integration success story

Magento 2
Exact Macola ERP

About Freestore Foodbank 

Freestore Foodbank is a not-for-profit food bank that supplies food to shelters and programs in need. Any program that provides meals for impoverished communities or individuals in crisis can buy or receive food from Freestore to distribute in their region. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Freestore services agencies in regions of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. 

Freestore began in 1971 when Frank Gerson saw "unusable" food being thrown away at his job at Cincinnati's incinerator. He collected those items and distributed them to disadvantaged families. That one-man operation has grown to an organization that distributes 20 million meals annually. 


88% of
users are

50% of
users have
placed over ten orders

7.5% of
users have
placed over 50 orders

staff and resource efficiencies

The Problem

When agencies previously needed to order food from Freestore Foodbank, they had to call into the warehouse and place their order with one of the customer service representatives. This was a costly and time-consuming way for customers to get what they needed.

In order to continue to serve their agencies in an efficient manner, Freestore Foodbank decided to implement a Magento eCommerce site to capture orders online.

The Goal

  • Create an easy-to-use and accurate ordering system
  • Seamlessly integrate Magento and Freestore’s existing ERP system, Exact Macola
  • Manage the order pickup schedule
  • Increase food output year over year by 25–30%
  • Provide accurate and timely transactions and a simple user experience
  • Provide an overall positive experience for customers

The Result

With 100% of their customers being non-profit organizations, Freestore is unlike other eCommerce initiatives, as their ultimate goal is not to make money but to end hunger.

Freestore’s goals were focused on customer service. They wanted to give customers an accurate and timely transaction system, and their statistics after launch show that they have achieved that: 

  • 88% of users are repeat customers
  • 50% of users have placed over ten orders
  • 7.5% of users have placed over 50 orders

Freestore’s customers are returning to their site to make multiple orders, which is a big win for the Freestore team. Additionally, because of the success of their Magento site, Freestore has been able to redistribute their ordering staff and free up some resources.

With these promising initial results, the Freestore team is already thinking ahead to phase two of their Magento site.


Key Project Benefits:

  • Improved user experience
  • Streamlined ordering system
  • Increased efficiencies within internal processes

Magento customizations were created for order pickups and customers that met TEFAP requirements.

The Solution

Freestore partnered with the Briteskies Magento team to create a reliable Magento site and integrate with their existing ERP. The project included:

  • Implementing Magento Enterprise 2.0 and creating an integration between the new eCommerce system and Freestore’s Exact Macola ERP
  • Designing the site to accommodate Freestore’s unique product information, such as a lack of product detail pages and imagery
  • Streamlining the default checkout function so that Freestore can bill agencies instead of accepting online payments
  • Magento needed to be customized to allow only those eligible for TEFAP items to add them to their order
  • Magento needed to be customized to only schedule order pickups according to specific parameters
"Freestore's unique business model allowed our team to stretch their Magento muscles a bit and really make the platform work for Freestore's eCommerce requirements."
Gian Genovesi
Magento Delivery Lead, Briteskies

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