Followers: 7732
Following: 7879


Concord, CA
Bilal Ahmed
Page viewed: 22887 times

About me: I build social media, consumer facing websites. bilal@mytweetmark.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/bahmed73 http://blog.bilalahmed.org


Local food & farmers' market REST API

Jul 13, 2011 7:55:17 PM

"and a new day will dawn; for those who stand long"- stairway to heaven

We are the first to announce a REST API for localfood and farmers' market data! A @homecookme API! Search by food items, get details on a farmers' market or on a local business. This is our contribution to the local food and farmers' market developer community. From this data, we can build many applications.

The API is implemented using REST framework and the results are returned in JSON. Our customers can build mobile and web applications using our unique data which contains relationship between farmers' markets, vendors and the products they sell.

For example:

Search for food:
[Users : 1, Users : 2, Users : 53, Users : 98, Users : 266, Users : 267]
Returns local business that contain
the term food in their profile fields.

Search for local business by name:
{markets=[FarmerMarket : 1, FarmerMarket : 16, FarmerMarket : 3, FarmerMarket : 4, FarmerMarket : 15, FarmerMarket : 18, FarmerMarket : 19, FarmerMarket : 20, FarmerMarket : 21, FarmerMarket : 22, FarmerMarket : 23, FarmerMarket : 24, FarmerMarket : 29, FarmerMarket : 30, FarmerMarket : 31, FarmerMarket : 32, FarmerMarket : 33, FarmerMarket : 34, FarmerMarket : 35, FarmerMarket : 39, FarmerMarket : 46, FarmerMarket : 47, FarmerMarket : 48, FarmerMarket : 63, FarmerMarket : 62, FarmerMarket : 67], products=[Product : 116, Product : 115], user=Users : 95}
Returns local business and all the farmers' markets they belong.

Search for local farmers' market by id:
{users=[Users : 90, Users : 95, Users : 96, Users : 125, Users : 145, Users : 156, Users : 148, Users : 165, Users : 209, Users : 217, Users : 221, Users : 227], market=FarmerMarket : 22}
Returns all the businesses that sell within the market.

For example,

users[0].userName = Returns beckmannsbakery

class Users implements Serializable {
static searchable = true
Long id
String userName
String password
String email
Integer status
Integer marketingId
Integer countryId
Date createTime
Date updateTime
String ipAddress
Integer numCategories
String firstName
String lastName
Date lastLogin
Integer loginTimes
String profilePhoto
Integer tweet
String token
String tokenSecret
String facebookUid
Integer permission
Integer autoTweet
String website
String blog
String color
String aboutMe
Integer followersCount
Integer friendsCount
String businessName
String businessAddress
String businessPhone
String facebookProfile
String backgroundUrl
byte[] oauthObj

class FarmerMarket {
Integer id
String title
Integer status
Date createTime
String marketPhoto
String address
String city
String state
String description
String timings
String marketAdmin
String googleMap
String facebookLike

class Product {
static searchable = true
Long id
Long userId
Integer status
Date createTime
String name
String price
String quantity
Date updateTime

Search for local farmers' markets:

Search for local farmers' markets product (item):

Search for local farmers' markets products by userId:

Search for local farmers' markets by userId:

We will continue to add more features to our API. Please feel free to ask any questions, bilal@mytweetmark.com.

Happy coding!

We are delighted to receive amazing recommendations from our dear #localfood & #farmersmarket customers!
  1. Hello Bilal,

    Thank you so much for your help in the farmers market. I appreciate you introducing us to Twitter and guiding us through the way. I am also grateful for your continuous support in promoting Fil-Fil's products which has been of great value to our business.

    Best regards,

    Ryda Nofal
    Fil-Fil East Mediterranean Cuisine
  2. Hello Bilal:

    We would love to give you a recommendation! You are going all out to create a buzz about what's up in the local food community. We all need this kind of help and exposure to educate our locals about the importance of what we do. Keep up the sweet work.

    -- Helene Marshall
    Marshall's Farm Honey
  3. To whom it may concern,

    I just want to express how fortunate I have been to come across homecook.me (Bilal). Since signing up with homecook.me we have been able to expand the awareness of our product tremendously. Bilal has been an enormous help to our marketing strategy from internet marketing to social media and video creation. We look forward in continuing our working relationship together.

    Thank you,
    Fabian Mendieta
  4. Greetings Bilal,

    This is a recommendation for your services, HomeCook.me and MyTweetmark.com. Graeber Creations was an early adopter of Bilal Ahmed's services, Homecook.me and MyTweetmark.com. When we first signed up for the services, they free and Bilal made a great effort to secure for us a viable Twitter handle. He also set up our Homecook.me page and no extra cost. To date with the help of Homecook.me and MyTweetmark's services we have seen our backlinks increase substantially, and our SEO's have improved immeasurably. Our serch rankings have gone from page 40 on every search engine to page one or two, depending on the search variable. This has helped us to increase sales and internet traffic, which for us and most of Bilal's customers is a great challenge. We credit MyTweetmark and Homecook.me for the dramatic improvement inour internet presence.

    Beau Graeber
  5. Hello Bilal:

    The Los Gatos Farmers’ Market was one of the first Farmers’ Markets to sign up with Bilal. He has helped many of our farmers have a web presence they ordinarily wouldn’t have. Farmers’ markets provide a venue for sustainable locally grown fruits and vegetables. Bilal has helped us get that message out and reach a broader market, telling the farmers story, giving the farmer the opportunity to share his knowledge, recipes, and why it is important to buy locally.

    Thank you Bilal,
    South Bay Farmers’ Markets
    Los Gatos, CA 95033


We are helping local businesses with B2B and B2C in over 150 farmers' markets in Northern California. For local businesses, you will see profile page, products, farmers' markets, google maps and twitter followers. Our marketing is measurable through the increase of followers on twitter and page views, at a monthly subscription.


We started working on @homecookme last year summer (2010). 30% of our customers are first time internet business users. We signed up local businesses by talking to them personally because none of these people can be found on the internet. Around 30%-50% of the local businesses check their emails on a regular basis. We collected every business information through surveys, i.e. where they sell their products and which farmers' markets they visit. Most of them told us that the local farmers' markets associations don't do enough for them. They wanted marketing. We build out @homecookme with live customer feedback and signed up almost 50% of the active selling businesses in Northern California. The rest of the businesses that didn't sign up get our regular newsletter emails. Please view our latest newsletter below:


Please contact us today if your business needs marketing. We have expertise in social media marketing for small businesses, local food and farmers' markets. We would love to work with you.

Thank you.
Bilal Ahmed

Nominate us for @shortyawards!

Feb 8, 2011 2:24:38 AM

Please nominate us for shorty awards!

Nominate mytweetmark for a social media award in the Shorty Awards!Nominate mytweetmark for a social media award in the Shorty Awards socialmedia category

The new @homecookme!

Jan 11, 2011 1:52:18 PM


Happy new year! We just launched the new @homecookme! We will now be connecting local businesses with customers. If a user picks a food basket, we will connect them with all the local businesses that sell those products. With the new design, you can:

  • The new homepage.
  • Better navigation.
  • Ajax market drop-down.
  • Find farmers markets by day.
  • Ajax drop-down for products.
  • Customer food basket.

  • Cheers,

    Bilal Ahmed
    homecook.me & mytweetmark.com
    (925) 969-0494

    p.s. if you wish to unsubscribe to this newsletter, please reply with 'unsubscribe' in the subject.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 22, 2010 6:29:21 PM


Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas and Happy new year :) Wow, what an year 2010 has been! Thank you for believing in us because without you, we would not have been able to help businesses all over the globe with @mytweetmark and farmers markets with @homecookme. Our goal has always been to personally connect with businesses and farmers. Social media is a very expensive dream for a lot of our customers and in 2010 we have helped them with business profiles, blogs, tweets and a virtual representation of farmers markets. We are not stopping here. We have HUGE plans for 2011 as we grow our community of businesses and consumers. We will continue to add more valuable features across various platforms and continue to pivot on market changes.

Here are latest news and updates:
  • #farmersmarket community is growing. @homecookme has become the heart and soul of #farmersmarket hashtag on twitter. Many businesses and customers are talking on @twitter. Twitter has increased 30-40% traffic in the past few months. We have managed to create a very successful yet small community within twitter where the #localfood movement is thriving. There has been 16% increase in farmers markets in United States in the past 1 year. We are going to continue to help farmers with very advanced twitter techniques in 2011 for marketing their products and location of selling. We want our business to gain repeat customers and opportunity for delivery services.
  • We love how paper.li website can take our local businesses hashtags/links and generate a newspaper. Please bookmark this paper.li link and check news daily about #localfood and #farmersmarket in a beautiful and elegant format.
  • #twitterfood community is growing. We are hosting a bi-monthly conference on phone and twitter. People from all over United States are calling in and we are talking about local food and organic movement. It's been a great learning for all of us as we share ideas and thoughts.
  • Please submit ideas you have for us in 2011.

Some of our awesome customers:
  • queensheebafarm - We will be interviewing Khaled, owner of Queen of Sheeba farms in Oakland downtown farmers market on Friday, Dec 24th 2010 around 10:00-11:00am. We will also be discussing how to apply for grants.gov username/password for USDA grants. Please come and say hi! We will also be answering any questions.
  • napavalleytea - Agnes is the owner of The Napa Valley Tea Company and has been a great support for us through our journey. You can find her in St. Helena farmers market and Calistoga farmers market. Please contact her for all your local napa organic tea needs.

We are really looking forward to working with you in 2011. Happy new year!

Response by Pepe Farm
Happy Holiday's Bilal,

I really believe in supporting our local farmers markets. I remember meeting you @ Healdsburg market when I was just shopping there. Our organic farm is seasonal, April to start thru November or Dec. (depending) There may be a chance to meet with you for a short visit. I could maybe help you out with a little job or errand or just a few ideas with growing the farmer's mkt. community. Also, you can look @ my facebook account and send a few great" messages out there" about shopping at the farmer's mkt. (Sat. S.R., or others coming up) WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE!!!

Kelley Vazquez
Pepe' Farm

Welcome to the new @mytweetmark!

Dec 21, 2010 9:42:28 PM


We had a great Thanksgiving and received awesome response from all of you with @homecookme. We are really looking forward to a great 2011 in helping local food and utilizing advanced @twitter techniques by @mytweetmark all across Northern California! We are already talking to amazing food and twitter folks all over United States by hosting a #twitterfood conference on a bi-monthly basis. Please also view #farmersmarket where we helped build a Community of local food businesses and consumers.

We are now looking for bloggers and companies that want to circulate their brand message through our repeat auto tweets. Our analysis and metrics tests on @mytweetmark have shown that users with proper usage of hash tags brings 10x viewers. For example, a tweet:

"Please come visit http://www.mytweetmark.com cc #farmersmarket #localfood #food #socialmedia" Allows all people talking about the hashtags see @mytweetmark twitter business profile and also actionable item to click on the link.

Twitter is the new way for people to see your business brand. If you tweet intelligently, you will gain followers and page views. Please login and setup your autotweets and measure them through our analytics today!

Thank you!

Bilal Ahmed
homecook.me & mytweetmark.com
(925) 969-0494


Thanksgiving is right around the corner. What an year this has been! We are very thankful for having great customers that have trusted us. We have gotten so many thank you emails, tweets from all of you. We are hoping for an amazing next year while we continue to work with other food companies, USDA and help create a better health and organic culture.

Here is our latest news:
  • The farmers markets are growing across United States while Whole Foods are loosing sales. Farmers markets have 16% increase in the past year, totally over 6000. Read more here.
  • Recently we mentioned how to get a grant from USDA for starting a farmers market business. Please apply for access at grants.gov and to see the particular beginning farmer and rancher grant, click here.
  • 'Why Shop At a Farmers Market?' Ten reasons, buying locally, affordable organic fruits & veggies, supporting your local economy and farmers, eat seasonally, safer foods, fresher fruits and veggies, great variety, better taste, it's healthy and mostly importantly -- It's Fun! Please read more here.
  • If you are looking to update your website, please submit a request. Contact us about pricing.
  • If you are looking to offer special deals and promotions to over 130 million @twitter users, Contact us and we can auto tweet your products, prices and special discounts. There is no fee for discounts and coupons.
  • We are looking for customer reviews on oneforty. The reviews will allow other farmers market and businesses in United States to find out about us and join us. Add a review here.
  • The homepage of @mytweetmark now displays real-time tweets of businesses and customers. When you tweet with #farmersmarket, it will appear on our homepage and also any of the 130 million @twitter users that are interested in this tag.
  • A newspaper built from #farmersmarket tag on @twitter? A lot of our partners and customers are viewing this newspaper created from real-time tweets. More information here.
  • Customer profiles also displays real-time tweets for their business.
  • 'Top 5 reasons Why the Farmers Market is a Great First Date' Inexpensive, Built in conversation, non-toxic food, opportunity for romance and no pressure. Read more here.
  • What is your market influence? A company called klout now determines online influence. Our customers are increasing influence because of @twitter usage. Watch La Fleur De Lyon business profile here. @homecookme business profile can be found here.
  • Here are some important tags to watch on @twitter, #farmersmarket, #localfood, #realfood, #local, #buylocal, #farmersmarkets, #california, #socialmedia, #fb and #food. Please tweet frequently using these tags so other businesses and consumers can contact you.
  • Tuesday November 23rd, 2010 at 2pm PST we are having a #twitterfood conference. Please Contact us if you would like to join us. We will be introducing foodies from all over United States that want to help the organic and health movement.
  • We want to acknowledge the following local businesses for supporting us:

1. Alfieri Farms - San Francisco: Gary has been one of our earlier customers. Please find their almonds, walnut, pistachios and seasonal fruits in Heart of the city and Ferry building farmers markets, among others. More information here.
2. Amore 4 Paws - East Bay: Dogs and cats treats, organic. You can find Anita in Concord, Martinez, San Mateo, Vacaville and Walnut Creek farmers markets. More information here.
3. Toofu - South Bay: Not quite the same tofu, but Tyhoon and company has been able to invent toofu in their organic factory. More information here.
4. Vivo Vinegar - Healdsburg: The first time we met John in Healdsburg, California farmers market, he was so excited to join. In 30 minutes, 70% of the farmers market signed up with @homecookme. They are currently aging wine varietal vinegars. More information here.

Like always, we love to hear from you. Please login to @twitter frequently and access your account. Tweet Tweet! Thanks again!

Bilal Ahmed


Please come visit and see the new artwork on http://www.homecook.me that gives tributes to our customers and the farmers markets. We couldn't have done anything without your blessings. We have worked very hard to keep everything free so far and now USDA has been very encouraging for us to apply for United States grants. I want to highlight the process of applying for small business startup grants which are viable for any business, especially local farmers markets business. Please email if you have any questions.

Steps for applying for a USDA small business grant:

  • Register your company. A DBA will work as well.
  • Get a Federal Tax ID. (I used legalzoom for both)
  • Register for grants.gov. (4 step process, takes a month)
  • Get a DUNS number.
  • Register CCR.
  • Get grants.gov Username & password.
  • Register as AOR so you can apply for grants.
  • Start submitting United States grants.

We have applied to a few grants already and in talks with very specialized farmers markets marketing grants. It's been very positive so far and officials are eager to help businesses. Please ping us if you need introductions.

Our Featured businesses this month:

  • Catalan Farms - So prestigious around the bay area. Everywhere we go, we see Catalan farms. You can view more information about them at http://www.homecook.me/catalanfarms
  • Yerena Farms - Their strawberries are so yummy! They are also everywhere, and I would like to highlight them for being a great customer. More information can be found http://www.homecook.me/Yerenafarms
  • Beckmann's Bakery - Thank you so much for trusting us from the beginning. Tony is known around for being a genius at farmers market marketing. When I was on stage at San Francisco sfnewtech technology conference on stage on September 15th 2010, I made sure to mention Beckmann's Bakery because they have been in this business for a long time and I learned a lot from their support. More info http://www.homecook.me/beckmannsbakery
  • Biscotti Bianchi - Victoria Bianchi has been a great support for us. Please find us in downtown Oakland, Stonestown San Francisco, Napa and other farmers markets. More info http://www.homecook.me/biscottibianchi

Please login to your twitter account regularly, communicate with your customers, re-tweet them so they know that you are acknowledging them. Make it fun. Communicate with other businesses. When we started, a local business or farmer diagonal from each other didn't know each others names. Now hopefully, we can create a synergy and work together in harmony to make it beneficial and rewarding for everyone. Times are tough, but we can work together and make things happen. Just believe. If you ever sell your successful local business, any marketing you do is an asset to it. Marketing adds the most value to a business. Marketing translates into more selling of the product. Your business brand awareness so people continue to buy your products. It builds trust in between businesses and repeat customers. We are making it happen for you. Enjoy, contribute and happy selling! Please tell your friends to join as well!

October Newsletter Vol. 3

Oct 25, 2010 5:08:02 PM

Here is a quick update to what we accomplished this month on http://www.homecook.me

Please contact us today and we would love to help you with any questions. We are here to help everyone in the bay area for local farmers markets and businesses. We are looking forward to a great November! Thank you for giving us a chance to work with you. Cheers :)

October Newsletter II

Oct 18, 2010 10:33:05 PM


October is here and @homecookme social media farmers market network now has customers in over 80 local California farmers markets! Please come visit us at http://www.homecook.me

We are still offering free services. So please if you are interested or a friend, fill out the attached survey and give us an opportunity to work with you.

We are going to be opening much more details about farmers products, prices, health facts and iphone app! Lots of seasonal markets are closing but the internet never sleeps. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to work with you as we continue to grow. Happy farming and happy selling!

September Newsletter

Oct 18, 2010 10:41:16 PM


Happy labor day weekend! Thank you so much for being our valuable customer.

We have grown a lot, http://www.homecook.me and recently added ' Products' feature where you can specify prices/products you sell and we will tweet them out for you. We also Tweet business phone numbers to generate more sales, all free!

Please login frequently and change password as well. If you are going to change password on @Twitter, please change them on @mytweetmark and @homecookme as well.

We are literally spreading happiness in our local farmers markets. All because we love you. Cheers!

October Newsletter I

Oct 18, 2010 10:12:06 PM

We have made lots and lots of new changes on http://www.homecook.me and would love for you to come visit!

* Add product information - We recently added list pages of products our customers are selling. Whether honey, apples, strawberries, soap, etc. Please come list all the products you are selling. We will auto tweet the products, add special hash tag # it so over 100 million folks on twitter can see you business products!
* Write blogs - Please write lots of details about your business using our blogs. Any marketing you do for your business, adds value to it.
* Pictures, links and product information - Please email me details about your business so we add it to our websites. Any pictures or links and product information.
* Search - Product and user search is now available on the site, after you login. You can search for local products and locations.
* Subscriptions for Coupons - Your customers can subscribe to your business and receive notifications. We would love to offer online coupons to your users. Please email us for discounts we can offer to your customers.
* Talk to your customers - Please talk to your customers and business leads frequently on twitter. Say simple tweets or messages frequently. We auto tweet for you because we know you are busy selling in the market.

October is here and lots of seasonal markets are closing. However, internet never sleeps and we hope to give huge visibility to your business in the off season! Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to work with you :) Cheers.







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