*This article has been updated in 2017.
As we mentioned in our earlier about online grocery deliveries, fresh produce continues to be a stumbling block for the large online/home delivery grocery companies. Consumers are wary of trusting a remote large company to choose their heads of lettuce and bananas for them. Consumers seem to be willing to trust new start-up produce delivery companies to choose for them, however. These new businesses bring seasonal fresh produce directly from the farms to your doorstep. They are the middlemen between the farms and consumers.
We are huge fans of the CSA movement (Community Supported Agriculture) which supports local farmers (search for our two earlier articles), and now these entrepreneurs are making it easy to have fresh produce delivered directly to your door. Here are some farm-to-table ventures that deliver high-quality perishable goods to consumers like you:
Good Eggs operates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Brooklyn. I love this sentence from their mission statement – “Eating local food is an opportunity to encounter the diversity of flavors unique to a region and to a season”.
How it works: Order online from the best local farmers and food makers. Your food is picked and prepped. If you are in any of the aforementioned locations your order is packed and delivered to your door for free if it’s over $30.00. Your order is delivered within two days of your order.
Good Eggs also provides prepared foods that include ‘heat and eat’ entrees and salads, among other selections.
Relay Foods provides “local, organic, and everyday foods without the grocery store hassle”. Relay Foods carry both items from local producers and national brands. It is a hybrid between an online grocery store company and a fresh produce delivery service. The national brands they carry must have very high quality, be non-GMO, and organic. They have vegan, dairy free and gluten free items.
At this point Relay Foods operates in Washington, D.C. and Maryland and some areas of Virginia.
Door to Door Organics is a home, office and co-op delivery service of organic produce and groceries. They deliver to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. In addition to fresh organic produce they carry a high quality line of grocery items that are organic, natural or local. This includes meat, milk, eggs, cheese, wild-caught fish, and more. They offer organic teas and juices, organic soups and many more grocery items from artisanal sources.
Consumers select a produce box and a delivery day, set preferences for likes and dislikes, customize orders each week and shop for additional groceries if needed. There is no commitment, consumers can start and stop according to their schedules.
*2017 UPDATE – relay foods and door to door organics have joined forces to be even more dynamic. See their websites for more information.
Farmigo’s mission is to “create farm to neighborhood access to fresh food benefitting local farmers and bypassing supermarkets”. They are headquartered in Brooklyn, NY with some team members in San Francisco.
Farmigo pairs communities (a community can be an apartment building, school or workplace) with five or six local farmers. Consumers in each community choose the items they want to purchase from their farmers and get a delivery every week. Farmigo urges each community to choose a ‘host’ who will organize and distribute the food to the community members. Hosts get to keep 10% of whatever’s sold on orders over $600. Farmigo is currently serves the San Francisco Bay and New York City areas.
Our favorite in this group is From the Farmer. Their website is very user-friendly and they have a fabulous reputation. They deliver to Washington, D.C., and areas of Maryland and Virginia. (We’re hoping they expand soon!). They deliver your weekly order to your doorstep between the hours of midnight and 7 AM and leave the insulated basket in a safe place of your choosing. There are three basket sizes to choose from – the Small Farm box $29.95 brings you 6 – 7 seasonal items a week, good for 2 people, the Large Farm box is $45.00 a week and includes 8 – 10 seasonal items for 2 -4 people and then there is $39.00 Organic bag of 100% organic mix of fruits and veggies. Recipes are included. You will receive an email prior to your delivery day detailing what will be included that week and you are then able to customize your basket by making swaps within the week’ offerings. There is no weekly commitment, you can start and stop deliveries anytime. They also offer farmhouse eggs, fresh baked breads, meat and coffee as add-ons.
From The Farmer has kindly offered A Sharp Eye readers in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia area a promotion of 20% off their first four deliveries.
Visit our earlier article on Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs, for more options to buy local and support your farmers.