Eating healthy can raise questions such as, "Are crayons a fruit or a vegetable?" and "How many steaks does a growing baby need?" Answer culinary questions with today's deal: for $15, you get a box of fresh, locally farmed veggies delivered to your door by Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks (a $31 value). This deal includes the value of a double box of produce ($25), as well as tax and delivery. Use the zip code box on its website to make sure that Fresh Picks delivers to your area; it also offers four pickup locations on certain days for customers outside the delivery area.
Fresh Picks works closely with local crop producers and purchasers, filling each of its delivery boxes with the highest-quality organic produce it can snatch from the harvest's catwalks. The cardboard cornucopia is then catapulted straight to your front door, ready to star in a stylish salad or rakish ratatouille. The contents of the box change according to what is in season, though recent picks included radiant red radishes, spicy arugula, fetching fingerling potatoes, and golden Marconi peppers, which double as radios. Customers can also customize their boxes by adding fresh local fruit, dairy, meat, eggs, and baked goods for a fee.
To reduce its carbon footprint, Fresh Picks plans the most efficient route each day. As such, they cannot schedule set delivery times, but most deliveries are made in the afternoon and the produce is kept chilled with ice packs, insulation, and frequent massages to maintain freshness for up to eight hours. Fresh Picks will collect bins and packing materials for reuse.
Fresh Picks reuses all of their bins and packing materials, and charges a $30 fee for bins not returned, though they will pick them up during delivery if you choose to place subsequent orders or schedule a time during their next visit to your neighborhood. Contents of box are determined by Fresh Picks, but there is space on your order form to list any allergies for which you would like to receive a substitute vegetable. Specific items can be ordered separately for an additional charge.
ABC 7 News featured a segment on Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks. Northwestern University's Medill Reports covered the store. Yelpers give it an average of 4.5 stars, and nearly 750 Facebookers are fans of the business:
- Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks in Niles is one of the only online grocery stores in Chicago through which customers are guaranteed organic produce, meat, dairy and eggs that are produced in the area. Other stores promise organic, but Fresh Picks is one of the only ones to use area farm products. – Lenora Jane Estes, Medill Reports
- The produce is huge and earthy, like what you would expect if you had an amazing green thumb and endless time to grow your own super-veggies. – Desiree V., Yelp
Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks
Inspired by their own quest to find locally grown, organic food to serve their kids, Irv and Shelly decided to start their own network of independent farmers and deliver their produce to doorsteps. Drawing on their backgrounds in economic development and nonprofit environmental activities, the two connected with suppliers such as Eric Rose of River Valley Ranch in Burlington, Wisconsin. His third-generation family farm has been growing mushrooms since 1976, following the tenets of organic farming when producing portabella, crimini, white button, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms.
As Irv and Shelly deliver the yield from Rose and their other partners, they choose the most efficient route so as to reduce their carbon footprint. This means they can’t promise specific delivery times, but most orders arrive in the afternoon in boxes whose client-customized bounty is kept fresh by ice packs.