In 2012, husband-and-wife team Graham and Andrea Duvall set out create an at-home delivery system for local and regional produce as a solution to their busy work schedules, which made shopping for organic produce and locally sourced foods difficult.
Their solution: a grocery delivery service that sold fresh, organic and local goods; and thus, Mother Earth Produce (MEP) was born.
“We met in 2010 at a class on herbalism. At the time, I was working at an education publishing firm and Graham was managing a native plant collection at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. We shared a passion for local foods, farmers’ markets and the belief that all-natural, organic food can promote a healthy life and build community,” said Andrea.
“After we married, we moved to Asheville, attracted by its reputation as a leader in the local food movement, complete with a vibrant food community that was supportive of local farmers and sustainable growing practices. Despite the diversity of available local foods, our full-time jobs often required travel that prevented us from reaching farmers’ markets during their limited operating hours, and CSAs did not provide enough flexibility to meet our needs, so we began the process for Mother Earth Produce.”
Mother Earth Produce (MEP) provides home delivery of organic produce and other local edibles to consumers in Asheville, NC and the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC area. It is a weekly service that is available with no contract or commitment. Each order is fully customizable from a menu of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, breads, dairy, meats, plus many vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options – all organically produced, non-GMO foods; and only humanely raised meat, eggs, milk and yogurt from local, grass-fed cows.
“Mother Earth Produce’s mission is to make organic and sustainably grown local produce accessible and convenient to everyone in the community. With strong farm-to-table and health conscious community values, as well as our partnerships with committed local, organic farmers, we intend to grow both our customer base and the number of family farms from which we purchase,” said Andrea. “We expect all of our suppliers to follow sustainable practices that benefit the earth. Our customers want the transparency of knowing how their food is produced, so we connect our customers directly to the local farmers and producers.”
Each week, Andrea checks in with the local growers to see what they are harvesting, and selects items for the boxes, working in tandem with the growers to help plan the box for the following week. MEP also partners with over 30 different local farms and food artisans to provide additional grocery items including baked goods from local bakeries, bone broths, pantry staples, yogurt, eggs, cheeses, and meats.
To participate, customers can go to their website – www.motherearthproduce.com – sign up, and customize their weekly delivery menu, with no contract.
Each Friday, MEP emails out the produce harvest menu for the following week so that customers can login and select items for delivery, or update their orders, until the weekly order cutoff on Tuesday at noon, at which time the order is officially submitted to MEP.
Every Friday, MEP delivers orders in a recycled plastic bin with an ice pack and insulated freezer bag for meat and other frozen items to the doorsteps of their customers. Customers can see if MEP delivers to their house on the MEP website under the “How It Works/Delivery tab. If MEP does not deliver to a customer’s home, they can pick up their order at the MEP warehouse Thursdays or Saturdays each week.
“Our flagship offering is our fixed and customizable produce bins. These bins contain locally grown produce, fresh from local farms,” said Andrea. “Fixed” means a straightforward offering without substitutions, while “customizable” allows for substitutions with over 25 choices of produce. We also feature local, humanely raised meats and sustainably sourced seafood, dairy and eggs, baked goods and sweets, pantry items and prepared foods from local vendors to make meal preparation simple. As an added value service, we provide free weekly meal plans every week to help customers utilize the bounty of the harvest in creative, convenient, and budget-friendly ways.”
Customers can also stop by MEP’s warehouse on Saturdays, between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., to pick up a discount produce box – a mix of leftover produce from the week at a discounted rate of $20.
In addition to its for-profit offerings, MEP has partnered with the local community by donating all leftover produce to FEAST (www.feastasheville.com) –an area non-profit organization that empowers youth and families to grow, prepare, and enjoy fruits and vegetables through hands-on cooking and garden education.
To learn more about Mother Earth Produce, or register, visit motherearthproduce.com. Customers can use coupon code BB2018 for $15 off of their first delivery.