by Troy Bishopp
With the recent headline of cyber-attacks on JBS meat plants and the intense stress of the pandemic on the food system, it can be comforting for customers to source food from a local, diversified group of farmers. Enter the grassroots company of Delivered Fresh in Columbia Crossroads, PA.
“We bring the freshest and healthiest food from our farms to your family,” say farmer owners David and Marla Nowacoski of WindStone Landings Farms, the headquarters of Delivered Fresh. A farm-to-table food delivery service, Delivered Fresh was founded in 2018 and boasts 5,000 customer accounts and employs nearly a dozen people. Delivered Fresh vehicles travel 1,800 miles each week, gathering products from more than 60 individual farms. Nowacoski calls his territory the “four corners” – it covers a large section of northern Pennsylvania and southern New York.
In an April 2018 New York Times feature article, Nowacoski stated that Amazon and other big retailers have conditioned consumers to expect a higher level of convenience. “This is where society is going, and we have to figure out how the small farm plays a role in it,” he said.
Delivered Fresh receives orders online, gathers those products from local farms, then boxes them and delivers to customers’ doors within a guaranteed timeframe. More than 500 products are available, including dairy, cheese, eggs, vegetables, meats and poultry, hummus, dips, sauces, fruits, coffee, tea and beverages, fish and shellfish, soups, broths, pasta, bee products, canned and baked goods, flours and grains, syrups, oils and condiments, sweets and treats, personal care items, housewares and pet items.
Delivered Fresh experienced rapid growth during the pandemic when customers felt more secure with home food delivery. “We started delivering pre-pandemic, but once it hit, everything went crazy. We are closing in on a million dollars of revenue for local farms that might have otherwise been spent in big box grocery stores. It shows the support local farmers have from our community. Knowing that our neighbors are willing to invest is incredibly motivating and appreciated. That’s a big deal – it’s one of our goals to help small farms distribute their products,” he said. In 2021, there is a slowdown, but he noted sales are trending up more than 30%.
Products are purchased by Delivered Fresh and there are no distribution fees imposed on farmers. No long-term commitment is asked of customers who place orders, and no minimum purchase is required. Just as in a grocery store, customers select each item and the farmers are sent an email on what is needed for pickup.
Milky Way Dairy owner Kim Seeley, in Troy, PA, said, “David, Marla and their staff work incredibly hard to make connections between farmers and customers. It’s been a valuable, positive service for us to get whole milk in glass bottles and cream and butter in the hands of our local customers. It’s a great company for our region.”
Customer Jennie Borneman Lusk said, “This service makes getting local sourced food so easy! I always mean to buy locally, but having everything available in one place and delivered together has made that desire a reality.”
“Delivered Fresh is the perfect way to put fresh food on the table and support your neighborhood farmers,” commented Marikka James.
“Please know how much we appreciate our customers and fellow farmers. By shopping with us you help dozens of local families in our community. I’m hoping what we are doing might help preserve our small farms, our towns and our communities,” said Nowacoski.
To learn more, visit deliveredfresh.store.