Organic produce delivery boxes are everywhere. The latest, Farmbox Direct, sources fruits and vegetables directly from organic farms and offers subscribers a choice between three sizes and delivery boxes that are customized weekly. If, for example, you don't like the pears on offer, you can swap them out for apples or grapes, for example. (There is also a more affordable All-Natural box available, if you are not an organic devotee.)
We spoke with founder Ashley Tyrner, who hails from Illinois but grew up all over the country. At age 27, with a newborn baby, Tyrner became a food-stamp recipient. After moving to NYC, and launching a career in the fashion industry, she decided to focus on sharing the impact healthy food had on her life by starting Farmbox Direct.
What was your inspiration?
My daughter, she really is the driving force behind me. I want her to grow up knowing that she can do anything she sets her mind to, no matter what stands in her way.
We do offer "natural" produce as well. Personally, I do try to eat organic as much as I can, as I think it goes without saying that if you can eat something without pesticides, its just better. The issue with GMOs, for myself, I just feel people have the right to know, and they can make an educated decision for themselves. Just like if you have a prescription, you have a printout of the ingrediants in that drug, so you can make a decision based on the ingredients if its something you wish to put in your body.
Where are you based and where do you source your produce? And what is most unique about your farm boxes?
Our corporate office is based in NYC, and we have a warehouse in the Midwest. We always try to buy local first. Of course we have to source items that simply do not grow here, like mangoes, kiwi, bananas.
I think the most unique thing about us is that we pioneered shipping a CSA style box to your door. The produce comes in our warehouse at 4am and is out the door by 6 pm with Fedex. The company I founded is working to eradicate the food desert problem America faces, and we literally have to model to do this overnight.