As a foodie and dietitian, I am all for anything that combines healthy food and local businesses. So you can only imagine my excitement when The Produce Box reached out to me and asked if I’d like to give them a try. I had heard of The Produce Box before, but had never had the chance to try it, so I was beyond excited to get to try all sorts of local produce.
For those of you that haven’t heard of The Produce Box, it is a local company founded by Courtney Tellefsen. Courtney started The Produce Box back in 2007 when she was a stay-at-home mom, wondering where her food was coming from and how she could support local farmers. In the ten years that The Produce Box has been in business, they have grown to support over 70 farmers and 90 artisan food businesses across the state. They have even grown into different markets, now serving the Triangle, but Wilmington, Charlotte, Fayettville, and the Triad.
So how does The Produce Box work? Once you sign up, each Friday you will get an email showing you what is on the menu for the next week. You can look through all of the products that will be available to your area. The Produce Box offers a number of different options. You can choose from one of their many curated boxes; everything from a Harvest Box, Fruit Box, Mini Harvest Box, and many more. You can also chose to create your own box and pick from everything that is available that week. Even if you do choose a curated box, you can always pick add-ons if you’d like to buy anything from a local artisan shop. Some of these products include cheeses, meat, eggs, granola, jam, and tons of other options. You have until that Sunday to lock in your choices, since your box will be delivered on Wednesday. For my first box I decided to create a custom box. In the box I got Bronze Scuppernong Grapes ($4.25), Kale ($2.75), Organic Baby Sweet Potatoes ($3.50), Organic Roma Tomatoes ($3.75), Pepper Variety ($3.15), a Personal-Sized Watermelon ($2.75), and Peach Goat Cheese ($7.00). My Neighborhood Coordinator also threw in some delicious plums as a welcome gift!
On the morning of my first Produce Box drop-off, I got an email from my local Neighborhood Coordinator, who delivers all of the Produce Boxes in my neighborhood. I love that The Produce Box truly keeps it local, not only with the food they sell, but also with the employees that deliver the boxes. The fact that one of my neighbors was delivering my box just made it feel like I was really becoming part of a community. Since I was receiving Goat Cheese with my box, I got an email asking me to leave a cooler with an ice pack outside. When I got home, everything other than the cheese (which was in the cooler) was on my doorstep in a big The Produce Box box. I was so excited to open it up and dig in to all of the fresh produce! While my box was a little more expensive, because I added on the $7 goat cheese, I think the price of the box ($30.75) was extremely affordable for the amount of produce included. I definitely believe that you could make this produce last throughout the week without buying any additional fruits and veggies at the grocery store. Another thing I love about The Produce Box is that they ask you to save your box and leave it outside the next week so that they can reuse it.
I received my second Produce Box (The Harvest Box this time) yesterday morning and I already can’t wait to use all of the goodies that are inside. I am loving The Produce Box so far. Not only am I getting amazing, fresh, healthy food, but I’m also supporting local farmers and small businesses. For anyone who loves their fruits and veggies and is looking for an awesome way to support the local community, I would definitely suggest giving The Produce Box a try.
The Produce Box has also extended an exciting offer to all of our readers. Visit http://bit.ly/TriFoodies to receive $10 off your first box!
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to an event or to try a restaurant or certain products. This meal or items are usually comped, as this was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.
Melissa Guido is currently a dietetic intern in the Triangle area. She studied nutrition at NC State and Meredith College. Her favorite part about nutrition is showing people that healthy food can be exciting and delicious. Melissa loves traveling and learning about how food fits into different cultures. In her free time she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, and obsessing over her dogs. Follow her on Instagram @made2order and at www.madeorder.wordpress.com.