In an age of Just Eat, where any food is literally at your fingertips, why not organic produce?
Fresh food at your fingertips is what Lee Snider of Green Porch serves up every week.
Snider is the owner/operator of Green Porch in London – an Ontario co-operative that supplies customers with a box full of fresh, organically farmed produce, delivered right to their door. Ordering is done entirely online.
It’s an affordable way to transition to eating organic, Snider says. For the price of one night’s take-out, you could get a week’s worth of fresh, organic produce without setting foot in the grocery store. Clients can choose weekly or biweekly options, with prices ranging from $31-$61.
Green Porch is a co-operative based out of Stoney Creek, serving 28 territories throughout southern Ontario. Snyder has been serving London customers for three months.
Hitting the road
He recently met up with LondonFuse for a chat along his Green Porch delivery run.
On this day, he has about 20 boxes, the contents of each pre-ordered by the customer online. Today’s deliveries are mostly in the north end of the city, but it begins with a stop on a quiet street west of the Thames.
Lee pulls into a driveway and unloads a box from the back, checking to make sure the order is correct. A knock at the door, a friendly exchange, and it’s back behind the wheel and on to the next stop.
Business is slowly climbing, he says, now that market season is winding down.
Green Porch pairs with organic farmers to offer the most local food possible. Because it is all grown using organic guidelines, there are no pesticides or chemicals used and the environmental impact is kept to a minimum.
Filling the void
Eating locally is making a huge resurgence. The closer to home it’s grown, the better it is for everybody, Snider says – especially when it’s pesticide and GMO free.
The produce he delivers is either certified organic or near-organic. Near-organic produce is grown with the same stipulations as organic, but is uncertified. Green Porch is always on the lookout for new, local sources.
“We’re actively seeking out new farmers,” he says. “The hope is to minimize our footprint.”
In addition to produce, Green Porch offers a variety of boutique organic products. Customers can order cereal, snacks and a host of other organic offerings through their website.
Snider is very active in promoting his business – going to local cafes, setting up fruit stands, even supplying food for a vegan cooking class at Veg-Fest this November.
Meanwhile, he is hitting social media hard and even kicking it old school with cards, posters and good, old-fashioned word of mouth.
It’s hard work, but he’s set on building a business.
“I’d like to get to the point where I could hire a couple drivers,” Snider says. “And make this my main focus.”
On the job
While the majority of his customer base is at the residential doorstep, he also has corporate clients, who use Green Porch for healthy office options.
Over at StreetCity Realty on York Street, Lee is greeted with friendly hellos from the staff. His mission – restock the fridge with fresh fruit for the week. An extra touch of class – Lee personally refills the fruit bowl. Apples, bananas, berries… whatever is in season is in the box.
A short conversation and a photo later, he’s on the road again, heading north to complete his run.
As the organic movement continues to gain steam, a service like Green Porch is poised to fill the need.
Snider’s passion for healthy, sustainable food carries over nicely in his work with Green Porch.
You might even say it’s organic.
Feature photo by Gerard Creces