Organic produce delivered to your door
SUMMIT COUNTY – The season of summer farmer’s markets may be coming to an end, but a pair of Denver entrepreneurs wants to make sure that green-minded folks in Summit County can keep on getting their weekly dose of farm-fresh organic fruits and veggies.Based at the historic downtown Denargo Market, Matt DeGraas and David Gersenson started up Door to Door Organics about seven months ago, and they’ve been delivering boxes of certified organic produce along the Interstate 70 corridor from Idaho Springs to Edwards since mid-August. “I lived in Leadville for a while, so I know how hard it can be to get good organic produce up in the mountains,” DeGraas said”I did this for a few years back East,” said Gersenson, explaining that he recently moved to Denver for a lifestyle change, teaming up with DeGraas to launch the delivery service.The business has taken off as the two men ride a cresting wave of interest in healthy lifestyle choices.
“It’s a good alternative, especially when you factor in the price of gas, the cost of driving to the store,” said Gersenson. “It’s cheaper and fresher, and that means more nutrients in the food,” he added.Right now, during the peak of the growing season, nearly everything the company delivers is grown in Colorado, though during the winter months the produce obviously comes from out of state, primarily California and Arizona.Part of a green lifestyle involves supporting local growers and businesses, and eating fruits and vegetables that grow locally, DeGraas said, explaining that part of their business goal is to promote that philosophy.That same goal is also important to Kathy Jones, who owns Frisco’s Alpine Market. Jones is working with DeGraas and Gersenson, buying some produce and providing some storage space, but she’s also concerned about the impact on her store’s produce sales if the delivery service takes off.”We’re all trying to promote the health benefits of organics,” said Jones, explaining that green businesses tend to help each other. “We support getting organic products into the hands of as many people as possible.”The advantages of shopping at a local store are obvious. For one, you’re supporting a locally owned business, and it’s always good to be able to squeeze and smell a melon before you drop in your basket.
And while Door to Door customers are committed to buying a full box of produce, a drop-in shopper at Alpine Market can buy a single bunch of parsley, or a handful of fruit, Jones said.Door to Door’s delivery service at this point is limited to produce, but Alpine Market also sells a full line of other products, from snacks to breads, health care products and drinks. And the produce at Alpine Market, especially this time of year, is equally fresh and also comes from local growers.”The green beans, the corn, it’s all picked and in our shop the next day,” Jones said.How it works
Customers can check out Door to Door’s produce selection online, choosing between various-sized boxes. The $20 “Bitty” includes about nine pounds of produce, with four types of fruit and four vegetables, while the largest 30-pound box goes for $53 and includes five or six varieties of fruit and 10-11 types of veggies. Gersenson and DeGraas also send out an e-mail with a link to the menu every Friday.A delivery charge ups the price slightly, although the average price-per-pound still compares favorably with organic produce prices in local supermarkets. If you can get together with some neighbors, there is also a price break for co-op deliveries.Last week’s “Bitty” boxes included carrots, a head of lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, bananas, an eggplant, cucumbers, peaches, pears and apples. DeGraas and Gersenson make the selections based on what’s fresh, although customers can visit the website and make up to three substitutions.For more information, visit http://www.denver.doortodoororganics.com. You can also visit with Door to Door Organics at their Dillon Farmer’s Market booth on Fridays.Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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