Sustainable, local food delivery comes to NYC.
Mon Mar 15 2010
The service: This throwback delivers several types of milk, including an organic, grass-fed variety, as well as other dairy like butter, cheese and yogurt (from Maple Hill Creamery) to homes in New York City, for a $5 fee and a minimum order of $15. Frank Acosta and Matt Marone ran a similar business in Westchester for years before launching this service in spring of 2008. Their goal is to bring the convenience of the milkman into the 21st century.
Where they deliver: Brooklyn and Manhattan
What you get:According to Acosta, our milkcame straight to our door from an upstate dairy in Oneida County. Deliveries take place early in the morning—since no one likes to rise with the roosters (we greeted Acosta at 5am), you can arrange to give the company a key to your building, or have your doorman accept the milk (you’ll have to provide your own insulated bag). Our half-gallon bottle of rBST-free milk cost $5.98—a price we found to be decent when factoring in the service.
The verdict: If you set up a regular delivery schedule, it would be handy indeed to wake up to a cache of dairy products each week.
Place your order by calling 917-843-0727 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anarchy in a Jar
The service: Working out of her Clinton Hill apartment, Pratt assistant professor Laena McCarthy creates innovative jams ($6-$10) that she sells locally at shops like Greene Grape Provisions, and delivers Sundays by bicycle, free of charge, to private homes.
Where they deliver: Brooklyn and Manhattan, south of 14th Street
What you get: On a recent Sunday afternoon, the bubbly McCarthy paused to chat for ten minutes when she dropped off our minimum order of two jars of preserves. She showed up a bit late, but was considerate enough to keep us posted via text message. The jars are charming, featuring hand-stamped labels and colorful accordion-folded booklets that state the company’s mission.
Easy Like Sunday Morning blueberry-maple jam proved an ideal toast topper, and savory lime-and-pandan marmalade was designed with meat in mind, but we liked it with peanut butter.
The verdict: Nothing to lose here: Delivery by bike is personable and eco-friendly; the jam is packed with flavor and has a made-with-love presentation.
Place your order by calling 347-987-0439 or emailing email@example.com.
Basis Good Food to You
The service: Launched in summer 2008 by fresh-food enthusiast and entrepreneur Bion Bartning, Basis has established relationships with more than 50 farms through its Farm to Chef Program, which brings local ingredients to New York City restaurants. Aspiring to reach consumers directly, Basis started a home- and office-delivery program for sustainable produce and pantry staples earlier this year. The company also plans to open its first storefront on West 14th Street in 2010, with four other locations around the city to follow.
Where they deliver: cargo-bike delivery to Manhattan below 59th Street; communal drop-offs can be set up anywhere in the tri-state area
What you get: Basis encourages groups of five or more households to select a shared drop-off point to save on fees; while we waited weeks for the harried staff to arrange a location on the Lower East Side, Basis introduced bike delivery for $9.50. That’s how we got our order of the week’s crop of farm-raised veggies ($19 per week for 12 servings) including kale, lettuce, leeks, radishes and carrots, along with Crop to Cup coffee (ten ounces for $10) and a loaf of Orwasher’s bread ($6.50).
The verdict: The service combines the fun and seasonality of a CSA with the convenience of delivered groceries, making it a good bet for busy locavores who don’t mind paying Greenmarket or slightly higher prices and transport charges. For now, drop-off points are limited and frankly, a hassle to arrange. You can skip all that by opting for the cargo bike.
Place your order by calling 212-334-5544 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The service: Since 2009, this East Village company has been mixing unique seasonal ice creams, in flavors like salty caramel and maple pine nut, using local ingredients.
Where they deliver: downtown Manhattan; up to Central Park North starting in April
What you get: Subscribers pay $50 to have one pint (a choice of two flavors) brought to their door monthly for three months. We scheduled an afternoon time slot for our delivery—a pint of red velvet ice cream. It arrived courtesy of self-taught ice-cream maker and MilkMade co-owner Diana Hardeman (about twenty minutes late, but she did text us with an ETA). Inside the container was cheesecake ice cream made from Ronnybrook milk, with satisfying hunks of red-velvet cake from Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery.
The verdict: Pricey, but worth it for ice-cream lovers who can justify the splurge and want to support a small business.
Place your order by calling 415-246-7503 or e-mailing email@example.com.
The service: Bushwick artists Michelle Lopez and Christian Brachvogel started this lunch-delivery service last summer, to feed fellow artists with few nearby lunch options. Farmcart creates sandwiches, salads and treats, like homemade brownies, made from Greenmarket-sourced ingredients when possible.
Where they deliver: Bushwick and Manhattan, from Canal to 59th Street
What you get: The company sells its wares from a cart in Bushwick (in the courtyard at 117 Grattan Street) and at local cafs, but will also deliver lunches to Manhattan (a minimum order of six lunchboxes, up to $15 each), and within Bushwick. Our batch arrived fresh and on time, each item packaged Mom-style in wax-paper, and in paper bags stamped with the Farmcart logo. (A typical lunch includes chips, nuts and a sandwich for $12—salad costs $3 extra). Standouts include a prosciutto-apple-Brie sandwich on (nonsoggy) Sullivan Street Bakery multigrain bread.
The verdict: A healthier-than-usual option for meetings and gatherings. The price point isn’t astronomical, and the foods are assembled with care.
Place your orderby calling 917-428-9155 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.