Thursday, January 10, 2013

It Was A Good Day: SPUD Showed Up At My Door

I'm not a fan of going to the grocery store; the crowded parking lot, the long lines, the unflattering lighting. And it's even worse during the holidays, although I have to admit I did get an adrenaline rush out of wrestling that woman over that last Christmas ham. (Sorry, mom – hope your shoulder heals.)

So I was thrilled when I was asked to check out, a company that delivers locally grown organic produce and groceries right to your door. All the great stuff that I usually seek out at the grocery store, magically appearing in my kitchen with just a click of a mouse. Too bad the lighting in my office doesn't flatter my chin any better.

Here's a little bit about, from their website:
In 1997, SPUD.COM was founded based on the idea that there was a better, more sustainable way to buy groceries. Not only was there an opportunity to directly connect communities with local farmers and food producers, ordering food online and using a just-in-time home delivery system meant a better product and convenience for customers.

When you purchase local food, you are involved in an important movement that contributes to your local economy, improves food security, reduces your environmental impact and provides more nutrient rich foods.
  • Over 50% of our products are locally sourced, which creates jobs and reduces transportation emissions.
  • Our goal is to buy from as many local farms and suppliers as possible. By buying locally, you get fresher, tastier food and help support your local community.
  • We sell a growing list of Fair Trade products guaranteeing better wages and conditions for farmers and food producers
  • 100% of our produce is either certified organic or local and sustainably produced, while over 50% of our grocery items are organic with the remainder being naturally produced with no chemicals or preservatives. We sell a variety of eco-friendly products like recycled toilet paper and phosphate-free detergents.
  • Our delivery service reduces pollution and congestion. When a van leaves our warehouse with 100 orders, it decreases the number of vehicles on the road.
I was impressed with the selection of products on – several varieties of baguette, for instance (including a dark chocolate one that I resisted in a favor of a plain one) and lots of cheeses (including our choice, a Dubliner white cheddar.) Plenty of locally-grown, organic produce – from the everyday (apples and bananas) to my favorite Japanese squash (Kabocha.) And a big selection of staples like canned beans, tomatoes, rices, pastas and grains to keep your pantry stocked. The only thing missing: the current issue of People magazine I always pick up at the check-out line.

And best of all – on most products I found the prices comparable with my local grocery store; $2.89 for that aforementioned Artisan baguette, $4.89 for the cheese. A bag of broccoli florets was $4.99, the same price of its non-organic counterpart at the grocery store. Add to all this the $4.99 I saved from not buying that People and I think I definitely came out ahead, although woefully uninformed about Kim Kardashian's recent OB visit.

(One unique feature – has some special product categories you can shop by, including Fair Trade, 100 Mile Diet,  Local and Picks For Kids.)

I placed my order right before Christmas, and it was scheduled to arrive just as we were leaving on a short vacation during the week before New Year's. This was perfect, as we were set to stay at a cabin in Yosemite, one without phone service or internet. I knew I was going to need a lot of food to keep my mind off of all my friends' Facebook posts of cute cats I was missing.

The food arrived just on schedule, in sturdy plastic crates. All the food was packaged for maximum freshness – cold foods were packed in silver insulated pouches with ice packs and frozen food with dry ice. Part of my order included frozen chicken breasts and they were frozen solid when they arrived. (Added bonus: Those silver pouches make awesome evening bags – finally I can take a sandwich to the opera!)

While shopping for groceries on will probably not eliminate my trips to my local grocery store entirely, I do intend to use it as a way to get more organic and locally grown produce into my kitchen. And I can't wait to try it out for my next big holiday get-together – although I will miss fighting over those last few Easter hams.

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive product for review from Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery, a company that sources local and fresh produce for delivery to your doorstep, as part of a campaign with All opinions are my own. 

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