Mike Geller is the founder and owner of Mike’s Organic Delivery, a farm-to-home delivery service which serves Greenwich, Stamford and Darien, CT and parts of Westchester County. Mike took a few minutes off from picking up and delivering farm-fresh food to answer a few questions about his business. Thanks Mike!
Mike’s Organic Delivery. Farm Fresh. Local. Delivered.
Q. How did you arrive at the business concept of direct online sales and delivery of fresh food from local farms to Greenwich consumers’ doors?
I think it is so important to do something that you are passionate about, believe in, and can completely commit to. Having spent my whole life in the lower Fairfield County area, and having worked on farms, been a lifelong gardener, outdoorsman, cook, event planner etc., I saw a way to combine what I loved with what was in demand……fresh, clean, local food. There are many farms around, but with the frenetic pace of life, school pick ups, work, and everything else, people have a hard time getting access to all of this great food. My business takes all of the leg work out of putting great local food on your table.
Q. What foods are included in your basket and what is the minimum order size?
The contents of the basket change dramatically over the course of the year. Every week I include anywhere from 8-14 different fruits and vegetables, depending upon what is in season. Throughout the summer you get everything from apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries and more to 100 kinds of tomatoes, 60 kinds of peppers, leeks, eggplant, corn, and probably 100 other things. The variety of what we can grow in this part of the country is incredible!
The minimum order for the site is $50.
Q. What are some of the seasonal fruits and vegetables now available from the farms you source your produce from?
This past week we had Empire apples, strawberries, heirloom lettuces, garlic scapes (AMAZING), cilantro, mint, English peas, Magda/yellow/ Bush Baby zucchini, spinach, curly leaf kale and basil.
Q. Please name a few of the farms whose products you carry:
I carry vegetables and fruits from Hepworth Farms in Marlboro, NY, eggs and honey from Pine Hill Farm in Sharon, CT, chicken from Gray Horse Farm in Clinton Corners, grass-fed beef from Stuart Family Farm in Bridgewater, CT, and cheese from Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie, NY. I work with about 10 farms and they all have their specialties, whether it’s raising free range heritage pastured pigs, or growing incredible Certified Organic veggies. Farmers are like artists, some are great…..some are Picasso.
Every farm I work with is within 75 Miles of Greenwich, as local as you can get!
Q. Which communities do you serve?
In Connecticut I deliver to Greenwich, Stamford and Darien. In New York I deliver to Rye, Harrison, Rye Brook, Port Chester, Byram, Scarsdale, Bedford, Chappaqua and Armonk. People call all the time from other towns and I always do my best to work it out for them….everyone deserves great food!
Q. Do you source exclusively from organic or sustainable local farms?
All of the farms I work with are either Certified Organic or best practice/sustainable. I do not work with any conventional farms. Animals are raised without hormones, antibiotics or confinement, fruits and veggies are not sprayed with carcinogenic sprays. It is good food grown the right way, period.
Q. What is the procedure for ordering and how often do you make deliveries? Does someone need to be home to accept the delivery?
Ordering is as easy as organic apple pie! You just go to my website, www.mikesorganicdelivery.com, and add items to your cart like on Amazon or any other site. You check out, enter your info, pay with a credit card on our secure system, and you’re done. Orders are taken all week and have to be in by Friday PM for a delivery the following week (usually Tues, Wed or Thurs). The site is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Deliveries are made once a week and a delivery window is emailed to you the Sunday before you get your delivery. I encourage people to be home for their deliveries so we can talk about all the awesome produce and I can give them little cooking tips, but if they aren’t they can just leave a cooler with an ice pack by the door and I load all of the veggies in there for them……Convenience is the name of the game.
Q. What types of customers do you attract and what are some of your top sellers?
I would say that 95% of my clients are moms, many of them young moms with their first children. They want something that is healthy for them and their kids, takes some of the burden off of them as far as shopping, sitting in the car, check out lines, and brings the freshest produce around right to their door!
The best part of my job is getting to watch in awe as a 3-year-old snacks down for the first time on English peas and cherry tomatoes. It’s amazing how many more fruits and veggies children will eat when they actually taste like something. I have about 100 moms who can attest to that!
The Veggie/Fruit Basket is the most popular item; everyone loves it. Behind that I would say: grass-fed rib eye steaks, raw cow’s milk blue cheese (aged 60 days), raw local honey, farm-fresh blue Aracauna eggs (INCREDIBLE) and Italian sausages – people love them!
Q. Do you have institutional clients too?
I work with several companies in Greenwich and deliver cases of fruit to them for their employees to eat at work. It’s an awesome thing to do for their workers and it supports small, local farms in the process, a win all around! I have a few companies who have ordered every week for the last 10 months!
Q. What value added do you provide to the consumer?
There are loads of things I do to make the Mike’s Organic Delivery experience one that is positive and enduring. From little things like removing my sneakers before I set foot in the house to deliver, to customizing a list of recipes every week for what people have in their baskets, speaking at seminars and being available at any time for my clients.
I have also spoken to over 500 children at 5 different schools in the Greenwich area about the importance of local, sustainable farming. Kids really seem to understand how important this movement is and I have fielded some unbelievably insightful questions from 9 years olds. Then they get free apples from “Farmer Mike”.
It is important to me that we all do what we can to help move the local food movement forward and I believe I am a good ambassador for the wonderful farmers whose food so many people now get to enjoy through my service.
Q. Fuel costs certainly consume a large part of your budget when gas prices rise. Are you passing these costs along to your consumers?
A. I have not raised my delivery prices since I started the business one year ago. It has remained a flat $10 no matter how much you order. It works for me and people like that it is simple and straight forward.
Q. Are you open all year?
12 months a year! I only close the business for a total of 3 weeks the entire year and you can still place your orders while we are closed, the site is open 365 days per year!
To learn more about Mike’s Organic Delivery, please visit their website, www.mikesorganicdelivery.com.