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The Coast News

Urban Fresh Delivery brings fresh produce and more to the people!

David Boylan

The team behind Taste of MainStreet from left Olivia Paccione, Rick Moore, and Dody Crawford
Urban Fresh partners from left Jennifer Richardson and Mackenzie Wilkins. Photo courtesy Urban Fresh Deliveries

One of the pleasures of writing this column is being able to tell the stories of small businesses with huge potential run by passionate entrepreneurs. Urban Fresh Delivery, located right here in North County is one of those outfits. Started by recent college graduates Mackenzie Wilkins and Jennifer Richardson, Urban Fresh Delivery has put an innovative spin on the popular Community Supported Agriculture or CSA concept. I sampled one of their home delivered boxes recently and the freshness and quality of the produce was amazing and led to a very healthy week of eating.

Here are some highlights from a conversation I had with Urban Fresh partner Mackenzie Wilkins.

LTP:
How is Urban Fresh different than a typical CSA?

MW:
One of the main differences between Urban Fresh Delivery and a typical CSA is we do not have our own farm. Instead we have partnered with a variety of certified organic SD county farms that we purchase from directly. This allows us to have a larger variety in our produce boxes because we can pick and choose exactly what is going to go in our boxes each week. The other major differentiating factor is our home delivery! The majority of our customers are busy individuals and families that have a lot going on and can't find time to make it to a central pick up location to get their box. One other thing that separates us from other typical CSA's is our web store. We went out and found some great items our customers can shop which include products such as fresh roasted coffee from Revolution Roasters in Leucadia, raw cold pressed juice from Citizen Juice in Carlsbad, and organic pastured eggs from Ramona!

LTP:
Both you and Jennifer were business and finance majors at Cal Poly, did either of you have an agricultural background prior to Urban Fresh?

MW:
With Jenn being born and raised here in SD and myself growing up on the central coast in Santa Maria, we both grew up in parts of California that have strong ties to agriculture but neither of us had any specific background in Ag. Many of our classmates got great jobs as financial analysts and investment bankers. Needless to say, our professors were a little shocked to learn of our plans to start our own produce delivery company after graduation.

LTP:
What parts of this venture do you enjoy most?

MW:
When we first started the business and we started networking and reaching out to the farmers we were pleasantly surprised at how genuinely nice and caring these individuals are. These farmers are willing to help us in any way they can. We love that we get to deal directly with the farmers and grow that relationship with them. We purchase directly from our farms and it is circulating that money right back into our local economy. We also love providing our customers with a product that can positively impact their lives and help them to live healthier!

LTP:
What local farms do you source from for your delivery boxes?

MW:
A few of the farms we source from are Stehly Farms Organics in Valley Center, Be Wise Ranch in Escondido, JR Organics in Valley Center, La Vigne Organics in Fallbrook, and Go Green Agriculture in Encinitas. All the farms we buy from are certified organic.

LTP:
Tell me about the different boxes you have available and what I might find in each depending on the season.

MW:
We have two different sized boxes, the Garden Box and the Farm Box. Both have 10-12 items with the Farm Box having larger quantities of those items. Our boxes contain both fruits and vegetables with the ratio being about 80% veggies and 20% fruits per box. Right now as we are ending the summer season and transitioning into fall, some things we have been including in our boxes are watermelon, cantaloupe, reed avocados, kale, eggplant, Swiss chard, and bell peppers. We are looking forward to all the winter squashes we will be seeing in the next few months such as butternut and acorn, they make great soups!

Urban Fresh is currently focusing their deliveries on residents of Coastal North Country along with offices, where employees can receive a box at their workplace. They offer tasty recipes on their website each week featuring items that you will find in your produce box. Find details on what’s in season and more at www.urbanfreshdelivery.com.

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