In Maine, we have a growing season of about twelve days, stretching sometime between the end of July and the first week of August. Okay, maybe that’s not precisely true. After a long winter, I have only distant memories of the farmer’s market, everything ripe and abundant. We can and do grow many lovely things at the height of summer. But in the winter, it’s a lot of potatoes and root vegetables.
I want to buy local as much as I can, but I also need diverse produce and beautiful proteins from a source I can trust. Convenience is also more of a factor than it has ever been before. Ever try strapping an eight-legged mountain lion into a car seat in the freezing rain? That is what it’s like these days with a one-year-old who thinks her car seat is a tool of oppression. I need to make one stop, or, even better, no stops.
FreshDirect is a service we’ve been lucky enough to use years ago, in a past life in Brooklyn. We were drawn to them initially not just because of how convenient it was to have groceries delivered, living in a city where the regular grocery stores look much more like bomb shelters, but also because of FreshDirect’s focus on finding quality sources for each and every product they sell. Through a network of relationships with local farmers and growers, FreshDirect is able to guarantee fresh produce in a city that sometimes had a hard time producing the kind of quality produce we were used to.
We were preparing for our yearly Memorial Day picnic, a party we threw annually when we were carefree and awesome, where we planned to serve four gallons of potato salad, two slabs of rib per person, plus deviled eggs, corn on the cob, a fruit plate, barbeque chicken, and garlic knots, which we got from this place on Long Island. I found it super helpful that FreshDirect has no penalties when altering or changing your order before delivery. I kept making revisions to the menu and the site totally accommodated my pre-party panic.
The night before the party, boxes and boxes of gorgeously packed, beautiful food arrived, seven perfectly packed cardboard cartons in all, each containing a bounty of fresh vegetables, quality custom-cut butchered meats, an array of cheeses, and fresh seafood, all exactly as we had ordered and arriving precisely on schedule, and with a quality that beat even our local grocery store by a wide margin. We chose to cook for the barbecue ourselves that day, though we did notice that there were plenty of options for ordering whole prepared meals, each prepared by famous chefs.
The party was an all-day intoxicated feast that ended with one of us dancing in the fountain. I’m not going to say who it was. Ordering online was an absolute breeze, with ingenious customized website features that allowed for near perfect order fulfillment. Our order that day arrived exactly when the website said it would, and everything we ordered survived the trip perfectly due to the expert packing by the folks at FreshDirect. I also know I get a great value when I shop online with FreshDirect. That was critical when I was a broke twenty-something in NYC and now, as a wife/mother/blogger, wishing I had paid more attention in home economics class. Budgeting for a family is tough. Our one-year old is tiny, but HUNRGY.
These days, our life looks a little different. I need to feed a family, including a baby whose well-being I am solely in charge of (OMG); cook food worthy of writing about with high quality ingredients, and do it all without making a million stops. It’s important to me to know the origin of the food I feed my family. I am assured that FreshDirect works with small and local farmers so that the food is of the highest quality and reaches the consumer as quickly as possible. If only FreshDirect delivered in my area, I could shop from home (or anywhere using mobile app, which is so cool for moms on the go like me!) and get delivery any day of the week, every day of the year. And on those days I didn’t feel like creating anything more than cocktails, they have freshly prepared meals made by famous chefs. I like what FreshDirect is doing in terms of sustainable agriculture. They are developing relationships with small farmers to source the best for the consumer and the environment. So even if it’s not my local, it is local. Because a Maine girl can’t live on potatoes alone.
Visit FreshDirect.com to learn more about their star rated produce so that you know what is fresh and in season, the great lengths they go through to source the very best food, and how customizable your order can be from deli slices and dietary needs to how and when you want your delivery!