Monday, January 10, 2011

In Search of People for a Neighborhood Produce Box

There has been some discussion on Sloopin in the past about fresh produce, but we recently received an email from a reader in search of people to help get a produce box drop point:

Hi Sloopy,

I'm writing to you because I was hoping that through your blog, I would be able to see how much interest there would be in getting a produce box drop off location in the south loop.


A produce box is a weekly collection of fruits and vegetables that comes from local farms that changes weekly. Normally you pick them up from a store or have them delivered to your house for an extra fee. I spoke with the people up at New Leaf in Rogers Park whom I used to get the produce box from while living in that part of the city. They told me that if they had 5 consistent customers in the area and we can find a central location for a drop off point, which I was hoping could be South Loop Market or Panozzos, participants would not have to pay the delivery charge that is
normally associated with this part of this part of the city. Here is a link of an example of what normally comes in New Leafs produce box. These boxes are a great deal for the money and considering how busy (and expensive) whole foods is, I'm sure that people in the hood would be interested. Let me know what you think.

Also, I really feel like a running store would kill in the South Loop with all the runners in the area and the proximity to the lake. What can we do to make a Fleet Feet or Universal Sole take a look down here? Let me know, as I would be more than happy to help.

The produce box is an interesting idea, so are any Sloopsters interested? Chime in.

In regard to the readers second point, we couldn't agree more about a running store. We've had some success when people from the blog reach out via email to the companies of interest. With that said, here is a link to Fleet Feet Corporate or here is there email address: info@fleetfeet.com. Again, have at it and let them know you want a running store.

Judging by how many people are out and about running (at least when it's a little warmer), it seems like a great fit.

(Hat Tip: JF!)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that a produce box drop-off point would be a great fit. I certainly would make use of it.

Anonymous said...

There already is one or at least there was one. The pickup was at the South Loop elementary school.

Anonymous said...

The South Loop school one has been discontinued. Found this on their website.

"Since the Vegetable Basket Fundraiser has struggled to reach the minimum amount of orders each week (10 order minimum) and has had ongoing issues with missing baskets, we'll be discontinuing the program as of 1/10/11."

Diana Sheng said...

We have something similar in our building 910 S. Michigan. I'm not sure what company it is with though. Fleet Feet might do well in our area. I absolutely love running in our area. It's gorgeous and not overcrowded.

HumbleKitchen said...

We have something similar in our building 910 S. Michigan. I'm not sure what company it is with though. Fleet Feet might do well in our area. I absolutely love running in our area. It's gorgeous and not overcrowded.

Anonymous said...

I would take advantage of this if pick up was at Panozzos. I would also consider South Loop Market, but would much prefer Panozzos.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely participate in the produce box. South Loop
Elementary was doing one, which I participated in as well, yet I didn't think there wasn't much "advertising" to the community about it and it was just recently discontinued. I would love another opportunity to have a produce box in the neighborhood and would help if needed!

Anonymous said...

Why not just pay Newleaf Grocery the $5 delivery charge and have it come to your door? Super easy and convenient.
The fruits and veggies are great and the newsletter with recipe ideas which arrives a few days ahead of the box is a great touch!
And the driver is a real nice guy~

264274 said...

I would definitely participate in the Produce box drop-off. I agree Whole Foods is usually very crowded and alittle pricey. This option is more affordable and South Loop Market is closer to my house. Not to mention 5 orders a week will not be hard to fulfill. Let's do it!

SouthLoopScot said...

Produce, meh... Fleet Feet, yes!

JJ said...

I've looked for a CSA program for the past few years and here are a few that have worked for me:

Harvest Moon Farms - pickup on Friday at Lush (14th & Halsted). Maybe we could request they make a Michigan Ave delivery if we have enough applications?
http://www.harvestmoon-farms.com/

Irv & Shelly's Freshpicks - includes delivery and you can pick out other perishable items just like you would do with Pea Pod.
http://www.freshpicks.com/cms/

Anonymous said...

We need a south loop running club too. A running store would be an awesome addition to the neighborhood. It became much more apparent we need this with the last Chicago Marathon. I like Fleet Feet or Running Away. Although Nike Town is down the street, it isn't South Loop. We have the location, the people, the events, the runners. If we had any of this, maybe our neighbor street fair (Bash on Wabash) would do better.

G3ekGir1 said...

I ran the South Loop School program. We advertised by word of mouth, a Facebook page, Twitter, email blasts twice a week to everyone at the school plus everyone on the mailing list, an announcement at the "State of the South Loop" meeting, flyers and posters inside and out of the school, and even sent an email to Sloopin (but it was never mentioned) but we still struggled to get enough orders per week to meet the minimum of 10 orders. I think everyone liked the idea but not sure why more people weren't placing orders. There were also issues of school being closed on pickup days. If I could find a more consistent, secure dropoff location and if more people will order, I'd happily get it going again!!

Anonymous said...

Conceptually, a great idea. $15 to $33 weekly, however, is not the easiest pill to swallow during this protracted recovery. Not sure how these prices compare with those of Whole Foods.

Anonymous said...

We participated in a CSA last summer too (also Harvest Moon Farms) and loved it. I am considering doing it again this year but would look at something closer to home that I can stop by for a pickup on my way home from work. As for Fleet Feet, I'm not a runner but any retail in the area would be welcome!

Anonymous said...

Is Newleaf all organic or pesticide free? Looked on their site and could not tell. If so, count me in. And count another vote for a South Loop Fleet Feet - I travel to the Lincoln Park on when I need something but would buy more often if it was closer and also join their weekly running group.

Ms. Waldock said...

Fleet Feet == YES!

Produce/CSA drop-off == YES!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The produce drop-box is a great idea. I am definitely interested. Please email me at iulia_ilie@yahoo.com
Thank you

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in participating in a CSA weekly produce program as well if we can get a drop off location. Please email me @ ingibingi@gmail.com.
Thank you!

SouthLoopRunning said...

Since someone mentioned running and the need for a running club in the South Loop, I'm part of a small group starting the South Loop Running Club.

We'd love to get a great group of runner together!