Delivering the farmers market to your door
In today’s online shopping environment, everything from clothing to books to food items can be purchased and shipped with a click. While there are national companies that deliver groceries to the home, locally owned Brewers Organics, based in Lincoln Warehouse, is an online business delivering bountiful boxes of fresh, certified-organic and organically grown produce right to the home or office.
Brandon and Amanda Ferguson have owned Brewers Organics since Jan. 1, 2014. They purchased it from Lucinda Clark, who started the company in 2012. At that time, Amanda had worked as development director at Hope House Milwaukee, a food pantry and family shelter on the South Side. Clark contacted her with the interest of donating produce to the Hope House. Amanda began helping with additional duties at Brewers Organics and expressed interest in purchasing the business, and it just so happened that Clark wanted to sell.
Brandon emphasizes that Brewers Organics is an organic produce delivery company first and foremost, and customers can add on artisan groceries to produce orders. “When it comes to produce, we try to offer as much locally grown produce as we can, but obviously the growing season in Wisconsin is short, so it’s kind of a fast and furious three months,” he said. Thanks to agricultural advances such as hoop houses and aquaponics, they can offer items such as greens, microgreens and herbs from area growers.
Organic items such as bananas, milk and bulk snack mixes are also available from the weekly menus. Because of a more limited local selection during the winter months, the Fergusons began adding products such as meat, cheese, eggs, coffee roasted to order, honey, and tea from Wisconsin vendors.
All Brewers Organics’ produce is either certified organic or grown through organic methods. Organic certification is a lengthy and expensive process, Brandon notes, and it can be cost prohibitive for smaller farmers that still grow organically. He said that before they choose to partner with a non-certified farm, they tour the farm and talk to the farmers to make sure that they’re growing only through organic methods. If a farm is not certified, it is disclosed on the website.
Brewers Organics uses a sophisticated yet user-friendly online system that allows customers to go to the website and create an account. From their accounts, customers can update delivery schedules and even indicate their likes and dislikes. “If we put together a menu of items and we’re sending out kale that week, and our customer selected in their account that they dislike kale, our system will recognize that and automatically swap out kale for something they do like,” Brandon said.
Customers receive emails Friday evenings, informing them that the menu is up and they can start customizing their menus. Customers have through 8 a.m. Monday morning to swap out or customize their deliveries or add food items from the shop. Deliveries are made on Wednesday and Thursday to Southeast Wisconsin, Madison and the Fox Cities.
“Customers never get anything they don’t want,” Brandon emphasizes. “We want to deliver stuff they’re going to use and enjoy.” The service is not subscription-based, so customers are not locking themselves into a long-term commitment, and there are no cancellation fees.
For more information, visit BrewersOrganics.com.