CSP Team Note: This interview was conducted by The Produce Box. This is a super fun giveaway, and what a perfect time of year for it! Fresh food delivered to our door? Sign. Us. Up. Enjoy getting to know them!!
Mom of two and locavore Courtney Tellefsen, founder of The Produce Box, sat down with us to talk about their service for busy Charlotte families during this food-centric, time-scarce season.
And, as a special bonus for Smarties, The Produce Box is giving away a limited number of free boxes to new members. See more details below and enter here for your chance to win.
We know families are always looking for easier ways to feed a crowd. What makes The Produce Box any different than Blue Apron or other delivery meal boxes?
Our service brings the best of the farmers’ market to your front door with the added bonus of customizable options beyond fruit and veggies. We were founded to help busy families eat a variety of delicious options and put their food budget into the pockets of local farmers without the hassles of a weekly farmers’ market visit or a weekly CSA pickup.
Pre-prepped meal box services have certain advantages, but they come with a mountain of plastic packaging and lock you into a pre-selected menu that doesn’t favor picky eaters. Often the recipes contain high levels of sodium and ingredients that were prepped in a factory-style facility states away. Most importantly, they don’t connect dollars back to the local economy or farmers and small business artisans right here in North Carolina.
Right now, we’re gearing up for the holidays with seasonal items like local hams from Cheshire Farms, relish-ready cranberries, local broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans and Apple & Pumpkin Pies from Slice Pie Company — all designed to make your farm-to-table Thanksgiving as easy as possible!
How does membership work?
Families join The Produce Box and then log into our webstore (which we just redesigned this year!) every weekend to order for the following week. We then pack boxes with orders and our team of local neighborhood coordinators hand-deliver your order to your doorstep.
I love that we’ve made it easy to skip deliveries, swap box contents, and add on items, or just let our service run on auto-pilot to deliver the best of each season every week. All of that is set up to make The Produce Box work around the busy lives of our members.
Where does the food come from?
We’ve cultivated a network of more than 50 farmers from the North Carolina coast to the mountains who send us the best of what they’re growing in their fields, orchards, and greenhouses. We also bring in regional items to help our members get the staples they are used to, all from one source!
Each week we introduce members to a new farmer who’s grown the food they’re about to enjoy. We take #knowyourfarmer very seriously.
Does membership help me use what’s in my box?
Absolutely! It’s easy to get overwhelmed with life and family, so we email recipes to each member each week based on what’s in their box. Our in-house chef designs new recipes just for us, too. We also have some exciting things in the works — like a mobile app! — to help members get the most out of their boxes.
How does TPB work with the community in Charlotte?
We’re local from the ground up, starting with the neighborhood coordinators who deliver our boxes all over Charlotte to my teammate TPB Ambassador Julie Jackson (see her Smarty Mom post from last year here).
Our community of members also pay it forward by donating boxes and funds to support farmers and families in need. Each week, members can (and do!) donate food to the hungry, which we then deliver to community partners like Second Harvest Foodbank of Metrolina to distribute.
Smarty Giveaway: Receive a free box from The Produce Box
Enter to receive a free box from The Produce Box, as a special bonus for our busy readers and new members. Value is $25. You have until November 15 to enter. One box per household.
About the Produce Box
The Produce Box delivers boxes of fresh, North Carolina local fruits and vegetables to the doorsteps of its members across the state. Members receive an e-mail each Friday with what’s in season and expected to come out of the field the next week. They have until Sunday night to choose online to order a pre-packaged box filled with produce, pick their own items to be delivered or skip for the coming week at no charge. There are no contracts, long-term commitments or confusing points systems to keep track of.