Local Food Delivery Service Started in St. Stephen

By Lura Jackson

Earlier this summer, a unique business was started in St. Stephen, offering its clients a steady, weekly delivery service of fresh local food. Andrene “Ande” Mosher started her service (called “The Beet”) as a way to fulfill what she saw was a pressing need. 

Trained as a civil engineer, Mosher formulated the idea after returning home from a contract in Texas and experiencing her own difficulty in getting locally grown produce. “At first I decided I’d start my own garden. Then all my friends came and raided it—that’s when it really occurred to me that there was such a high demand.” 

The Beet began with 12 clients in its first week, and has since increased to 90 (which is the upper limit for this season), almost entirely through word of mouth. Mosher handles every aspect of the business herself, including contacting each farmer to check availability, transporting and delivering the foods, and putting out a newsletter for each client to read. The newsletter provides information on how many kilometers on average each vegetable traveled, as well as recipes for potentially unfamiliar vegetables.

“The more local the better,” Mosher says. Buying local reduces the travel time of vegetables, which begin to rapidly degrade in their vitamin content after a few days. “We are very careful about getting food picked within a day or two of picking up and delivering.”

Two options are provided for clients to choose from (a bushel at $38 a week or a peck at $28), along with the ability to opt for more greens (for juicing) or bread made from grain grown in New Brunswick. “You get between 10 and 15 vegetables a week in a peck, which is the amount recommended for us to consume—and, it’s grown how we’re supposed to consume it,” Mosher explains. “People think of organic as out of their price range, but it’s not true. Healthy food should not be more expensive.”

Key to Mosher’s concept is creating a link between farmer and buyer. She stresses that many people with backyard gardens may not consider themselves farmers, but they may still produce more food than they need. Making that accessible to the community opens the potential for much healthier eating. “We can’t always be perfect [in our eating habits] but we can try to make the right choice when it becomes a possibility.” 

For more information on The Beet, including viewing a sample peck, visit www.facebook.com/thebeetfoods, or contact Ande at 506-465-0992.