Local and Organic Foods : for All Generations
Jan 04, 2012 08:31PM
● By Beth Davis
Amber Van Wert and Lori Stansberry at VegFest
by Beth Davis
Lori Stansberry had earned a bachelor’s degree in marine science and a master’s degree in environmental science. She spent years working in cancer research, and had lived in many parts of the country gaining valuable life experiences. After her first child was born, she felt compelled to do something that really mattered; something that would combine her education and experiences to truly make a difference. What she came up with was Pure Sprouts Organic Delivery—Lehigh Valley’s answer to buying local, organic produce and other organic foods.
“I had always been health conscious and did my best to eat well despite time constraints,” explains Stansberry. “I wanted to make it easier for busy people like me to have access to local, organic food. And, what better way to make a difference than by promoting sustainable living, healthy eating, decreasing our carbon footprint, and helping our Earth?”
She started speaking with local farmers and searching for similar companies that had a good business model. She found a man in Austin, Texas, who ran a successful organic delivery service. He took her under his wing, steered her in the right direction, and in 2009, Pure Sprouts was born to supply health-conscious customers with fresh, high quality, naturally-grown food through convenient home delivery.
“Having my own children made me look at the world from a new perspective,” she says. “It really made me think about what it would be like for my kids. Would local farms even exist?” She said these thoughts made her want to increase the market for local foods and support local farmers. Plus, she wanted to ensure that her children know where food actually comes from—and give other children that same opportunity.
All of the products offered by Pure Sprouts are naturally grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides. Stansberry and her team research each providing farm to confirm that they meet the company’s mission of naturally-grown products. Developing relationships with local farms is a top priority. The company works with about 37 local farms and businesses—including those in the Lancaster area—and they make sure to visit each one and get to know the people growing the food.
Because Pure Sprouts delivery is available year round, when local produce is not available, Stansberry says they purchase from other farms aligned with the company’s sustainability mission.
Food is typically bought one day and then distributed the next, ensuring freshness and quality. A plethora of nutritious options are offered—depending upon the season—including meats and cheeses from grass fed, pasture-raised animals; squash, kale, blackberries, eggs, cabbage, turnips, potatoes, pears, apples, nuts, herbs and so much more.
Customers simply place their order by Wednesday at midnight, and then the Pure Sprouts’ team spends the following day letting all of the farmers know what is needed for the week. The staff currently delivers the goods to customers on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays—and is planning to add a midweek delivery day in early 2012.
The food is delivered in heavy-duty plastic bins. A refundable $10 deposit is charged for the bin on the first delivery. Clients are asked to put their bin out for pick up on their next delivery day so the bins can be reused, which reduces waste and helps the company stay green. If a client cancels the service and returns the bin, they get their money back.
Educating the local community is a key component to the Pure Sprouts mission. They participate in events and outreach programs to expose as many consumers as possible to the benefits of organic goods and sustainable living. “We want people to really think about where their food comes from and why it’s important for not only their own health, but the health of our local community,” says Stansberry.
For more information, call 610-391-1952 or visit PureSprouts.com.