Fans of Nashville’s dearly-departed Plumgood grocery delivery business can now rejoice! No, Plumgood isn’t returning, but Green BEAN Delivery is expanding from the Midwest to the Nashville area and offers an extensive selection of produce and groceries for home delivery.
Green BEAN’s PR team reached out to me and asked me if I’d like to receive a trial bin to check out the service. Well, sure! Despite the fact that I have a flexible schedule, I sometimes have difficulty making it to the grocery store. Frankly, I really don’t enjoy shopping for groceries at all. And to completely stock my kitchen requires trips to the farmers' markets (plural), Publix, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. I spend way too much time shopping for groceries. So I was happy to discover that Green BEAN carries a lot of the items I like (except TJ’s, of course) and they’ll deliver right to my door!
Of course, it’s not super cheap, but the prices are on par with Whole Foods and the better quality items at Publix. And they even carry some items that aren’t at my other stops, such as Provence breads and Bourbon Barrel soy sauce.
Here’s how it works: you sign up, put in your credit card info and between noon on Thursday and noon on Monday, you browse the shop and decide what you want for the upcoming week. There’s a $35 minimum and if you choose a combo bin (which is a mix of produce and groceries, which most of us would get), you just have to commit to $28 of produce and at least $7 of grocery items. Essentially, they want you to eat your fruits and veggies (and herbs) and support farmers.
The produce is a mix of conventional and organic, mostly sourced from the U.S., but some from Mexico and Tropical regions (ginger and kiwi, for example). A lot of the produce comes from the company’s own farms in Indiana and Ohio. And they try to incorporate grocery items from local markets as well. In Nashville, not only can you get Provence breads, but also Hatcher milk, Bongo Java coffee, eggs from Summertown’s Willow Farms, local honey, and treats from Nashville Toffee Company. The selection of goods (including meats, if that's your thing and bulk goods and other groceries) is outstanding (though you may not be able to see it until after you sign up and after Thursday at noon).
If your favorites aren’t available, they also take requests and try to accommodate when possible. For example, in the future, I’d like to see perhaps some prepared foods from Corner Market Catering and Lazzaroli Pasta (particularly since I think this service would benefit busy folks who don’t have a lot of time to cook) as well as produce and even flowers from local farms. Though I’ll still have to go to Publix for my Santitas, it seems.
Anyhoo, it’s pretty cool. There are no registration or membership fees and you can cancel any time or suspend if you don’t want anything for a week or two or go out of town. And if your address isn’t in the delivery area (which is actually pretty big and extends even to Hendersonville, Lebanon and Murfreesboro), you can opt to have it delivered to your workplace or pick it up at their warehouse out by the airport. I did have a snafu with my first week suspended not getting recorded properly, but the customer service team got me squared away.
My first bin arrived around 6pm; though it says arrival between noon and 8pm, they strive for later deliveries to accommodate folks who work outside the home (which is likely most of their market). I got some avocadoes, bok choy, broccoli, grape tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and a few other items as well as the aforementioned Willow Farm eggs and Bourbon Barrel soy sauce. The quality of the produce was very good. The only thing I didn’t like was not being able to pick my own sweet potatoes. I cut mine raw, so I prefer skinny ones. This is a minor issue, of course that I will remedy by just not ordering sweet potatoes! There are plenty of other items to choose from.
Everything was packaged well and very fresh and all of it fit in their cool green bin with a giant freezer pack in it. You hang on to that bin until your next delivery, put it outside on delivery day, and they take it back with them. For people who cancel, they'll just come get your bin at an appointed time.
If you’d like to try Green BEAN for yourself, I have a code for you to use to get a $15 credit on your first bin (it’s also good for reactivations). This code is good through May 2, 2015, so you have plenty of time to decide! Just enter bc6leea in the promo code section when you've configured your first order (remember; you can only do that between noon Thursday and noon Monday; you can sign up any time but you can only configure the bin/cart during that time frame). I think it's a great service, not just for busy people, but for those who might have some other reason for less access to fresh, good quality produce and food.
For more information, check out their guide to getting started (it's so easy) and see the "about" page to learn more about the company's (admirable) philosophy, how they got started, and how they intend to grow. And finally, 5 Reasons You'll Love Green BEAN (Biodynamic Education Agriculture Nutrition).