Photo courtesy of The Advocate
People often ask us about some of the creative and interesting things we do in our effort to feed our growing family. In this post, I plan to share two of the things we do.
One of those things has gotten a lot of attention lately since our local newspaper, The Advocate, did a feature article on it and my picture was at the top of the page.
During our pick-up last month, a photographer from the paper came out and talked to several of us and I was pictured on the truck helping the driver unload boxes to the other customers.
We're a part of a local food co-op that allows us to pick up our orders once a month from a company called Azure Standard.
The way it works is pretty simple. It involves the following steps
1) Go to AzureStandard.com and create an account.
2) Add items to your cart and place an order by the deadline
3) Pick up items on the drop date and help unload the truck
There are thousands of items. Not just food items, but household items as well. Some are better priced, some are better quality, and some of the same quality that you would get at a local store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or something along those lines.
Some of the food comes from a farm in Oregon and the trucking company actually picks up our orders and delivers them once a month.
The picture from the paper (and above on this post) is actually a picture of us picking up our food from the truck.
There are produce items, household items, and you can also get frozen items. The truck is refrigerated to help transport perishable items and there is a freezer area for the frozen items.
During the pickup, the way it works is we each have a sheet with our name on it and we use clipboards that are laid out in alphabetical order (usually it's close but some are out of order). After the clipboards are down, everyone lines up at the back of the truck and each person grabs a box that is labeled with the customer's name. You find the clipboard with the person's name and then place the box behind the person's name. After that, you get back in line.
Given the number of people and families who participate in our co-op, it really doesn't take long to unload the truck, maybe 30-45 minutes. After that, you can pack up your boxes and leave.
You have the option of paying for your items online when you place the order or you can do Cash-On-Delivery and pay the driver when you pick up the order or you can call them before the pick-up to pay by phone.
The best part is if something is wrong with your order (moldy produce/damaged product), you can call the company and they will promptly give you credit for the bad items and make it right. We have had to do it a couple of times and it wasn't a problem. It was an inconvenience because we didn't get the items, but at least we were credited.
In addition to our food co-op, we also order our chicken from a company called Zaycon Foods. They actually come to this area around twice a year and they also go to nearly all 50 states as well. They make delivery of things like chicken, ground beef, bacon, pork sausage, pulled pork, and other items like wings and fish filets.
Mostly in this area, we're able to get the chicken breasts and meat items. You're able to buy this in bulk (chicken comes in 40lb boxes) and you're getting a great price with no preservatives or harmful chemicals in the food. You get something of high quality but it's actually not bad on the price. I've seen the price of the chicken breasts range from $1.69/lb to $1.89lb (the price for the current pick up)
You can go to www.devindabney.com/zaycon to sign up. It doesn't cost you anything sign up and you can get points toward orders if you use a referral link to notify other people about the company.
They'll notify you when an event is coming to your area and all you have to do is place an order at the most convenient location that is listed. On the pick up date, you simply pull up to the truck, pop your trunk, and let them load the food and you're done in about 2 minutes.
Since it comes in cases of 40lbs, you might want to split it with someone or, in our case, we freeze it and use it for lots of different recipes. It lasts us until the next time they come, which is about 6 months. That helps you avoid getting chicken from the store for a long time and you can have it on hand when you need it.
Sign up and you'll find all the information you need.