MARCY, NY (WUTR)— Local farmers are selling their produce to Blue Apron, a food preparation company, that ships meal kits to homes across the country.
Blue Apron takes the hassle out of grocery shopping. It’s customers sign up for boxes of fresh ingredients delivered right to their home. It comes with directions on how to make gourmet meals in their own kitchen.
“When we first signed with Blue Apron, and started producing for them, they sent us packages,” explained Marcy farmer, Mike Candella. “I tried it. It was good and easy to prepare.”
Other Central and Upstate New York Farmers sell to Blue Apron as well.
“We’ve been growing peppers, some eggplant.” Candella listed.” They’ve taken corn in the past. Winter squash, tomatoes…”
This year, Candella grew Islander peppers— a unique purple pepper for the company.
“We start these [Islander peppers] in February or March in the greenhouse. They start as a little seed,” Candella explained. “And then we put them in a bigger tray. By May, the end of May, we are putting them in the field.
The produce must meet certain standards for Blue Apron.
“They want the Islander pepper to be 4 to 6 ounces,” said Candella.
Once the produce is harvested, the local farmers ship their crops to Blue Apron’s facility in New Jersey, where the food is then packaged and delivered to customers. Candella said he enjoys working with the company, especially now that the farming industry has changed. Blue Apron has redefined the meaning of farm to table.
“The years of putting in a crop and then looking for a place to sell is gone,” Candella stated. “You can’t sustain it as a business taking a chance. Especially in the produce business, where everything is so perishable. You pick it one day and it has to be gone by the next.”