This is a four-part series on fresh produce boxes available in the city of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I am comparing fresh produce boxes from local delivery service Front Door Organics and community food bank Eden Food for Change.

Front Door Organics’ fresh produce box

$30 Small Fry Fresh Box

I signed up for their service at their booth at the Toronto Veg Food Festival where they offered 50% off your first fresh box. Since there was absolutely no commitment to continue with their service as you can cancel or put your account on hold anytime, I planned to try it out at least once.

I’ve never really heard of produce delivery services before until seeing at least three other similar companies at the Veg Food Fest. In our increasingly online world, I guess it was no surprise that this would exist. Maybe I’ve just been living under a rock (I do work in an underground mine after all), but there are actually several companies that offer this service. Many people, in fact, already order their groceries online!

I, for one, prefer to see, smell, touch, and shop for my fruits and vegetables in person at the grocery store or farmer’s market. It’s one of my favourite aspects of the whole cooking experience, and even having a neck brace didn’t stop me from doing that! Anyway, I gave Front Door Organics a shot. I got a free bamboo spatula for signing up too! LOL.

How it works:

  1. Choose a “Fresh Box” that suits your ~*lifestyle*~.

  • If you would prefer to customize your box from their extensive selection of fruits and vegetables (they claim they have Toronto’s largest), you would pay an additional $2.

2. Add any other organic groceries you may need, like:

  • Certified organic meat, raised on small Ontario farms
  • Basics like milk, bread, rice, beans and pasta; and more fancy stuff such as premium olive oils, fair trade spices and exotic super-foods
  • A full selection of ecologically responsible cleaning and personal care products

3. For Mississauga customers, place your order before midnight every Monday for delivery on Wednesday (deliveries on Wednesdays only).

4. Repeat for the next week! Skip deliveries if you have too much food for the next week, place a hold on your account, or cancel your account entirely.

My first order

Since I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting a random assortment of fruits and vegetables with which to cook for the week (I prefer to have a plan of meals to cook in place), I opted to customize my Small Fry Fresh Box for $2 ($1 really, as I had 50% off). In total I paid $16 ($30 + $2 at 50% off) for:

frshbox
What my $30 credit got me when I purchased fruits and vegetables individually. Compare to the contents of the pre-selected $30 box above.

For $16 it wasn’t bad. But for the actual price of $32… I would say it would be very expensive. One disadvantage of choosing your own fruits and vegetables in the fresh box is that you have a credit of however much your fresh box cost ($30 for mine, for example) to spend on their selection. And the price of each item was pretty high. Maybe because they were organic?

What I actually got

Delivery is free with every order. I received my delivery on a Wednesday, like they said. A big, blue plastic bin was placed on my doorstep with all my goodies:

Contents
Green kale
=
Red pepper

I even got a useful card of storage tips (which fruits/veg to store in or out of the fridge, etc.) and a free cooking magazine with my order!

What I made with my haul

My made-up recipe of shrimp and medley grain cheese bake with broccolini!

Click for my made-up recipe of shrimp and medley grain cheese bake with broccolini!

Quinoa grapefruit salad with salmon – but my presentation totally failed LOL.

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Did I carry on with the deliveries?

Unfortunately, no. Since I was living with my parents and siblings after my surgery until I could back to my apartment with my husband, I was just supplementing our groceries and we had way too much food already. I was also leaving for Québec in two weeks.

Main advantages

  • You’re assured that you’re buying local (when available) or at least certainly from Ontario.
  • You’re buying organic for sure. (This isn’t really a big selling point for me personally, but it may be for some people.)
  • Super easy ordering process (though changes to your order don’t happen instantly – changes need 30 minutes to register on their system).
  • The produce was of good quality (no bruising, wilting, etc.)
  • You can suspend or cancel your account anytime, no commitment at all.
  • Extensive selection of produce. I discovered coronation grapes through this order!
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I thought they were blueberries!
Using coronation grapes to top my dad's ube cake!
Using coronation grapes to top my dad’s ube cake!
Happy birthday, Tatay!
Happy birthday, Tatay!

The only weak point of the service would be that it would be pricey if you customized your fresh box like I did. I didn’t verify the prices at my local grocery store so I can’t really vouch for that.

My take-away

If I chose to stick with the pre-determined selection rather than customize my fresh box, I think my discounted price of $16 would be well worth it and the regular price of $30 just fine. Again here are examples of what you can get for boxes at $30, $40, and $50:

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Not bad, right?

Delivery is available in Toronto as well (delivery day depends on location).

Toronto Area Map


Front Door Organics is located at Unit 9, 415 Horner Avenue, Etobicoke, Ontario M8W 4W3. They are an online organic food home delivery service and though they do offer a pick up service from their warehouse (and give a $3 discount for that!), patrons cannot just walk-in and shop. To purchase their organic goods, please sign-up for a delivery here. Delivery is available in both Mississauga and Toronto.

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