When Matt Ewer and his wife Beth Blessing first met in college, they learned that they shared a passion for organic, fresh, nutrient-dense food. During their courtship, they discussed their desire to deliver clean, sustainable, farm-fresh food to consumers. Their dream came true several years later when, in 2007, they started Green BEAN Delivery (GBD), which transports subscription groceries directly to clients’ doors. The BEAN acronym stands for biodynamic, education, agriculture, and nutrition. At the time there wasn’t much local, organic food available at grocery stores.
“We certainly didn’t see these types of products being delivered to community members’ homes, and we wanted to open up this opportunity for both vendors and customers,” says Ewer, GBD’s CEO.
He says their focus was on home delivery, via e-commerce sales.
“I always explained it as a blast from the past and the wave of the future,” Ewer says. “Our delivery technique was similar to the old milkman, but was years before Amazon was delivering perishable products.”
Blessing is the company’s chief nutrition officer. Her main focus is on educating the community about nutritious food consumption through weekly emails to 23,000 active members, as well as monthly newsletters to 600 corporate health and wellness partners. She’s also a member of the procurement team, and creates recipes for the company blog.
“My other roles at GBD are vetting our ingredients to make sure they’re meeting our Clean Eating Promise,” Blessing says.
The Clean Eating Promise states that every item in the store is free of unnatural preservatives and artificial colors, flavorings and sweeteners.
“Essentially, we only sell food that we feel comfortable feeding our own families,” says James Nimmer, director of partnerships and engagement.
GBD members can sign up for a recurring order on a weekly or biweekly basis. The company also offers an on-demand option for members who want to order less frequently. The company serves customers across Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Missouri, and clients can choose from more than 70 fresh produce items.
“We try to source local and organic produce from our network of family farmers when in season,” Nimmer says.
Though they specialize in local products, GBD also carries national brands.
“We coin this as food you live by and brands you love,” Ewer says. “We want to take the difficulty out of buying local and/or all-natural.”
The company’s grocery selection includes more than 2,000 products including grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafood, oven-fresh breads, local dairy, gluten-free options, and hundreds of artisanal foods.
GBD participates in a one-to-one meal donation program, which means for each order placed, they will donate one meal’s worth of fresh ingredients to one of their hunger relief partners in an effort to combat food insecurity in the community. To date, they have donated 1.3 million pounds of fresh produce to local food banks.
GBD’s vendors include Smoking Goose Meatery, Amelia’s Bread, Grateful Gourmet, Tulip Tree Creamery, Golfo di Napoli Dairy, Beasley’s Orchard and more.
Being an independent, family-owned and -operated business in a corporate world can be tough, with competition from all sides.
“Being in the same space as some of the largest companies in the world is challenging, but we look forward to being more nimble, creative and unique than our corporate competitors,” Ewer says. “In the end, we can do things that they cannot, and that’s what creates our value to the customer.”
For 13 years, Green BEAN Delivery has made life easier for customers as they have granted those customers access to many fresh, delicious foods in a quick, safe, convenient way. Their service became even more appreciated when the novel coronavirus hit in the spring. As the nation’s experts tried to determine the safest way for people to function, folks were encouraged to hunker down at home as best they could.
“COVID has been one heck of an experience for us all,” Ewer says. “From day one, we answered the bell and got to work.”
Last spring GBD leaders posted a Facebook message in which they highlighted their team, and encouraged members to share any comments or kind words. They received more than 140 comments that included expressions of gratitude.
Amanda B., a longtime customer who has always appreciated the company’s high-quality, local food, says the pandemic has given her a new appreciation for what GBD does for clients.
“Now more than ever, we see the value of our food system infrastructure and the importance of sourcing local and sustainable food,” she posted in response to GBD’s Facebook message. “Thank you for the hard work all the time, but especially during this time with the surge in business.”
For more information on Green BEAN Delivery, call 844-476-2326 and visit greenbeandelivery.com.
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing