Mother Earth Food expands to meet new demand

BOX TO TABLE: Mother Earth Food owner Andrea Duvall follows safety guidelines while packing boxes for home delivery. Courtesy of Mother Earth Food

When restaurants in Western North Carolina closed March 17, a window of opportunity opened for Mother Earth Food. The Asheville-based produce and grocery delivery service suddenly found itself able to fold more partners and customers into its mission: making it easier for people to eat local, organic food while supporting the businesses that provide it.

“Our customer base almost tripled overnight,” says Andrea Duvall, who founded the Asheville business with Graham Duvall in 2012. “Before this crisis kicked in, we delivered about 300 bins a week. We jumped to 700 customers by that third weekend in March, and we have a waiting list of more than 600.”

Mother Earth makes weekly home deliveries of bins filled with produce, dairy, eggs, baked goods, hummus, chocolate, meat and veggie proteins, coffee and more, all of it regionally sourced. The business covers Asheville and surrounding areas, including Black Mountain, Weaverville and Hendersonville, as well as Greenville and Spartanburg in South Carolina.

With the uptick in demand, the delivery schedule expanded from two days to four — Wednesday through Sunday — and the ordering deadline is now 5 p.m. Monday. The Duvalls have hired more staff and plan to borrow four refrigerated vans from Buchi kombucha company to supplement their fleet of four.

Mother Earth has also been able to increase the quantities of food it orders from its existing suppliers and provide a retail outlet for new partners. “So many farms and makers relied on restaurants for a lot of their business,” says Andrea. “That business is gone, but their produce is in the field. Anybody who wants to come and supply us, we definitely have the demand. We love that we can help them.”

Though the home-delivery client base is capped for now at 700, Andrea says Mother Earth is working to set up drop-off sites in Asheville neighborhoods and will offer a pickup option at its West Asheville warehouse to accommodate customers on the waiting list. “Once we can drop 100-200 bins for pickup at each spot, we can add all of those and more,” she explains. “My goal is to feed the community as much as we can, as well as we can, especially at this time.”

To learn more about Mother Earth Food, visit motherearthfood.com.

SHARE

Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Kay West
Kay West was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, StyleBlueprint Nashville, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. To kick off 2019 she put Tennessee in her rear view mirror, drove into the mountains of WNC, settled in West Asheville and appreciates that writing offers the opportunity to explore and learn her new home. She looks forward to hiking trails, biking greenways, canoeing rivers, sampling local beer and cheering the Asheville Tourists.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.