At the Good Eggs' Brooklyn headquarters in the old Pfizer Building on Flushing Ave, lunch is served at a long, farm-style table. The spread might include local cheese and charcuterie, fresh bread, vegan sandwiches and a salad of baby kale. This collective meal not only brings the staff together daily, it also is an opportunity for vendors to meet the team and showcase their goods.
Good Eggs is a new online marketplace for local, sustainable food. You can find everything served during "family dinner" at headquarters, which is both an office and a fulfillment center. Good Eggs is working to create a new distribution model for local farmers and sustainable producers, particularly the smaller ones who may not have enough produce to sell to grocery stores.
"We're not competing with the farmer's market," said Josh Morgenthau, "Founding Farmer" as Lead of the NYC branch. Good Eggs is creating a new market, powered by an online market place and supported by on-the-ground distribution.
For anyone who can't get to the farmers market on a regular basis, having an alternative way to buy the same products can be a big benefit. Customers have the choice of picking up their orders from a neighborhood distribution point or paying an extra $3.99 for delivery to their door. While local produce and artisan foods aren't as cheap as the big-box supermarkets, Good Eggs' prices are similar to what you'd find at the farmers markets.
Morgenthau understands the challenges of the local market on a very personal level. After growing up in Manhattan and visiting his grandparents' farm on the weekends, he decided to take over the family farm. Fishkill Farms was historically an apple orchard, but under Morgenthau the farm has diversified its crops. You can still find Fishkill produce at farmers markets, but Good Eggs is offering a more agile approach to reaching local buyers.
The site not only allows vendors to reach a new audience, it also provides a platform for transparency. You can read about the criteria Good Eggs uses to screen producers, including both sustainable and ethical standards.
Morgenthau said Brooklyn's early adapters have thus far been enthusiastic about Good Eggs' local offerings. "The New York market is filling out nicely," he said, but he does hope they can bring on more ethically sourced seafood options.
Since this location launched, Good Eggs has made several hundred deliveries, and is picking up steam. Morgenthau said one of their biggest challenges is figuring out how to make deliveries in the most sustainable way. They currently use two vans, the occasional Zip Car and personal vehicles, but are also beginning to test out bike deliveries.
Good Eggs launched throughout Brooklyn earlier this month, after testing the waters in a few neighborhoods. Good Eggs is also currently operating in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Morgenthau said they're planning to bring Good Eggs to Manhattan by the spring of 2014.
Their website also has a widget that lets you request a zip code for the next New Eggs expansion.