1/29/2017

Love for the Locals: SPUD Edmonton

Yesterday, SPUD Edmonton (7039-68 Avenue) opened up its warehouse doors to the public in a free "Meet Your Farmers" event.
SPUD Edmonton's "Meet the Farmers" event!
Admittedly, neither P nor I knew what SPUD was all about before going to the open house. I honestly anticipated meeting some potato farmers, since spuds are sometimes synonymous with potatoes, and well, I love potatoes. Granted, I didn't read up on SPUD Edmonton more than just what was on their Facebook event.

Screenshot from SPUD.CA, an online grocery shopping service for organic, GMO-free, and locally-sourced goods.
For those of you who are as clueless as I was, SPUD stands for Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery. Essentially, it's an online grocery shopping service where all products offered are sourced locally, organic, and non-GMO. SPUD currently offers its services to Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Victoria. SPUD Edmonton caters to those in Edmonton and surrounding areas including St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, and Leduc.

At the "Meet Your Farmers" event, regular and prospective customers were able to self-tour the facility, snack on free samples from from local vendors, and even shop off of the shelves in the warehouse.

Plenty of sampling from local vendors including Honest Dumplings, Noorish, Traditional Hutterite...
Prairie Mills Bread Co., NKD, and Glow Juicery.
The interior of SPUD Edmonton's warehouse is about the size of a smaller grocery store.
Lambtastic lamb shanks from Lambtastic Farms
Reclaim Urban Farm's various microgreens and sprouts
We even got a quick tour of the facility that walked us through the process of filling a grocery order. This was in the walk-in fridge with the dairy and produce.
They use these sturdy boxes to package and deliver their orders, and then collect them to be reused for future orders.
These foil bags are used for the perishable goods and are also cleaned and reused for future orders. Frozen goods are packed with dry ice, and others are packed with gel packs so that everything stays fresh for up to 12 hours.
SPUD is certainly an interesting concept for urbanites who are busy balancing work and home life, and at times, unable to do a full grocery run while also making healthy choices. It takes convenience to another level by having someone else look after gathering your groceries and dropping them off right at your door. Even better, is the sustainability piece where their packaging materials are recycled and reused. Everyone we met at the warehouse was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, which is key for great customer service. I was introduced to some local vendors I was unfamiliar with, which I loved, and went home with some ginger beer and fresh sorrel sprouts.

However, SPUD is definitely targeted more towards the middle and upper class. One must recognize that a service like SPUD is not made to cater to students (especially those with loans and/or other debt), marginalized communities, and other individuals and families with potentially lower income. I'll be even more impressed when SPUD is made more accessible to a broader range of households. I am all for teaching our society to eat healthier and support local businesses, however, I recognize that as things are, indulging in SPUD and the like comes with a fair amount of privilege.

-M

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