Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Solstice Celebration offers peak at Good Eggs' growth

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 10:51 AM

click to enlarge Staff at Good Eggs gathers grocery orders at its Tchoupitoulas Street warehouse.
  • Staff at Good Eggs gathers grocery orders at its Tchoupitoulas Street warehouse.

Good Eggs, which essentially operates as an online farmers market that delivers groceries, hosts a summer solstice party from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday at its warehouse (1746 Tchoupitoulas St.). The event will showcase many of the food producers whose products it sells. There will be a roast hog from Hollywood Livestock in Baton Rouge. Saffron NOLA, the Gretna catering business and Indian restaurant, will prepare a vegetable biryani. Bittersweet Confections will offer sample cupcakes and chocolate bars. There will be pairings of breads, cheeses and pepper jellies Good Eggs carries, and Crescent Pie & Sausage will offer sausages with pepper jelly from Michael's Pickles.  VEGGI, the Vietnamese farmers collective, is preparing a tofu dish and a salad using its lettuces and radishes, and Stony Point Farm is bringing its first watermelons of the season.

Good Eggs' mission is to support local food systems by helping producers reach consumers, but it's a technology company driven by software it has developed to do that. Through Good Eggs' "webstand," customers buy directly from farmers and Good Eggs collects and delivers groceries. It doesn't operate like a store — it has no inventory other than what it is packaging for delivery and some nonperishable items held on consignment. It tries to work with organic famers and most of its producers use no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Good Eggs has grown rapidly in its first year, greatly expanding its offerings and delivery operations.

Good Eggs was launched in San Francisco in 2011, and the New Orleans operation opened in 2013. It first used a converted former fire house in Faubourg Marigny and after a soft launch officially opened for business in late fall 2013. It has grown steadily and now has 25 employees and stocks products form more than 100 Louisiana and Mississippi farmers and producers. The original plan was to offer delivery in a limited area in New Orleans three days a week, and it has expanded to daily delivery stretching from Metairie and Harahan to Algiers. Director Tess Monaghan says that Good Eggs has tripled its volume of sales since the beginning of 2014 and expects to continue growing at that pace through the year.

Good Eggs focuses on food producers, but the warehouse space has allowed it to add products, including dog treats made with nutria meat, and bath products such as Mum Mum's Crafts' Honey and Hemp all natural soap. Good Eggs added bath products for Mother's Day and the response prompted it to continue to offer them, Monaghan says.


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