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Organic delivery service grows as a business


By Paul Drewes

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    HONOLULU COUNTY, Hawaii (KITV) — An Oahu food delivery service is not only growing its business during this pandemic, it also helps several neighbor island organic farms reach new customers.

Food delivery service is much more than just restaurant meals being brought to you.

On Oahu, residents who are picky about their produce, can get fresh, organic items delivered to their door. While at the same time, supporting Hawaii’s local farmers.

Every week organic fruits and vegetables are flown into Oahu, from small farms around the state.

“I get food from all of the islands. Most of the greens come from Kula, and the fruit comes from the Kona side of the Big Island,” said Melissa Mainz, the owner of 808 Organics.

Those items are then delivered to people who sign up for 808 Organics weekly, or monthly, fresh food service.

“If you wanted to eat all local, all organic food you would have to go to 4 different places and a farmers market. It is hard to find. We get it fresh from the farm and deliver to people,” added Mainz.

In addition to delivery, people can pick up their produce and fruits for free at places like Box Jelly at Ward Center.

“Eating local and organic is important to us and to me, as well as be sustainable,” said Box Jelly co-manager Phoenix Tran.

Tran likes the service, not just because of the organic fruits and vegetables, but also the convenience.

“Having 808 Organics coming in and dropping off once a week, I didn’t have to go anywhere. I could just take it home – it was very convenient,” added Tran.

Business for 808 Organics grew exponentially during the pandemic, which has also been a boost to some small farms, like Coca Farms in upcountry Maui.

“With the food service, knowing that every week we can send a certain amount of food to Oahu is a blessing for us. Because it may be produce we can’t sell on our own island because we have competition,” said Oksana Gill, with Coca Farms LLC.

Unlike other businesses that want to keep on growing, Mainz wants to keep 808 Organics small, so she can continue to interact with customers. She wants to give everyone their particular mix of local products each week. She also wants people to learn more about the local foods they are eating.

“I send out a note each week of what you are getting, where it comes from, and how to prepare it. So it is an education as well,” added Mainz.

One of the challenges with small organic farming is the environment, too much rain, drought, or even pests which can wipe out entire crops. So, unlike shopping at the supermarket for the same items every time, Mainz said the delivery service items could change from week to week.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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