Organics, Delivered

Recent chilly nights and the appearance of squash and pumpkins means that the end to farmers market season will soon be upon us. Within the next few weeks, farmers will be finished with this year’s harvest, and we’ll be left to fend for ourselves in the aisles of the supermarket, where Peruvian asparagus and spongy pink tomatoes cause much sadness.

But there are a few companies who have made a business out of sourcing local and organic produce throughout the year, and not only do they do all the legwork of tracking down clean healthy food – they’ll even deliver it!

Note that the information below is based on Internet and telephone research only. Wanigan is the only one of the companies listed that I’ve personally dealt with, and while I was always happy with their service, they don’t deliver to highrise buildings, so I can no longer use them.

For any readers interested in trying the places below, I’d suggest doing your research – they all have different policies on deliveries, payment, substitutions, etc., and while I’ve tried to cover as many obvious questions as possible, everyone has particular needs and circumstances that should be worked out individually.

The Clean Food Connection
Based out of a store by the same name in Mount Albert, this delivery service offers a selection of health food store type goods in addition to produce, meat and baked goods. This is not a preset weekly box situation – customers can order whatever they want from various categories.
Cost: varies
Other grocery items: yes
Delivery area: Will deliver from the Hamilton area to Ajax/Pickering. Most orders have a minimum order to receive free delivery – ie. in Toronto Central, the minimum order for free delivery is $125 – $150
Delivery times: Thursday to Saturday
Order deadline: Tuesdays
Payment: cash, Interac, Visa or Master Card

Eat Organics
The focus here is organic, although their website says they do try and carry local products as much as possible, but expect to see some tropical stuff like mango, kiwi and avocado unless you request substitutions.
 One size box only at $35, but customers may add extra quantities of that week’s items.
Other grocery items: No
Delivery area: website says GTA, on the phone I was told “Toronto only” so best to check. I was also told on the phone that they don’t deliver to high-rises, although this isn’t mentioned anywhere on the website.
Delivery times, order deadline, payment: In general, neither the website nor the person I spoke with was especially informative. I’d consider this one a “use at your own risk”.

Front Door Organics
Offer basic and custom boxes on a weekly schedule. Local produce is offered whenever possible – i.e. last week about 2/3 of the items in the fresh box were from Ontario, and they list the local farms they work with on their web site. They are one of the most well-known businesses of this type and my research shows they have a generally positive reputation.
Cost: Basic box (no substitutions) is $35, while a custom box is $40.
Other grocery items: Yes
Delivery area: Toronto from Etobicoke to the Beach. No mention on the website if they deliver to high-rises and there was no answer when I called the phone number on the site, but they do allow pick-ups from their warehouse.
Delivery times: Varies by area, between noon and 10pm
Order deadline: Not listed, probably varies by delivery day
Payment: Cheque or credit card.

Green Earth Organics
Offices in Toronto and Vancouver, the focus here, like other services, is on organic first with local offerings if possible. They offer a fairly extensive selection of grocery items including milk, eggs, cereal and baby food.
Cost: varies from $36 – $60 depending on box size. Initial deposit on reusable delivery totes.
Other grocery items: Yes
Delivery area: Toronto. Will deliver to high-rises with concierges or with advance arrangements for specific delivery times.
Delivery times: Varies by area, between 2pm and 9pm
Order deadline: Customers usually arrange a standing order, but additions or substitutions can be added as late as 8am on the day prior to delivery.
Payment: Cheque or credit card.


Good Food Box
Run through Food Share, the Good Food Box is like a buying co-operative. Produce is locally-sourced whenever possible, but as the program was started with the intention of getting fresh produce to people who might not be able to afford it, cost is generally the priority. Weekly orders are dropped off at neighbourhood locations instead of direct delivery, with a local volunteer in charge of distributing the boxes and collecting payment.
Cost: ranges from $12 – $32; choices include all-organic boxes, all fruit, all veg and even a box where the items are cut up and measured.
Other grocery items: No, produce only.
Delivery area: Pre-set drop-off locations in Toronto.
Delivery times: Varies by area
Order deadline: not indicated – likely varies based on individual delivery stops
Payment: cash

Mama Earth Organics
Listing their priority as wanting to offer the freshest and best-tasting produce available their website indicates a high priority of supporting local farmers, and the majority of the items included in their baskets this past week are from Ontario. All items are 3rd party certified organic.
Cost: $25 – $45 for baskets with no changes, add $2 to each basket to customize.
Other grocery items: A few very specific locally-made artisan items such as honey, cheese, coffee and bread.
Delivery area: Toronto.
Delivery times: Varies by area
Order deadline: not indicated – likely varies based on individual delivery stops
Payment: cheque, Visa, Master Card or cash.

Organics on Bloor
Most Torontonians know Organics on Bloor as a local food shop, and the weekly produce delivery is a recent addition to their services. Produce is all organic, and they also offer a medium-priced box that is Local Food Plus certified.
Cost: $25 – $33, plus $5 for delivery.
Other grocery items: A small selection of basic organic food items such as milk, bread, cereal, etc.
Delivery area: Toronto.
Delivery times: Wednesday to Friday, 4:30pm – 8:30pm. They’re very happy to do deliveries to high-rise condos and apartments.
Order deadline: 4pm Wednesdays
Payment: cheque, Visa, Master Card or cash.

Plan B Organics
Plan B is a CSA-model co-operative of local farmers. The offer a winter share box focusing on locally grown produce with some imported organic items.
Cost: $25 – $50, $3 to customize a box. No charge for pick-up at a variety of local drop-off depots, $5.50 for home delivery.
Other grocery items: No
Delivery area: Toronto, with 2 pick-up depots in the city.
Delivery times: Deliver to Toronto on Thursdays, 5pm – 8pm
Order deadline: the Friday before delivery
Payment: cheque payable in advance to the farm.

One of the longest running organic delivery services, Wanigan used to be The WOW Box before changing its name a few years back. Their focus is on organic produce, but they also offer conventional produce to their customers who prefer to eat locally.
Cost: $25 – $54, a variety of boxes in different sizes, plus all organic, all fruit, all veg, etc. Produce is delivered not in boxes but bio-degradable bags so customers don’t have to pay a box deposit.
Other grocery items: Additional fruit and vegetables, plus honey and coffee.
Delivery area: West GTA; Oakville to Aurora. Wanigan does not deliver to buildings with over 3 stories.
Delivery times: varies by area, between 9am – 9pm
Order deadline: Sunday prior to delivery.
Payment: Visa or Master Card