When it comes to meal planning and eating real food, it’s not always easy to put healthy meals on the table, especially on busy weeknights. But thanks to ACME Farms + Kitchen, dinner just got a whole lot simpler and a whole lot healthier. From organic grass-fed beef, to farm-fresh produce, to organic farmstead cheese, a carefully curated array of fresh, local and seasonal food paired with recipes and a meal plan can be delivered weekly to your door. The best part? You’ll save money on your grocery bill, take fewer trips to the store and answer the age-old question of “what’s for dinner?”
photo: ACME Farms + Kitchen
The Idea Behind the Locavore Box
Co-founders and moms, Cara Piscitello and Joy Rubey, started ACME Farms + Kitchen in 2011 with a simple mission – to make access to local food easier. As busy working moms of toddlers, the duo found themselves searching for a simple way to get clean, local food into their homes without having to haul their little ones around to farms, grocery stores and farmers markets. Piscitello and Rubey launched their online shop with a collection of the tastiest local food they could find in our region which allowed customers to shop online for products from multiple farms, bakeries, creameries and other artisan producers. However, it became clear to the pair that they were in need of some serious guidance in the form of recipes, meal plans and kitchen tips. And the duo figured if their customers were anything like them, they were in the same boat. And with that thought, the Locavore Box was born.
photo: Kristina Moy
How it Works
Each Locavore Box contains a carefully curated array of local, seasonal food from dozens of farmers, fishers, ranchers, and artisan producers throughout our region. The bountiful, organic and non-GMO, collection is paired with recipes and a meal plan, so you can turn our region’s bounty into dinner for your family. Simply put, it’s a healthy dinner no-brainer.
After you unpack your box, peruse the menu, choose a meal for dinner, gather up a few items from the pantry (typically olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, lemon or honey) and start cooking. Since you will be cooking each meal from scratch, you can feel confident knowing the ingredients you’re using are clean, fresh and local. And if you have picky palates in your crew, you can tailor the recipes and ingredients to fit your family’s taste buds.
photo: Kristina Moy
Choosing the Right Box
ACME Farms + Kitchen offers Large and Small Locavore Boxes. A Large Box is designed to feed a family of 3-4 (or two adults and two kids) and is loaded with everything you need for five delicious, local meals. Large Boxes typically contain a variety of seasonal produce, a meat selection, fish or shellfish and an assortment of bread, cheese, fresh pasta, eggs and dairy. Slightly smaller, the Small Box is loaded with almost everything you need to cook three (sometimes four) delicious, local meals. Each week, the Small Box will contain a variety of seasonal produce, a meat or fish, and an assortment of bread, cheese, fresh pasta, eggs and dairy. Families can also customize their Small Box by choosing Surf (one selection of fish or shellfish), Turf (one selection of meat) or Vegetarian.
In addition to the Small and Large Locavore Boxes, ACME Farms + Kitchen offers a Basics Box and Beyond Basics Box. The Basics Box contains a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread (something for toast or sandwiches), seasonal fruit and a dairy item. The Beyond Basics Box contains everything in the Basics Box, plus an additional fruit item, a rotating selection of pizza dough, tortillas or flatbreads, a prepared breakfast treat or mix from the Bitter Baker, a snack or two, and a pantry item like jam, honey or salsa. This box is thoughtfully curated with items that will pair well with each other – like tortillas and salsa, pizza dough and marinara or blueberries and scone mix. Since the Beyond Basic Box often features items that are not included in the Locavore Boxes, it’s like opening a present on Christmas morning. You never know what you’re going to get—maybe Waffle Mix from The Bitter Baker or Dried Fruit from Pipitone Farms or even daffodils from the Skagit Valley.
photo: Kristina Moy
What About Dietary Restrictions?
For those families with dairy or wheat allergies, ACME Farms + Kitchens offers a Gluten Free Locavore Box which contains GF bread and pasta, a Dairy Free Box which does not contain cheese or dairy and a Gluten + Dairy Free Box which contains GF bread and pasta and no cheese or dairy. For vegetarians, ACME Farms offers a Small Vegetarian Locavore Box and a Small Gluten Free Vegetarian Box. And for families sticking to a grain and dairy free diet, the Paleo Locavore Box is loaded with meat, fish and produce and includes a meal plan and recipes to cook five Paleo compliant dinners.
Local Farmers & Artisans
ACME Farms + Kitchen supports dozens of farmers, fishers, ranchers and artisan producers throughout our region. You will find fruits and veggies in your box from a variety of well-known farms including Osprey Hill Farm and Moondance Farm in Acme, Martin Family Orchards in Cashmere, Mamas Gardens in Deming or Sherman’s Pioneer Farm in Coupville. Grassfed beef is locally sourced from 3 Sisters, Crown S Ranch, Jones Family Farm, Samish Bay Cheese, Skagit Angus Beef and Skagit River Ranch and fresh fish and shellfish is harvested from Lummi Island Wild, Taylor Shellfish Farm and Western Freedom Seafood. If you’ve visited Bellingham, you will most likely recognize the handmade pasta and sauces from Bellingham Pasta Co. and the bagels from The Bagelry.
photo: Kristina Moy
The 411 on Ordering & Delivery
The folks at ACME Farms + Kitchen have made ordering a snap. Simply log on to their website, choose your delivery location (Whatcom County or Seattle-area), how often you’d like to receive a box (once, weekly or every other week), and your Locavore Box selection. Orders need to be placed by midnight on Sunday for the following week’s delivery. Locavore Boxes are delivered on Thursdays (to your home or office) between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. Perishable items are packed in thermal pouches and ice packs, so you don’t need to worry about your order spoiling on your front porch. If you’re a regular customer, drivers will happily pick up your old thermal pouches and ice packs and even your recyclable containers, glass bottles and cardboard boxes (in good condition) when they drop off your new order.
ACME Farms + Kitchen currently offers home delivery of their Locavore Boxes in Whatcom County, and select neighborhoods in Seattle, Kirkland, Bothell, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Renton, Burien, Mount Vernon and Burlington. If you live near Bellingham, you have the option of picking up your order at their headquarters; Everett residents can pick up their order at Everett CrossFit Gym. To see if ACME Farms + Kitchen delivers to your ‘hood, look for your zip code on their delivery page.
photo: Kristina Moy
Save Money on Your Grocery Bill
Large Locavore Boxes (with food for five meals for 3-4 people) start at just $95 and Small Boxes (with food for three, sometimes four meals for 3-4 people) start at just $70. The regular Paleo Boxes costs $145 and includes 3-4 pounds of meat and fish and a roast (beef, pork or whole chicken) and the Double Paleo Boxes cost $195 for 8-10 pounds of meat, fish and a roast for five meals. The Basics Box is $28 and the Beyond Basics Box starts at $70.
Each week, a special add-on item will be available in the Locavore Boxes (and sometimes the Beyond Basics Box) for a small fee, so be sure to check the website before you place your order. If you want a sneak peek at the following week’s menu, sign up to receive ACME Farms + Kitchen weekly Friday newsletter.
Good to Know
ACME Farms + Kitchen is currently offering all Red Tricycle readers $15 off their order. Use promo code REDTRI at checkout to save some green on your greens. Offer good through June 30, 2015.
Do you think you will give ACME Farms + Kitchen a try? Tell us about your experience in a comment below.
— Kristina Moy