Online Farmers Market at South Sound Fresh Conveniently Delivers Fresh Local Foods in Thurston and Mason Counties

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Picture this: You are drawing up your grocery list with lots of locally-sourced fresh foods, but you can’t make it to area farmers markets this week. That’s where South Sound Fresh steps in. The local, online marketplace offers a convenient weekly ordering and delivery system while supporting local producers.

“You shop like at a farmers market, but it’s online,” says Treacy Kreger. Kreger, along with Paul Miller and Andrea Miller, is a co-proprietor of the producer-owned cooperative. “And it’s all picked, harvested and baked on Thursdays.”

Shop Online for Local Healthy Foods through South Sound Fresh

It’s simple to order at the online farmers market through South Sound Fresh. Shoppers select items from a weekly product list of local vendors’ goods that includes seasonal fruits and vegetables; meats and poultry items; dairy products; eggs; baked goods; fresh-prepared meals like soups, rice dishes and others; preserved foods; snacks; coffees and teas; condiments; grains and legumes; drinks; seed starts; body products like soaps; and more. Shoppers submit orders online from Friday at 6 a.m. through Tuesday at or near 12 a.m.

South Sound Fresh then sends out “pick lists” to farms and producers on Wednesdays for them to harvest, bake or make the selected items. South Sound Fresh collects and delivers the items to your doorstep on Thursdays, in wide areas of Thurston and Mason counties. There is also a pick-up option at the West Olympia business location where orders are assembled.

a bunch of vegetables on a tray with greens around it.
Have a long list of local vegetables on your weekly grocery list but no time to get to a farmers market? Then check out South Sound Fresh, an online market offering locally-sourced fresh foods and products. Photo courtesy: South Sound Fresh

South Sound Fresh Starts Farm-to-Door Deliveries During Pandemic with Successful Model that Continues Today

Kreger says he has long been interested in rebuilding the local food system. While the idea for a web-based market for locally sourced foods had been percolating for a while, he says the South Sound Fresh delivery model became a quick reality during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. “In 2020, we said, we have to go to home deliveries, farm to door,” he explains.

Kreger is a well-known and established Olympia chef of Vern’s Foods & Farm, one of the many vendors in Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties who sell their products through South Sound Fresh. Vern’s Foods & Farm provides ready-to-eat products sourced from local growers and businesses. And co-proprietors Paul and Andrea Miller operate Skokomish Valley Farms in Shelton. “Paul and Andrea and I, and three or four others, made South Sound Fresh work,” Kreger says of the early days.

He says after the start-up, the online market’s information spread primarily by word of mouth, with the local producers also doing marketing. Today, South Sound Fresh fills from 70 to 100 orders per week. The majority of those are delivered to shoppers’ homes, with about 18 shoppers picking up their orders. “We have very strong, loyal customers,” Kreger adds. “They are dedicated to the whole program.” Orders can vary in size from groceries for one person or one family for a week, to providing multiple “grab and go” foods for commercial customers.

Treacy Kreger (pictured) is a co-proprietor at South Sound Fresh, an online farmers market delivering to many parts of Thurston and Mason counties. Check the website for the delivery area map. You can also pick up your items at the West Olympia location. Photo credit: Nancy Krier

Locally Sourced Fresh Food Delivered Through South Sound Fresh Offers Nutritional and Community Benefits

Kreger is a firm believer that good food means better health. “Food is medicine,” he is fond of saying.

For example, he says that leeks ordered from South Sound Fresh are harvested and delivered in the same one-day period. This timing means the nutritional value is higher because the local food is so fresh. The Tilth Alliance, an organization supporting Washington’s local and sustainable food movement, explains that this approach benefits everyone, including shoppers, producers and others. Kreger agrees. “The value to the community by supporting local food producers comes back to the health of the community,” he says.

Kreger adds South Sound Fresh’s approach to sustainability in agriculture also includes a mantra of “recycle, reuse, renew” and they take back all packaging.

‘Our Community Kitchen’ Shares Space and Mission with South Sound Fresh to Support Local Farmers and Food Producers

As another way to foster the mission of supporting local producers, South Sound Fresh is co-located with Our Community Kitchen, a commercial kitchen and venue space that “encourages and fosters like-minded small food businesses.”

Meghan Yorke (pictured) assembles locally-made products in the commercial kitchen space where South Sound Fresh is located in West Olympia. Photo credit: Nancy Krier

Kreger founded the kitchen in 2022 to provide area farmers and food producers with a commercial oven, range, mixers, food processors, preparation tables and freezers. Kreger says members use the shared kitchen space for food production and events such as a farm-to-table dinner, cooking classes and social events. Kreger says they look forward to renting the space for other occasions. Check the kitchen’s website and Facebook page for information.

Bring the Farm to Your Table Each Week with the Convenience of South Sound Fresh

If you prefer to buy fresh, healthy, sustainable food from local producers, sign up for South Sound Fresh. The convenient online grocery ordering brings the farm to you each week, while reducing your carbon footprint.

South Sound Fresh
4419 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia
360.545.5970

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