Pre-Covid, a grocery delivery was a luxury, or perhaps an act of laziness. Now, it’s a responsible social distancing option. Like so many, I’ve been looking for alternatives to braving the grocery store, which can bring risk and anxiety. Of course, there are big box options like Amazon Pantry and delivery services like Instacart, which will bring you the goods from almost any store.
But with questionable records on workers’ rights from big business and a pressing need to support small business, I instead went searching for creative local companies that could meet my needs. I ended up with a complementary collection of businesses where I can get dry goods, produce, meat, dairy, seafood and even flowers. Some have always been offering these services, while others have pivoted to meet the need during the pandemic. Even as states begin to slowly reopen, these four grocery delivery options plan to continue their in-demand services.
Already beloved for their vast umbrella of restaurants from Iron Gate to Hazel, Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) is now coming in clutch with Neighborhood Provisions. This new business was born out of a need to help serve customers while providing employment to their restaurant staff.
Their selections are a hybrid of prepared foods and grocery items, with a wide variety of fan-favorite dishes and baked goods from various NRG menus as well as pantry essentials like sauces, stocks, pasta, and hard-to-find flour and yeast, plus dairy, eggs, meats, beer, wine, cocktails, spirits and quarantine must-haves like hand sanitizer and toilet paper. They offer pickup from three NRG restaurant locations and delivery with a wide radius in Northern Virginia and the District.
When folks heard the first whisper of grocery shortages, 4P Foods’ business began growing exponentially. They are a food hub with a purpose – hence the 4 Ps, stand in the name. These stand for Purpose, People, Planet and Profit, taking the idea of the triple bottom line one step further with a mission to create a just and equitable food system.
They source produce, meat and dairy from environmentally responsible family farmers in the mid-Atlantic, with a slightly larger network outside of peak harvest season to allow for more variety. They also donate a bag of food to one of their food bank partners for every 10 bags they deliver. Unlike a traditional Community Supported Agriculture, 4P’s model is ultra flexible, allowing you to customize your weekly delivery via a points system and stop or skip deliveries at any time. Choose to pick up at a drop site or get your bag delivered to your door, with service around the DMV.
If you’ve eaten seafood at a restaurant in the DMV, then you’ve likely tasted ProFish seafood. This sustainability-focused wholesaler began selling to the public when restaurant business dropped off. Now you can cook with high-quality, fresh, traceable seafood at home, just like the pros.
Their offerings change based on what’s being caught, but typically include anything from fillets of salmon, flounder and monkfish to shrimp, live lobsters and oysters. They also have gourmet pastas and an array of smoked fish from their restaurant and market, Ivy City Smokehouse. Home delivery is limited to certain zip codes, but if you’re not within range, you can meet the truck at 20 different locations around the region on select days.
Popular at farmers markets and local retailers, this pickle company is now a de-facto local food hub. They’ve partnered with more than 20 artisan growers and producers in the mid-Atlantic to offer delivery of produce, pantry items, prepared foods and celebratory splurges.
You can choose from various boxes of mixed veggies from a few different farms, treat yourself to fresh breads and pastries, brighten up your home with a gorgeous bouquet of local seasonal florals, or stock up on goods like cheese, grains, vinegars, eggs and of course, anything pickled or fermented (kimchi, sauerkraut, giardiniera, kombucha, you name it). Everything is locally grown or made. Delivery is available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays within 15 miles of the zip code 20002.
Neighborhood Provisions: www.nrgprovisions.com
4P Foods: www.4pfoods.com
Number 1 Sons: www.number1sons.com
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