We recently had the chance to chat with Hummingbird client Tony Thompson, owner of Prudent Produce. Prudent Produce is a locally owned and operated fresh produce delivery service. Last year, they served over 300 central Iowa families while supporting more than 40 Iowa Food Farmers.
Hello, Tony! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a little bit of everything all rolled into one… global adventurer, farmer, academic, and corporate data analyst. My interest has always been in contributing to making the world a little bit better, though the way I’ve done that throughout my life continues to evolve. After studying sustainability, engineering, and innovation in Sweden for 7 years, I moved back to our family’s century farm in 2013 to figure out how to earn a living from the land that has been in our family for generations.
When + why did you take ownership of Prudent Produce?
After starting up a CSA on our family’s land, I realized how hard it was going to be for a single farm to raise all of the Good Food needed to keep hundreds of families eating well all year long. From the farm side, it’s quite difficult to both raise Good Food and get that Good Food into the hands of people who want to eat it. I have a habit of pursuing attractive opportunities when they are presented, and Angie (founder of Prudent Produce) was wanting to move out of state. The opportunity to focus on Good Food Delivered was too great to pass up! So in March 2017, my extended family came together to buy the organic delivery business, and we moved it out to our farm.
What do you offer to your customers?
In short, Good Food Delivered! We want to connect Central Iowans with Good Food all year long, in order to keep people eating well and to support Iowa’s Food Farmers who are sincerely interested in addressing sustainability issues related to agriculture in Iowa. There are really 3 parts to this: 1) Good Food, including amazing organic produce that is local when possible, plus many other foods from dozens of Iowa farms; 2) Convenience, including delivery to your doorstep as well as an app that allows for easily updating orders, scheduling, payment, etc., and 3) Value Alignment — we enable our customers to pursue their healthy lifestyle while supporting a small local business that empowers farmers who care for our earth.
What is your most popular option?
Whatever is in peak season! It’s almost time for local asparagus!!!
What do you think makes Prudent Produce different than other options like CSAs or farmers markets?
Prudent Produce combines the best of aspects of CSAs, farmers markets, and the grocery store organics aisle: access to fresh, local produce when it’s available; access to products (produce and much more!) from a large number of farms; and the convenience of getting what you want each week delivered to your door.
Any fun promotions we can share with our readers?
Last week we rolled out a new referral feature: all of our customers have their own link that can be shared via social media or email directly from our website or app. When new customers use this referral code, they get $20 off their first order, and the referring customer gets a $20 credit. Here’s ours!
Anything else you think we should know about Prudent Produce?
We are doing really good things, and we need your help. It’s HARD to operate in the space we are operating in, but we believe it’s so important to support Iowa’s food farmers — not the “Feed the World” types, but the ones who are growing good food that we actually want to eat. Help us by sharing ideas for how to do even better, spreading the word about our #GoodFoodDelivered service, and buying lots of fresh, local asparagus this spring!