has worked for several suppliers including Dole, New Star and organicgirl, said about 99 percent of the produce it buys is organic. The organic label is part of its healthy and nutritious play to consumers. It also creates potential customers all over the country who might not have regular access to organic food in their supermarket or regular dining establishments. As a plant-forward meal kit, Sun Basket’s home deliveries are more produce-centric than the competition. “Every day we are buying the staples like leafy greens, carrots and garlic,” he said. But the company is also always looking for that unique item and is willing to pay for it. “We can charge a premium so we can pay a premium,” he said. Sun Basket’s executive chef is Justine Kelly, who practiced her craft for many years as the corporate chef de cuisine at the acclaimed Slanted Door restaurant in San Francisco. Barnett said she is constantly
Don Barnett at Organic Grower Summit
creating innovative dishes using items such as celery root for example. The menus are created about eight weeks in advance with the opportunity to substitute items up to two weeks prior to delivery. And if Mother Nature strikes making a particular item unavailable, the website can always note that a specific dish is “sold out.” As the company’s buying power is continuing to increase, Barnett said it is just now starting to work with growers on a
pre-plant basis looking for specific crops to be grown for specific time periods. Currently, it is buying commodity packs and breaking them down for its own needs at its distribution centers. But Barnett said it is also just starting to work with grower- shippers on customized packs. The company is delivering to consumers five days out of seven so the D.C.’s are all operating on a full-time basis.
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