How does the blue bin system work?
Your first order will come in a reusable blue bin. On your next delivery please place this bin outside where your driver drops off your order. If your driver does not receive any bin(s) back your next order will come in a cardboard box, you will also be charged $3 per cardboard box used. This will continue until the bins are returned, and then your orders will come in re-usable bins again. There will be a charge equal to the current market price of the blue bins applied to your account after 4 weeks if you do not return our bins ($10-15 per bin). All “a la carte” orders will be placed into cardboard boxes (without cardboard fee) unless placed with a fresh box order. All final fresh boxes will also be placed in cardboard (without cardboard fee).
How do I shop online?
Click SHOP. Use ‘search’ or by category. Build a cart using ‘add item’. VIEW CART will let you edit your chosen items. PROCEED TO CHECKOUT – fill in your billing details. You can either ‘create an account’ so your billing information will be saved for next time OR you can bypass that step and go straight to PLACE ORDER at the bottom right of the checkout page.
What if it doesn’t recognize my email and password as a returning customer? Likely because you haven’t created a web customer account though you may have shopped as a guest previously. Either create an account with a password, or don’t put in your email in the top field….just build a your cart and follow the steps above to continue as a guest.
Can I have a standing grocery order? Absolutely! Many customers find “standing orders” for items they use each week to be very convenient (and it reduces trips to the supermarket)! We will automatically pack for you every week. The most popular items are: bread, milk, eggs, extra fruit & extra veggies. You can set up standing orders online, just write ‘standing order’ in the comment field before hitting Place Order.
Can I pay online? NO. After placing your order, CALL US with your Visa or M/C details at 204-772-1479. We cannot process debit-credit cards.
Can I get a bi-weekly Fresh Box Delivery? We do not offer bi-weekly delivery BUT you can PICK UP biweekly.
What if I want to skip my delivery after the deadline? We can donate your box to a local charity on your behalf (the amount due will remain on your account). Any unclaimed fresh boxes will be donated Friday afternoon unless we are notified otherwise with instructions to hold for pick up or re-delivery (if a re-delivery can be arranged, and for a fee).
How do you handle drop offs in extreme weather if we’re not home?
If it’s below -20 Celsius, somebody should be home or have made other arrangements with us by noon the day of delivery. Pick up at 1338 Clifton is an option if you will be out during your delivery period. ***If we tried to deliver and couldn’t reach you, your box will be returned to our warehouse, the charge is not reversible***
Can I skip a week or more? Yes! Simply send us an email (or call) saying “skip this date(s)”. Noon the day prior to your scheduled delivery is the deadline for a skip request.
NOTE: If your SKIP request is not made by the noon deadline (day prior), the charge will remain as owing on your account. Arrangements to either deliver, pick up or donate your order are your responsibility.
What if I receive substandard produce? We strive to make your experience in opening each fresh bin a joy so please let us know if we’ve missed our mark! Some variations in size, shape, color, and even the occasional bug are considered an acceptable part of organic produce, if, however, you receive an item that is substandard in freshness or quality, we are happy to replace with equal value produce in your next box. Please email us immediately with details/photo (within 24 hours of receiving) so we can address the problem.
Can I substitute items in my Fresh Box? If required, one substitute can be made for free per week, above and beyond your Permanent Dislikes. Additional subs will be charged $1.00 per item.
What happens when I quit the service? A week or more notice is appreciated. In order to reduce food waste and fuel, we request that you take a final delivery that will be packed in a cardboard box. On your final delivery we will grab our last empty blue bin (saves us an empty-handed trip to your home after you quit to pick up our empty blue bin).
Do you sell meat?
No. Fresh Option is a vegetarian business, and has been since we opened in 2003.
Can I get a discount?
Residential customers can order most items we sell by the case at a discount ie: case of 12 cans of diced tomatoes, or a big bag 11.34kg of lentils. If you don’t see what you’re looking for on website, just ask, we will be glad to order a case in for you or hunt it down if need be. Selling bulk is another way we can minimize packaging.
How do Fresh Option’s prices compare to retail stores?
Our prices average competitively to retail stores. There is no added delivery fee for weekly Fresh Box customers. If you compare on price alone you need to consider handling, packing, delivery and/or other hidden fees from other organizations on to their posted prices to get the true picture.
How can you provide local food year-round in Manitoba?
Fresh Option not only prioritizes local over imported, we actively seek growers who share our values of environmental sustainability, ethics and high standards. We encourage Organic certification with producers who already grow without toxic chemicals and who believe in selecting organic seed and use such practices on their land. We plan with them the “who, what, when, where, and how much” of every item that can be grown in our province. Each year we share our projections and work together to grow and satisfy the need for local organic food in a way that benefits every link in the food chain with a consumer-led approach.
In the summer we are able to supply the fresh box vegetables almost exclusively from local farms. Even some of our summer fruit is Manitoba grown. Stuff like avocados and bananas may still be included but we give local produce first choice. In the post-harvest seasons we extend availability of local foods through storage expertise and greenhouse capabilities. We also offer many prairie-grown grains, flour, beans, lentils, eggs, honey, fruit spreads, maple syrup, wild rice, bakery goods and more.
Is organic certification important?
This is a complicated discussion, but I’m going to go ahead and say, yes. Third party certification of a farm’s practices serves to both assist producers to grow better and allow them to access premium prices, and to give the consumer confidence that organic standards are being adhered to. Inspectors visit the farms verifying the detailed production plans are adhered to, organic non-GMO seed is used, inputs are on the ‘accepted’ list, equipment & storage is designated, and a 3 year “transitional” period must be served in order for a piece of land to be certified organic. It is time consuming and costly to the grower to comply to these regulations and some understandably state those barriers deter them from certifying organic.
Our stance at F.O.O.D. is to support local farmers who are growing food in a way that nurtures the soil, our health and the planet for future generations. If that means buying from a farm nearby that is transitional instead of a huge certified organic one in California, we likely choose to support the family nearer to us. Those choices need to be, and are, made on an individual basis with many factors we consider for each item every week. We make every effort to be transparent in our choices by informing the consumer on the This Week’s Fresh Bin page, the newsletter, and their receipts where possible. We want you to feel confident about where your food comes from, and so we welcome your questions.