Vegetable Box Service, Harvest Day, Expands To Offer Nationwide Deliveries of Freshly Picked Organically And Naturally Grown 100% Irish Produce Direct To Customers’ Doors
To coincide with the height of the Irish growing season and to meet the huge consumer demand for its service, vegetable box delivery provider, Harvest Day – which supports small sustainable food producers by putting them back at the heart of the food system – has just expanded its business. The company is now offering weekly and fortnightly deliveries of freshly picked organically and naturally grown 100% Irish produce direct to customers’ doors, nationwide.
Harvest Day is a mission-driven startup which has enjoyed rapid growth since its inception during lockdown by passionate 28 year old entrepreneur, Fergus Halpin, in May 2020. It describes its service as “the next best thing to shopping at the farmers gate”. The company is committed to sustainable practices, working closely with as many as twenty different small scale organic and pesticide free farmers running the length and breadth of the country. These include the likes of Larkin’s Hill Farm in Puckane, Co. Tipperary, Sprout Organic Farm in Rathcoffey, Co. Kildare and Jim Cronin’s sixteen-acre Organic Market Garden near Killaloe, Co. Clare. Harvest Day offers consumers complete transparency on exactly where their vegetables were grown, by whom and the methods that were employed to produce them, as well as details on exactly when they were picked from the ground.
On the nationwide launch and the company’s success in its first twelve months of trading, Harvest Day’s Founder & CEO, Fergus Halpin, commented: “For a number of years I’d had the desire to start a food business. When the idea for Harvest Day came into my head, it made a lot of sense for me to pursue it as it allowed me to combine my understanding of the online space with my passion for fresh, local produce. Harvest Day was born out of a desire to connect consumers with the people growing their food and ensure full transparency in knowing where your food is coming from. We work directly with a network of small-scale, organic and naturally growing farmers across the country, providing them with an alternative route to market for their produce. We are delighted to now be delivering nationwide and giving every household in Ireland the opportunity to eat seasonal, local and healthy produce.”
Commenting on the support and benefits that working with Harvest Day offers to her business, Larkin’s Hill Farm’s Founder, Una Wycherley said: “Fergus from Harvest Day visits the farm several times during the growing season to see how we are doing and develop a strong understanding of our business. We have established a really nice openness and transparent way of working together and we have placed a lot of trust in one another. For us the detailed planning between ourselves and Harvest Day allows us to accurately plan for the growing seasons ahead, which significantly reduces food waste on the farm and gives us financial stability knowing that the crop will be sold and at a fair and sustainable price during the season. This is very different to a lot of retail situations, where prices are cut and the farmer is often left at a loss after all of the work and effort that has gone into producing the food in the first place. To know that our food is so valued and being utilised in people’s homes across the country, and that the care and effort from seed to harvest is so appreciated by Harvest Day customers makes our work all the more rewarding and satisfying.”
To ensure that their vegetables stay fresher for longer and carry the highest nutritional value possible at the point of delivery, customers placing an order via the Harvest Day website before 11.59pm on a Sunday night can expect to have their vegetables freshly picked by the farmers, packed by Harvest Day by Tuesday evening, and delivered direct to their door in 100% recyclable boxes on either a Thursday or Friday (depending on the delivery day chosen by the customer).
Through their website www.harvestday.ie, they offer customers two different types of weekly vegetable boxes to choose from – a Farmer Box (€25.00) which includes the top weekly picks of seasonal vegetables chosen by the farmers themselves and the Harvest Box (€40.00), a full harvest of the best seasonal vegetables available that week – for delivery nationwide on Thursdays and Fridays in. At checkout, customers have the option of choosing between a Flexible Weekly Subscription, or a one-off purchase.
Harvest Day’s 28 year old Founder & CEO, Fergus Halpin, was first exposed to the world of quality fresh produce at the tender age of 19 whilst working part-time at one of Dublin’s first fruit & veg home delivery businesses.
Fergus’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident very early on, helping his mother, Leonie Ferguson, with the set up of her own food business, Lainey’s Handmade Foods, in 2015 (producing artisan grab & go snack bars) – amongst an early group of enterprises to avail of SuperValu’s Food Academy business development programme.
Completion of a Masters in Marketing at UCD followed before the travelling bug bit and took him to the other side of the world. Customer Service and Marketing roles working for leading Australian recipe & meal box delivery service, Marley Spoon, and a stint in Sydney’s Fruit & Veg Market gave him a solid grounding in groceries and a strong understanding of growing consumer trends.
When COVID-19 hit, Fergus decided to return home to Dublin. Having to self isolate in his bedroom he gave himself those two weeks to come up with a solid business idea that would allow him to combine his growth marketing expertise and passion for good quality food. Inspired by the Market Gardening scene in the US, he eventually landed on building a business around making freshly picked produce from small scale Irish farms (usually only attainable to people living close by) accessible to the masses, and thus Harvest Day was born.
The success of the business has been born out of the pandemic, tapping into the growing consumer demand for transparency around exactly where and how their food is grown. Having delivered its first organically and naturally grown 100% Irish produce to paying customers in May 2020, 12 months on Harvest Day is expanding and now offering its weekly vegetable box service nationwide.