Harvest Local Foods

Buying local is only a few clicks away

Situated on a tucked-away little stretch of road in Lansdowne, Harvest Local Foods (formerly Farm Fresh Express) can be a tad difficult to find. Fortunately all customers really need is a different kind of address: harvestlocalfoods.com.

From that (online) location, residents from all over the Philadelphia area can order farm fresh produce, meat, dairy, eggs and dry goods. By the time you arrive home from work on your delivery day, a cooler filled with local, sustainable goodies awaits you. For a flat $10 delivery fee, you can get as much or as little as you like.

Run by Mary Ann Ford and Pam Nelson, Harvest Local Foods has been in business for almost five years. Until recently, they operated under the name Farm Fresh Express, but thanks to the threat of litigation from food conglomerate Chiquita (who apparently felt the name infringed on their “Fresh Express” packaged salad brand), they had to make a change.

Harvest Local Foods currently works with dozens of local and regional producers (in addition to Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op), sets up shop at the Lansdowne Farmers’ Market during the warmer months and opens the small storefront a few hours a week for retail shopping (and customers picking up their orders to skirt the delivery fee).

The online ordering process is simple, and the options are astounding—five different varieties of artisanal sausage, cheese from a farm in Lancaster County worked by three generations of the same family, locally-made tofu, fresh hothouse greens. Every product includes information on the specific farm it came from and their growing methods. This year HLF even carried Thanksgiving turkeys, picked up personally by Nelson from a small family farm.

The organizational jujitsu that goes on in that small space to get three bags of spinach to customer A and two parsnips to customer B is a marvel—and a lot of hard work for Ford, Nelson and their staff. The feedback is what makes it all worthwhile. “I love to hear from the mom that has two kids,” says Nelson. “She says, ‘This makes my family work and it’s so healthy. I love it.’”