Last month, Chesapeake Holistic became an Eat Sprout! delivery pickup location for Tuesday menus. As our clients know, we’re very selective about the products we recommend. We like their “organic, local, delivered” mission.
To let you in on why we chose Eat Sprout! as a partner, below is our interview with co-owner Ryan Groll.
Chesapeake Holistic (CH): This month is Eat Sprout!’s one-year anniversary. What was the inspiration for your business?
Ryan Groll (RG): My wife, Emily, and I created the business as an extension of our lifestyle: eating organic food, sourcing locally and preparing for the unexpected. Because we’re so busy, and eating well is a time investment, we learned to: plan out our meals, order food from area farmers, and then cook and prepare meals and snacks to keep on hand.
We were both doing nutritional counseling at our local gym and found a big hurdle for clients there (and really everywhere) is the food shopping and cooking.
CH: So, other than being organic do you cater to specific diets (e.g., vegan)?
RG: We’re both from health and wellness backgrounds, and have never been huge advocates of one specific diet. Essentially, we keep it simple; we don’t use any GMOs or processed foods and it’s all from scratch. We don’t promote our food as diet meals, it’s just portioned correctly and very healthy. We do, though, put calories and other nutritional info on the packages. Most of what we cook ends up falling into gluten-free, paleo, soy-free and dairy-free parameters.
CH: How did you and Emily learn so much about ‘clean’ food sourcing and cooking?
RG: We’re both Certified Nutritionists. I have a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology, and a Master’s in Exercise Physiology and Health. Emily’s undergrad degree was in Exercise Science. She has a really cool culinary background. Emily was a chef in the military and was sent to culinary school. She flew all over the world with dignitaries (including Cabinet members, Prime Ministers, the Vice President and two former Presidents) and even on secret missions. Wherever they landed, Emily would need to source local foods.
CH: Interesting! Where do you ‘source’/get your ingredients from?
RG: We do our very best sourcing from local farmers. If we can’t get local, we strive for organic. If we use milk, for example, it’s farm fresh from pasture-raised, grass fed cows. We use dairy from the only farm in MD that milks, pasteurizes and bottles onsite. We’ve been growing with more farmers, as word about our company’s spread. Most are on the eastern shore near Easton, where we live.
Not only does local sourcing support our area’s economy, but it ensures the freshest possible foods. We visit local farms weekly to see what’s growing now. We also plan menus and contact the farmers that carry what we need. If say they harvest on Monday, we get a delivery the same day and make the food. Our clients receive it Tuesday, whereas stuff you buy at the supermarket could be 10 or more days old.
CH: How do you decide what meals to make for clients?
RG: We change our menus seasonally depending on the availability of ingredients. Sometimes we buy things (e.g., blueberries and corn) at the end of the season and freeze it, so we can use these ingredients all year. Each week, we create fish-based, dairy-free, vegetarian, and other options. And, some clients give us their dietary parameters and say ‘surprise me.’
CH: What are the ordering options?
RG: All ordering is online. The menu’s on our site for upcoming weeks. Clients sign up and let us know their food likes and dislikes. Some people order several weeks’ worth of meals, but many people order just a few at a time from the available meals and snacks.
It’s not our goal for people to utilize us for 100% of their food; we’re like a supplemental ‘food crutch’ so clients have good food in the fridge. If healthy food is available, they won’t skip meals or make bad food choices.
CH: Lastly, how is your food delivered?
RG: We hand-deliver to clients in St. Michaels, Easton, Oxford, Trappe, and Cambridge. All of the food is packed in insulated coolers with ice packs. For clients outside of our delivery area we have pickup locations; we currently have two: Hair O’ the Dog in Easton and Chesapeake Holistic in Annapolis.
To learn more about Sprout, or to start ordering, visit www.eatsprout.com or call: 443.223.0642.