A Chicago-based company is looking to make fresh, healthy food as convenient in Indianapolis as a candy bar. Farmer’s Fridge has expanded to more than a dozen locations in the Indy market with its "smart fridges." The size of vending machines, the fridges feature a variety of freshly-made products such as salads, bowls and snacks. Rachel Rischall, director of communications for Farmer’s Fridge, says the food is made fresh every day and shipped to nearly 300 fridges in Chicago, Indy and Milwaukee.
In an interview with Business of Health Reporter Kylie Veleta, Rischall said, at its heart, the company is a supply chain business…
"Farmer’s Fridge owns every aspect of the business, which I think is fantastic for quality control," said Rischall. "We produce all of our own food, down to making dressings from scratch. We have our own delivery fleet and work with our own drivers. We produce and create the technology that fuels our business so that we can run a predictive algorithm every single night and forecast demand, so we know how each fridge should be allocated so that we’re being very deliberate and minimizing waste."
Customers can download a mobile app that will show them where each fridge is and what products are currently available in them. Rischall says the company is working toward a "reserve and pay" function allowing customers to pre-order items.
Additionally, Farmer’s Fridge donates any leftover food to local food banks, which Rischall credits to the company’s founder Luke Saunders.
"He understood that if you’re going to be in a fresh food business, there will always be surplus and food pantries, more than anything, really want fresh produce," said Rischall. "So from day one, we have donated all of our surplus food to community members in need. We’re working with Gleaner’s (Food Bank) here in Indianapolis and we’re very proud to provide nutritious, wholesome meals to people that really need that kind of health and nutrition in their diet."
Rischall says the company has received very positive feedback from customers in Indianapolis after being in the market for a few weeks. She says the company has its eyes on broader expansion within the Indy market as time rolls on.