Starting this week, there’s a new grocery home delivery service available in parts Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties, focusing on fresh, sustainable and good-tasting food.
FreshDirect, based in New York City, offers pretty much anything you can buy in the supermarket. But the company’s real focus, according to company Co-Cofounder David McInerney, is on meat, fish, produce and bakery items.
“We want people to eat fresh, fresh food,” said McInerney, a Culinary Institute of America chef by trade. “My feeling is you have to make fresh food accessible, but you also have to have it taste good. And if it doesn’t taste good….I mean would a kid rather eat a lousy grape or a chocolate chip cookie?”
Every day, food experts at FreshDirect employees taste and rate the incoming food selection on a basis of one to five stars (with five being the most delicious).
And while that might seem count intuitive to some, McInerney believes customer service is paramount. With that in mind, the customer experience is guaranteed to be positive.
“When something’s not right, send email or call,” he said. “You call us up and say ‘I don’t like my strawberries’ and we’ll give you our money back.”
The focus on local products, he said, and the company’s intent is to pull its products as locally as possible.
FreshDirect launched in New York City and made its first customer delivery in 2002.
So how does it all work?
Customers place their orders online and have the option to receive delivery as soon as the next day or up to seven days in advance. They also choose a two-hour timeframe when the food is to be delivered. The minimum order is $30 and there’s a flat fee for delivery- $7.99 or an option to pay a higher fee for unlimited deliveries within a certain timeframe. The actual food costs, are competitive with Wegmans, McInerney said.
Customers of Princeton-based Bai beverages will find an extra incentive to use Fresh Direct, as it’s currently the only way that customers can customize a variety of beverage flavors in a single case.