WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – When you meet Mike Geller, you could easily assume he’d been raised on a farm, driving a tractor before he was even in middle school. He’s rugged in his denim jeans and flannel shirt, sleeves rolled halfway up his arms as he carts around large baskets of farm-fresh produce and other treats. You’d never guess he left an advertising career to start up a delivery business in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.
Geller is the founder of Mike’s Organic Delivery, a farm-to-front door service that curates a mouthwatering selection of locally sourced, humanely and naturally raised foods right to your kitchen.
“I like to think of myself as a remover of obstacles,” he says. “I know it’s not always easy for busy parents to make the time to shop. I know people aren’t used to eating or cooking in season. So I try to remove as many barriers as possible. I do the farm research, pick up the food and deliver it to you, and you know you’re getting good, clean, healthy food. I even include recipes with the delivery, so you’re not left wondering, ‘what do I do with parsnips?’”
Still, what do you do with parsnips?
“Look,” he laughs, “the way we eat is all backwards. It used to be, you’d look at what was in season, what was available, and make a dish with what you had. But now, we’re so used to having everything available all the time, and we don’t even question how. If you want fresh salsa in Connecticut in January, you know those tomatoes travelled an awfully long way just to get to you.”
The problem with vegetables racking up so many miles prior to ending up on your dinner table, Geller explains, is that the food is harvested long before its ripe. “The strawberries you’ll find in the supermarket most of the time were picked when they were green and then artificially ripened. When you cut into a vine-ripened strawberry, it’s red all the way through. The artificially ripened ones are white inside.”
With Mike’s Organic Delivery, though, you’re probably covering more miles on your morning commute than all the food in your weekly basket combined. “Most of the produce I deliver was in the ground or on the vine within 24 hours of arriving at your door,” says Geller.
Part of the beauty of Geller’s business model is that he doesn’t just work with one or two farms with only a handful of offerings between them. Instead, he has well-established relationships with at least a dozen different farms, boasting varied crops and organic foods, from fresh produce to free-range chicken and hormone-free dairy products. And it’s all packed and delivered for you.
“I love what I do,” he says. “I’m passionate about it, and I really believe in my mission. I’m really trying to reconnect people with their food and the people who grow it. The way I look at it is, if you want to know about your food, what’s in it, ask the farmer. If you can’t ask the farmer, you don’t know about your food.”