By Dagny Brand
A great way to try fresh products while supporting the local food system is through Oahu Fresh! “We started 11 years ago with a mission to create alternative outlets for local farms,” explained founder and CEO Matt Johnson. Now, Oahu Fresh has grown into a local online food shopping hub, complete with at-home delivery throughout Oahu, where consumers can find produce, value added products, and more. The CSA works with over 100 different producers ranging from large farms to backyard growers throughout the islands and is always looking to work with more. In an effort to further support the community, Oahu Fresh now offers fully cooked meals made with local ingredients for people to order and enjoy!
To build community resilience, Oahu Fresh gives farms more flexibility in selling their products while providing subscribers with a variety of produce and other local goods, all easily accessible. “It’s a great way to directly support local farms,” said Johnson, proud to offer a support network to “a full ecosystem of different types of producers.” Getting involved with Oahu Fresh is easy. Local growers are encouraged to reach out and include their products in the CSA. Consumers have tons of opportunities to enjoy these high quality products through different subscription options. The Farmers’ Market Box subscription includes a “bountiful, balanced” assortment of fresh produce which features new products each week, allowing consumers to try many local flavors. This week’s Farmers’ Market Box includes Collard Greens from Ho Farms, Sweet Corn from Aloun Farms, Green Onion from Kahumana Organic Farms, Honeydew Melon from Aloun Farms, Lettuce from Kunia Country Farms, and Beefsteak Tomato from Sugarland. Other subscription boxes include a Fruit Box, complete with seasonal tropical fruit, and a Make Your Own Box, where you can customize your box with your choice of six items. On top of this, Oahu Fresh offers tons of individually ordered products to add to your subscription, ranging from vegetables to fish to baked goods, drinks, and even dog treats and toys, all locally grown and made. You can get involved by signing up on the Oahu Fresh website, choosing your favorite boxes and goods, and picking how frequently you’d like to receive your products, which can be delivered directly to you or picked up at locations throughout Oahu. “Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to find really good local foods.” Oahu Fresh also provides produce to businesses and schools, making an impact in many aspects of the community. They recently partnered with Kahumana Organic Farms, Hawaii Department of Education, USDA, and City and County of Honolulu to distribute boxes of food to hungry children on Oahu with KauKau for Keiki.
To give locals easy access to fully cooked meals made with local ingredients, Oahu Fresh is partnering with Open Kitchen, a catering company on the North Shore of Oahu,. “It’s a CSA model with delicious food!” explained Johnson, describing the evolution of Oahu Fresh. The Plant-Based Meal Prep Box includes four prepared plant-based dishes ready to serve four to five people. This box works just like the other Oahu Fresh subscription boxes, making it easy for people to enjoy healthy and yummy cooked meals. For those looking for the extra cooking excitement, Oahu Fresh also offers a Vegetarian Meal Kit Box where subscribers receive ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes to cook their own meals.
Johnson and Oahu Fresh are excited to provide a variety of different options to the community and to become an open marketplace for consumers and farmers to engage. For more information on Oahu Fresh and to browse local products from throughout the state, click here.