Remember the days when milk and eggs were delivered to one’s home?
No, you may not. It’s been a while.
But since consumers have discovered the superiority of the fresh local produce and foods they can get at their farmers market, there’s been renewed interest in the convenience of home delivery.
Collin Samaan and Aimee Benner are doing their part to reconnect consumers with locally sourced foods — going so far as to bring their wares right to your home.
The West Sacramento Veggie Trike is gaining fame and fans in farm-to-fork-conscious West Sacramento, just across the river from California’s capital.
On specified days, Collin pedals the custom-built produce stand bike throughout the city, stopping at various landmarks such as city hall and the recreational center. His route is posted on the Veggie Trike’s Facebook page, along with a menu of items available that day.
Aimee, who is married to Collin, saw that local organic farmers were having trouble making the connections with consumers, so they joined forces with Cycle Trucks to create the unusual distribution model.
“I had seen this style of (bike) around the world,” Collin says, “and we needed to sell the products, so boom!” — Veggie Trike was born in the summer of 2014.
All vegetables and fruit are locally sourced and organic, a tribute to Collin’s attention to healthful eating during his days as a professional cyclist. All that pedaling comes in handy now as he jets from stop to stop.
Pedal power also permits the business to make closer connections with the community, Collin says. “You’re able to wave at everyone and make contact, just turn around and stop. This is more agile.”
The compact bike storefront is easy to park on sidewalks near his regularly scheduled stops. And West Sacramento officials, being committed to urban agriculture, support Veggie Trike’s mission to make locally sourced foods available to all.
The business is fully licensed and inspected, and known to law enforcement agencies, so the sight of a roving storefront is not suspect.
West Sacramento is “entrepreneurial,” Collin says, “willing to go the next step toward connecting the community. It really feels like a family.”
Less than a year old, the Veggie Trike is gaining a loyal following. As Collin’s harmonica signaled his arrival at the West Sacramento Recreation Center recently, Leann Brown stopped him to pick up a jar of her favorite honey from To Bee Young Apiaries in Arden Hills.
“This is really, really good honey,” says Leann, swearing that a daily dose keeps her allergies at bay.
She says she really appreciates the convenience of having Veggie Trike visit the center where she works. “What he contributes to this community is awesome. It singles us out from other cities.”
All produce and products — such as soaps, olive oil, cashew cheese, and honey — are from local farmers and vendors Aimee and Collin have known and have purchased from for years.
The couple also has their own little farm, including 28 chickens that provide the fresh eggs that go quickly. “Their eggs are just amazing,” Collin says.
Customers can order from the menu posted on Veggie Trike’s Facebook page, and have it delivered or pick up their order at one of the trike’s posted stops. Contact numbers are on their profile.
“Fresh fruits and veggies!” Collin calls out during his visit to the rec center, luring passersby to select from fresh beets and radishes, huge heads of Napa cabbage, kiwis, pea shoots and radish pods.
“Try these,” he says as he offers a spicy radish pod to a customer.
Perhaps a tasty kiwi instead.
Whether they stop or not, everyone gets the same greeting:
“Have a great day!”
I think he really means it.