Cara Piscitello and Joy Rubey launched a new food delivery service in their hometown of Bellingham in 2011, setting out to add a new dimension to the CSA produce box model. Now, they're expanding to Seattle.
Acme Farms + Kitchen delivers CSA boxes on steroids. Rather than simply lumping a bunch of kale, apples, and leeks into a weekly box, Acme sources a wider variety of products from local farmers and ranchers, produce and beyond. Each item is an ingredient in a meal plan, which lays out several days of recipes that require only minimal shopping beyond the box. You may even have the additional ingredients in your pantry already.
Eater recently tested a box that included five days of meals using Link Lab's chicken apple sausage, Lummi Island salmon, Bellingham Pasta Co. spaghetti, Fresh Breeze organic cream, Bitter Baker pie crust, and Palouse Brand lentils, along with locally-grown onions, apples, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and more. "Pantry" items included common ingredients like mustard and thyme.
Boxes are delivered to your doorstep every Thursday. While you can't substitute specific items or do much in the way of customization like with other CSAs, Acme does offer several different types and sizes of box: large, small, paleo, and more. And while you're never informed of exactly what the box will contain that week, Acme does mention the key ingredients in their weekly newsletter, long before the ordering deadline.
While the meal planning aspect of Acme's boxes isn't exactly rocket science for the home cook, it does make life easier. Gone is the process of knitting together a week's worth of meals from a jumble of produce, with the risk of having some things go to waste. Also gone, though, is the extra fruit and vegetables for snacks or juicing, if that's something you rely on your CSA for.
Acme currently delivers to a broad swath of the greater Seattle area, including Bellevue, Bothell, Kirkland, Medina, Mercer Island, and Renton, as well as Seattle proper.