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Amid Pandemic, Local Company Delivering Meat And Fresh, Organic Sustainable Foods

CHICAGO (CBS)-- Memorial Day weekend is a big time for grilling, yet shortages of meat during the pandemic have some larger chain grocery stores limiting how much you can buy. 

Some shoppers now worry about how the meat is handled and processed as larger plants deal with coronavirus outbreaks.

A local couple's company Fresh Picks" in Niles gives you another option. Their goal is to support and partner with Midwest farms to deliver fresh organic sustainable foods.

"Doing something that's for health, the economy and the environment it's like yes," co-owner Shelly said.

Irv and shelly started their company 14 years ago after deciding they wanted to take a different career path.

 "I said wait a minute, we're in this great agricultural region and we're not feeding ourselves, Irv said.

Since the pandemic, they've had a lot more business. 

Along with fresh produce, dairy, baked goods and seasonal boxes, several varieties of grass fed meats remain one of their most popular items. Even with more orders, they've been able to keep up with demand.

"For a safety point of view, when you have a smaller staff and smaller group of animals processed you have less of a chance for exposure," Irv said. 

"We are not buying from nat players so when all this happened, we could call our other farms and we could up the workers that we need," Shelly said. "We cover 250 zip codes every week of the year."

Each zip code, which includes Chicago and many surrounding suburbs, have designated delivery days or they offer curbside pickup at their Niles facility.

Orders are placed online, with no minimum or monthly membership required.

"I think in the last couple of months people are starting to realize the benefit on relying on our own region to feed ourselves in a new way," Irv said. 

As for cost, Irv said they have kept the lid on prices, keeping their expenses low. They are competitive with grocery store prices and in many cases less expensive.


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