The Spade & Spoon Impact On Denver's Local Food

Spade & Spoon Local Meal Kit Box with local ingredients

At Spade & Spoon, we operate under the philosophy that to change something, you should build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

It is with this philosophy our founder, Joy Rubey, envisioned our unique model which sets us distinctly apart from other meal kit and food delivery companies. Our model nurtures local economies by bolstering the sales of local farmers, bakers, and makers with steady streams of reliable income while at the same time providing you with fresh local food curated into convenient chef-selected and seasonally inspired recipes.

If you have ever ordered from us before, you know that you place your order by a cut-off time each week (Thursdays at midnight) for delivery the following Wednesday. Perhaps you’ve wondered: what happens during this one week between when you place your order and when you receive it? This one week is vital in allowing us the time needed to make the meal kit model work better for local producers, to significantly reduce food and packaging waste, and to make sure you get only the freshest seasonal and local foods.

We know that online shoppers today are used to ordering online and expecting their delivery within a couple days. While it is convenient and satisfying to get an online order fast, there are a lot of trade-offs other meal kit companies make in sustainability, food quality, food waste, sourcing of food, excess packaging, and selection of producers to make this happen.  

With this little extra time in our model built in for planning, we are able to reduce so many of the inefficiencies that make other meal kits more convenient but less sustainable and much less beneficial to your local farmers, makers, and bakers. 

How do we make this happen? With the Spade & Spoon food cycle! There are six steps that make up our food cycle:

1. We Connect.  Long before we decide what meals to offer, we’ve been connecting with our producers to learn what is fresh and seasonal. By connecting with our producers early, we ensure you get only the best seasonal offerings, while also ensuring we partner with producers to minimize waste. If we learn our producers have a surplus of an item, we are able to figure out a way to incorporate the surplus into our meals!

For example, we had a producer with a surplus of delectable fresh basil. After learning this, we decided to put together tasty pesto kits—which our customers loved and prevented the fresh and high-quality produce from going to waste at the same time!

2. We Curate. After deciding which ingredients to use we start curating the recipes. Using the high-quality ingredients from our producers, our chef and team put together tasty and unique meals to accommodate a variety of diets and eating habits (have you seen our wide selection of subscription boxes for a variety of eating habits?) This step is perhaps where the most Spade & Spoon magic happens: local food becomes delicious and convenient recipes, saving you valuable time while supporting local at the same time. 

4. You Decide. After all our meals are chosen, it's now your turn to select from our offerings of subscription boxes, individual meals, and local staples to be delivered fresh to your door. After the order cutoff, we connect with our producers once again to buy everything you need for your chef-selected meals for the week.

5. We Pack & Deliver. Once all the orders are in we start making sauces and spice blends, and gathering all the local food from our farmers, ranchers, makers, and bakers. Our team then carefully packs all your ordered items into a Spade & Spoon box with minimal packaging, and our friendly delivery drivers bring them to your doorstep.

6. You Enjoy. The last step is obviously the best! There is a lot of hard work from us and our local producers to get this beautiful box of local food to your door. Every week we are so happy to deliver local food, knowing the ingredients are good for our health and good for the planet.  Once the box has been delivered, it's time for you to enjoy it! Now you get to unpack your box of fresh food and start making delicious locally sourced meals, all while saving time at the grocery store, planning, and meal prepping.

Our food cycle is central to what makes our model work so well for your local producers. The Spade & Spoon model provides local farmers, bakers, and makers with access to stable markets, fair prices/higher yields, and distribution efficiencies. This is why when you support Spade & Spoon, you are never just supporting Spade & Spoon. You are supporting a whole network of local small businesses. This is what makes Spade & Spoon different, and what inspires us to grow and improve each day to serve more local producers.

We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about how Spade & Spoon works. And as always, thank you for supporting local. It truly means a lot.

With love,
-Your Spade & Spoon Team