Neighbourhood Stops and Shops: Mama Earth Organics helping build new food movement

Based in the Beach, Mama Earth Organics delivers a wide variety of organic and artisanal products to their customers. Photo: Submitted.

By SURINA NATH

Mama Earth Organics has been in the Beach for more than 10 years.

Heather and Alex Billingsley started the produce delivery service out of their garage on Scarborough Road delivering to just 13 neighbours, and have now seen the business grow to the point where Mama Earth delivers all across the Greater Toronto Area.

“We’ve built a network of local farms and artisan partners, buying products directly and delivering them to our members’ doorsteps,” said Sabrina Santer, who started with Mama Earth in 2016.

“We deliver weekly but our plans are flexible and customizable,” she explained. “We started with produce, and now have expanded to offer everything except meat products; essentially we can replace your grocery shopping.”

The company has a huge local focus, offering exclusive ‘local baskets’ with treats from community businesses.

“We’re trying to rebuild a sustainable food system based on partnering with local organic farms such as Lunar Rhythm Gardens, Kawartha Organics and Living Earth Farm,” Santer said.

More information about Mama Earth’s farm partners can be found at www.mamaearth.ca.

The company also works with different bakeries that deliver fresh bread every morning with products from Prairie Boy Bread, St. Urbain Bagels, Brick Street Bakery and St. John’s Bakery.

“Any food that’s not 100 per cent perfect enough for baskets are donated to animal sanctuaries such as Storey Brook Farms and the Wishing Well Sanctuary, where our scrap greens are taken to feed monkeys, pigs and other rescue animals—there’s a lot of important initiatives that we’re a part of,” Santer said.

Mama Earth has donated to food banks such as Regent Park Community Food Centre, Feed it Forward, and The Stop Community Food Centre. They set a goal of $50,000 to contribute in food to community partners last year and ended up donating more than $130,000.

Santer said that in addition to food donations, Mama Earth also sends scraps and leftovers to their community partners at HOP, where they convert food to compost, enriching the topsoils of local farms to yield more nutritious crops.

“We launched Mama’s Kitchen last year where we provide prepared foods such as soups, salads, sides, mains, baked goods and prepped produce options,” she said.

“Everything is made fresh from scratch everyday with 100 per cent organic ingredients. We also rotate our offerings based on seasonal availability and prioritized local ingredients as much as we can.”

Mama Earth works hard to help its customers fill their fridges with products from artisanal farmers that are not available at big box grocery stores.

“We’re not just a delivery system,” said Santer. “We’re actively trying to build a food movement that wasn’t existing before.”

For more information, please visit www.mamaearth.ca or call 416-850-8662.

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