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Goodbye Boston Organics

No, Boston Organics isn’t going out of business or anything; we’re just canceling our service. This is the third time we’ve signed up with them in the middle of the winter and canceled before summer arrived. But there’s just something about their service that destroys all of our good intentions to make meal plans and eat at home. It may be that our area receives deliveries in the middle of the week, and we do the rest of our grocery shopping on the weekends. It may be that the selection gets really repetitive, so we choose to order out. Or it may just be that the oranges always froze on our porch and then fell apart when I tried to peel them. (Seriously, the delicious oranges my sister fed us this weekend may have been the last straw.) Whatever the reason, I feel like by continuing the service I’ve been undermining our attempts to eat better.

We’ve never had this problem with our CSA. Maybe there’s more variety or picking it up is more of an event. Not that I’m blaming Boston Organics. I still love the idea of their service; it’s just not for us. I kind of feel like a failure for not being able to make this work, but I’ve got to be practical about it.

Anyone else having the same problem? What have you done to make it easier?

Comments

Comment from Jeff Barry
Time April 6, 2010 at 5:26 am

Hi. This is jeff Barry, the owner of Boston Organics. I am sorry to hear that the service has not worked out for you. Here are a few tips that may have helped regarding some of the issues you mentioned…

Although we can’t deliver earlier/later in the week, we do post the next week’s contents on Friday afternoon…

http://www.bostonorganics.com/fresh/thisweekbox.html

this might help you with your trip to the grocery store. I don’t think we will ever fully relace your trips to the grocery store, but we should save you time and maybe an occassional visit.

And we also offer a bunch of “add-on” grocery items too (peanut butter, coffee, eggs, bread, chocolate, etc)..

http://www.bostonorganics.com/fresh/addonabout.html

Avoid frozen food by leaving us a key so we can drop your delivery inside. We are bonded and accept keys. Many customers provide us a key to leave the deliveries inside during the winter to avoid coming home to a frozen box of food.

Mininimize repetition by updating your “No List”- Yes, you will see many of the same things for extended periods of time depending on the seasonal availability. However, if you are getting tired of certain items, you can always take a break by adding them to your “No List”. We’ll sub in something of equal value that is not on your “No List”.

http://www.bostonorganics.com/fresh/nolist.php

Once we hit the local season, the boxes should get more interesting as we’ll have access to a lot more diverse offerings (i.e,. asparagus from Pedersen Farms, callalloo greens from Atlas Farms).

Thanks for trying out the service (again). I hope you enjoy your CSA and consider trying us again next winter!

-Jeff

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time April 6, 2010 at 11:27 am

Thanks for responding, Jeff! I’m not knocking the service itself; I’m just frustrated that I’m having a hard time making it work for me. I always love it for the first month or two. I’ll bet updating the No List more regularly would help.

Comment from belg4mit
Time April 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm

We’ve been using Boston Organics since September. I never had any problems with freezing on our porch, or balance, and our delivery comes on Wednesday. I was getting a little tired of all the greens, but I never got around to adding them to the no-list, so it was a little bit my fault*. I’m not sure who it will work once the farmer’s markets start, but frankly BO seems to generally deliver stuff I’d almost never buy anyways (except for certain fruits), that I probably should… so it helps round out my diet.

* It would be nice though if the website were a bit more sophisticated and had a concept of logged-in users so that it could remember your no-list… and if one could do a one-delivery “we do not need more X” once the newsletter comes out, similar to the one-time only add-on. Or even a “do not deliver more than one head of lettuce a month,” salads are boring and you can only stick so much greenery in a a sandwich 😉

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time April 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Yeah, it’s definitely a it’s-not-you-it’s-me sort of thing. There are lots of things I could fiddle with to make it easier/better balanced, but I tend to get lazy about it and suddenly it’s too late to make changes for that week. (I think Monday at noon is the deadline for Wednesday delivery.)

Comment from Jeff Barry
Time April 26, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Hi Brenda – I appreciate your comment about it’s not you/it’s me. Ultimately, it is in Boston Organics’ best interest to better serve you all and try as hard as possible to meet your needs. With that said, we are working to improve the website to allow for some of the functionality belg4mit mentioned. Eventually customers will be able to login and easily manage their account (view/update No List, view/schedule vacations, etc).

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time April 27, 2010 at 10:05 am

Good to know. Thanks, Jeff. I’m impressed that you’re so responsive to comments about the service! I’ll keep an eye on the Boston Organics blog to find out when the website improvement happens.

Comment from KJ
Time March 6, 2011 at 1:06 am

We’ve been using Boston Organics for a few years now and we really love it. At first, we had some similar issues where we needed to coordinate our grocery trips and no-list items until we got it to work exactly the way we needed it to. I’ve had some friends tell me that they didn’t quite know how to finish their boxes or cook accordingly and such, and my recommendation is to get used to making some staple dishes that are great even when you swap out ingredients. Example: many dishes that are awesome with kale are just as great with chard or spinach. We somehow manage to eat everything and it’s made us more creative with cooking. I think it’s also made us a lot healthier because we no longer skimp on the veggies. So many folks back home (Midwest) wish they had this option, so I’m really grateful that we do. A great, consistently good service overall.

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