Why Eat Right Atlanta is the fresh produce retailer to watch in America
Eat Right Atlanta, which launched in 2011, is one of the pioneers of fresh produce delivery services in Atlanta. The philosophy of founders Donsha Johnson and Nicole Folkes-Johnson is that fresh fruits and vegetables should be affordable and accessible to everyone.
Growing a fresh produce delivery business from scratch was no mean feat, as Nicole explains.
"When you're a new company - especially one with tight margins like ours - banks don't want to lend you money," she says. "For the first eight years, we funded the business ourselves. We ate what we sold and lived very modestly."
With a passion to help people who don't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables in Georgia, Eat Right Atlanta has grown its customer base from seven families to more than 10,000. They feed over 400 families a week.
During the pandemic they developed a delivery service within Atlanta, and up to 60 miles outside of the city. This was pivotal to growing the business and a great support to the local grower community, as many farmers' markets were shut down.
At the height of the pandemic, Eat Right Atlanta partnered with United Health Group's COVID Prevention program, handing out bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to people getting COVID tests and vaccines.
As part of its widespread contribution to the local community, Nicole and Donsha's business became part of the Hospital Wellness Program at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Other hospitals in the area responded too, and by the time the pandemic hit, they had five hospital networks on board, including WellStar Health System, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Healthcare and Piedmont Healthcare.
"We're a business, but we operate like a charity and a family nutrition service," says Nicole. "We're a group of people who really care."
Eat Right Atlanta understands its customers. They find out their preferences. If they're in a position where they are unable to pay, Nicole and the team will help them out.
Donsha and Nicole want to reach into communities where access and money are an issue. For them, the real issue is the health of these communities.
"We know poor health is linked to poor nutrition," says Nicole. "And while we don't expect to solve the whole problem, we want to do something. We definitely want to expand."
Today, Eat Right Atlanta continues to prioritize its reliable high standards of freshness and excellent service, while further expanding its online sales channels and reaching into more US cities.