Inside Acme: The Acme Food Cycle

At Acme, we operate under the philosophy that to change something, you should build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete (as Buckminster Fuller said.)

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.

In the next few months, we’re going to tell you a bit more about what makes Acme special in our “Inside Acme” series. First, we’re gonna focus on the Acme food cycle: how local food comes in and then out of our warehouse to end up on your doorstep.

If you’ve ever ordered from Acme before, you know that you place your order by a cut-off time each week (Wednesdays at midnight) for delivery the following week. 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 Acme food cycle! There are six steps that make up our food cycle:

The first step begins long before the week’s meals have even been decided: We Connect. Long before we decide which meals to serve for which week, 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!

After we’ve decided which ingredients to use, we enter step two: We Curate. 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 curated boxes for a variety of eating habits?) This step is perhaps where the most Acme magic happens: local food becomes delicious and convenient recipes, saving you valuable time while supporting local at the same time. 

After we complete step two, you complete step three: You Decide. You select from our offerings of curated 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.

After we have all your orders and all our ingredients, we enter step four: We Deliver. Our team carefully packs all your ordered items into an Acme box with minimal packaging, and our friendly delivery drivers bring them to your doorstep.

We like to think the last step is the best step: You Enjoy. After all our hard work (and your generous support and belief in the benefits of local food) you get to enjoy a box of fresh food ready to be made into delicious recipes, all while saving time on purchasing food, planning, and meal prepping.

Our food cycle is central to what makes our model work so well for your local producers. The Acme 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 Acme, you are never just supporting Acme. You are supporting a whole network of local small businesses. This is what makes Acme 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 Acme works. Stay tuned for part 2 in our Inside Acme series where we explore how we select our producers each week. And as always, thank you for supporting local. It truly means a lot.

With love,
-Your Acme Team