Fresh Picks is Awarded Small Business
Innovation Research Grant from USDA!
CHICAGO, July 2010-- Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks, the service that brings the Farmer's Market to your door all year-round, has been awarded an $81,000 grant by the United States Department of Agriculture. Owner Irvin Cernauskas states, "We are honored to be recognized by the Small Business Innovation Research Grant Program as an innovative business that has the capacity to improve the health of people, farmers and the environment through our work.” Partnering with local sustainable farmers and the University of Illinois, Fresh Picks will use the grant to increase the fair trade supply of local food.
The Small Business Innovation Research Grant Program is very competitive, with only 15% of applications being awarded funding after review by an expert panel. The purpose of the Grant Program is to provide an opportunity for small businesses to submit innovative research and development projects that address important problems facing American agriculture and have the potential to lead to significant public benefit if the research is successful.
Along with taking the local sustainable food community to the next level, Fresh Picks aims to improve distribution of food into Chicago for local farmers. Co-owner Shelly Herman states, “With this project, we’ll encourage even more local organic food making its way to folks in the Chicago region. Our goal is to design ways to alleviate distribution bottlenecks so the many benefits of local food, principally to public health, the environment, and rural economies, can be increased and more broadly enjoyed.”
Fresh Picks wins Sustain Illinois
Green Business Competition!
CHICAGO, May 2009-- Irv & Shelly's Fresh PicksTM, the service that brings the Farmer’s Market to your door all year-round, won the Sustain Illinois 2009 Green Business Competition in the Sustainable Product/Service Category with a $10,000 cash prize. Owner Irvin Cernauskas states, “We are honored to be recognized out of 73 competitors to be a business that has a lasting effect in Illinois in terms of people, planet, and profit." Partnering with sustainable farmers, Fresh Picks will use the winnings to increase the fair trade supply of local food while reaching new customers in a way that protects the environment. Co-owner and wife Shelly Herman adds, “We thank our farmers and customers for joining with us to improve our health and the environment one bite at a time!”
The Sustain Illinois competition, co-sponsored by the Chicago West Side Entrepreneurship Center and the Chicago Sustainable Business Alliance, encourages and rewards green companies that implement a sustainable product, service, or process with lasting economic, ecological, and social impact. Companies submitted applications in early April, and 12 finalists gave presentations to a panel of judges on May 14th, 2009. Along with taking the local sustainable food community to the next level, Fresh Picks wants to improve distribution of food into Chicago for local farmers. Cernauskas states, “There have been more than half a dozen new small farms in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana that we’ve been able to buy crops from the past couple of years. We want them to succeed and add much needed volume to build the local food system.”
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