Our Story

Our Story

Mission: Our mission is to make great healthy foods available to everyone by supporting our local farms. We are committed to bringing you the freshest organic and natural foods in the most sustainable way.

What We Do: We make healthy food deliveries to homes and businesses all year-round. You get to choose from the best organic produce, grass-fed meats, farm fresh eggs & dairy, baked goods, seasonal boxes and other tasty grocery items. How It Works

Your Health Partner: We have lots of fun, easy and delicious recipes for you! We also partner with wellness professionals to provide nutrition tips so you can eat and stay healthy. Recipes

A Community Partner: We partner with community groups, food pantries and schools to promote access to healthy food and green living. Our support of over 100 urban and rural Midwest farms has led to expanded food production, employment and income. 

Who We Are: We are Irv Cernauskas and Shelly Herman. We have raised our kids Miles and Lia here in the Midwest, cooking and eating the bounty of our hard working farmer friends. We are passionate about good food and good health, both for our own family and all communities.

When we met at MIT pursuing our MBAs, we envisioned using our new business skills for social good—healthier people, healthier communities, a healthier planet. Shelly went off to work in community economic development for 20 years investing in underserved areas. Irv became involved in nonprofit environmental activities and creating markets for local farmers.

Why We Started Fresh Picks: Our farmer friends work hard to grow good food; food with no chemicals, no hormones, no antibiotics, no GMOs. They wanted to spend more time farming and less time marketing, packing and trucking their food. We also realized that people needed an easier way to get this fresh healthy food in a convenient year-round way. So we started Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks(R) to grow a better food system, one that supports our small independent farmers and feeds all of us.

Why Local

Our mission is to make it easy to get great local food by rebuilding the connection between urban areas like Chicago & Milwaukee and surrounding farms. From growing the supply of organic food from small farms, to our efficient packing and delivery operation, we are committed to bringing you the freshest food in the most sustainable way.

Fresh Healthy Food—It Tastes Great!
Food grown locally is picked at its peak of flavor because it can get to you quickly, unlike food that is shipped long distances and picked early for long shelf life. Not only is local food fresher and great tasting but its ripeness means it is packed with more vitamins and minerals for your good health. Being in tune with the land by eating local seasonal fare provides needed diversity in our diet and comfort from warming and cooling foods that match the seasons.

Know Your Farmer
Here at Fresh Picks, we buy from over 100 farmers we personally know and trust. We extend this real and personal connection to you and the broader Fresh Picks Community when we deliver the great food our farmers have worked hard to grow in the most humane and environmentally sound way. You’ll feel good knowing exactly where your food came from, how it was raised and that you are supporting small independent farmers rather than large corporate industrial farming operations.

Support A Better Environment
Most food in this country is grown on large corporate factory farms that use pesticides, antibiotics and hormones that pollute the soil, water supply, air and wildlife all around them. The food then travels an average of 1500 miles to a retail location where it is sold, creating significant greenhouse gas emissions along the way. Local sustainable farms preserve our environment.

At Fresh Picks we will provide the greatest choice and abundance of local food as part of our goal for a better environment. By delivering our products to your door, we hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from grocery shopping car traffic, saving 50-100 car trips a day for each van of deliveries. We will consolidate truck trips of food getting to our warehouse from multiple farmers and use minimal packing and reusable bins when filling your orders of fresh food.

Grow the Local Economy
When we buy local food, we are participating in fair trade and supporting the livelihoods of farm families and their local workers. They then support other local businesses creating a multiplier effect for rebuilding the local rural economy. Our small Midwest business has grown with our farmers as we have helped them increase their supply of fresh healthy food for all of us.

Come join our local food community!

Local Farmers

Our mission is to make it easy to get great local food by rebuilding the connection between urban areas like Chicago & Milwaukee and surrounding farms. We are working with the wonderful farmers and local food makers listed here and many more to increase the supply of fresh local organic food. You can read more about them and how they farm the land to yield delicious harvests while protecting our health and the environment.

  • Angelic Organics
    John Peterson

    Caledonia, IL
    Vegetables
    Certified Organic

  • Big Head Farm
    Karen & Jody Warner

    Benton Harbor, MI
    Vegetables & Fruit
    Certified Organic
  • Breslin Farms
    John & Molly Breslin

    Ottawa, IL
    Grains & Beans
    Certified Organic
  • Carr Valley Cheese
    Sid Cook
    La Valle, WI
    Cheeses

  • Castle Rock Organic Dairy
    Wayne & Carla Kostka

    Osseo, WI
    Milk & Cheese
    Certified Organc & Grass-Fed
     
  • Coldbrook Farm
    John Pilcher

    Crete, IL
    Aronia Berries
    Organically Grown
     
  • Cooked Chicago
    Jona Silva 
    Chicago, IL
    Freshly Prepared Meals using Local, Sustainable Ingredients 
     
  • Co-op Sauce
    Mike Bancroft
    Chicago, IL
    Hot Sauce
     
  • Country View Dairy
    Dave & Carolee Rapson
    Hawkeye, IA
    Yogurt 
     
  • Daniel Yoder's Sugar Shack
    Daniel Yoder

    Westby, WI
    Maple Syrup
    Certified Organic
     
  • Delightful Pastries
    Dobra Bielinski and Stasia Hawryszczuk
    Chicago, IL
    Pastries and Baked Goods

  • Dotson's Farm
    Josh Dotson

    Lynwood, IL
    Vegetables

  • Driftless Breeze
    Levi Miller

    Monroe, WI
    Vegetables
    Certified Organic

  • Driftless Organics
    Josh and Noah Engel

    Soldiers Grove, WI
    Vegetables & Sunflower Oil
    Certified Organic
     
  • Flint Ridge Organic Produce

  • Food For Thought
    Timothy Young
    Honor, Michigan

    Preserves, Butters, Dried Fruit
    Certified Organic
     
  • Frontera
    Rick Bayless
    Chicago, IL
    Prepared Foods
     
  • Full Harvest Farm
    Chuck Frase and Terry Vlossak
    Hartford, WI
    Vegetables
    Certified Organic

  • Genesis Growers
    Vicki Westerhoff

    St Anne, IL
    Vegetables, Herbs
    Certified Organic
     
  • Gentle Breeze
    Eugene Woller
    Mt. Horeb, WI
    Honey

  • Goldmine Farms
    Jack Erisman

    Pana, Illinois
    Beef
    100% Grass Fed, Organically Grown

  • Green Earth Institute
  • Growing Home
    Harry Rhodes

    Chicago, IL
    Vegetables, Herbs
    Certified Organic
  • Growing Power
    Will and Erika Allen

    Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL
    Vegetables
    Organically Grown

  • Green Acres Farm
    Brent and Beth Eccles
    North Judson, IN

    Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs
    Organically Grown


  • Gunthorp Farms
    Greg and Lei Gunthorp
    La Grange, Indiana

    Free-Range Chicken, Duck & Pork

  • Harmony Valley Farm
    Richard de Wilde & Andrea Yoder

    Viroqua, Wisconsin
    Vegetables & Berries
    Certified Organic
     
  • Hedgerow Farm
    Andy Kaufmann
    Sullivan, IL
    Eggs
    Pastured Raised, GMO Free
     
  • Henry's Farm

  • Hill & Valley Produce
    Brian Wickert

    Hillsboro, WI
    Vegetables & Fruit
    Organically Grown

  • Hillside Orchards
    Paul & Sarah Thelen

    Berrien Springs, MI
    Fruit
    Integrated Pest Management
     
  • Hungry Monkey Baking Company 
    Cindy Kienzle
    Lake Forest, IL
    Baked Goods
     
  • Igl Farms
     
  • Illini Pasterized/Grassfed Poultry

  • Intelligentsia Coffee
    Doug Zell and Emily Mange
    Chicago, IL
    Coffee
     
  • Jake's Country Meats
    Nate and Lou Ann Robinson
    Cassopolis, MI
    Fish
     
  • John Hochstetler

  • Windy Prairie
    Keith & Anne Clute
    Fowler, IN
    Vegetables
    Certified Organic
     
  • Katherine Ann Confections

  • Karma Kombucha
    Susan Fink
    Vernon Hills, IL
    Kombucha
    Certified Organic

  • Keewaydin Farms

  • Kilgus Farmstead
    Paul and Carmen Kilgus
    Fairbury, IL
    Dairy
     
  • Kinnikinnick Farm

  • Lamer's Dairy
    Appleton, WI
    Dairy
    rGBH Free 
     
  •  Larry Schultz Organic Farm
    Certified Organic
     
  • Lilybel Microgreens
    Beth Spatz
    Lake Bluff, IL
    Microgreens
    Certified Organic
     
  • Living Water Farms
    The Kilgus & Schneider Families
    Strawn, IL
    Specialty Greens & Micro Greens
    Organically Grown
     
  • Local Folks Food
    Steve and Anita Spencer
    Sheridan, IN
    Prepared Foods
    Organically Grown

  • Lonesome Stone Milling
    Dave Dolan, Dennis Dochnahl, and Tom Martin  
    Lone Rock, WI
    Flour, Corn Meal, other Grains
    Certified Organic
     
  • Manna Organics
    Lisle, IL
    Breads, Dried Fruit & Nut Butters
    Certified Organic
     
  • Metropolis Coffee Company
    Jeff and Tony Dreyfuss
    Chicago, IL
    Coffee
    Organic 
     
  • Mick Klug Farms
    Mick Klug
    St. Joseph, MI
    Fruit & Vegetables
    Integrated Pest Management
     
  • MightyVine
    Rochelle, IL
    Tomatoes
    Integrated Pest Management
     
  • Morris Mast
     
  • Nichols Farm & Orchard
  • Nordic Creamery
     
  • Old Plank Farm
     
  • Organic Matters
    Orion, Akeisha, & Jaden Lane
    Fairfield, IA
    Vegan Popcorn
    Certified Organic
     
  • Organic Valley
     
  • Oriana's Oriental Orchard
    Oriana Kruszewski
    Winslow, IL
    Fruit
    Certified Organic
     
  • Otter Creek Organic Farm
    Gary Zimmer
    Black Earth, WI
    Cheeses
    Certified Organic
     
  • Phoenix Bean
    Jenny Yang
    Chicago, IL
    Tofu
    GMO Free
     
  • Plainview Turkey Farm
    Cashton, WI
    Turkeys
    Certified Organic 
     
  • Pleasant  House Bakery
     
  • Pleasant View Turkey Farm
     
  • Plow Creek Farm

  • Prairie Fruits Farm
    Leslie Cooperband & Wes Jerrel
    Champagin, IL
    Goat Cheese
    Organically Grown

  • PrairiEarth Farm
    Hans Bishop
    Vegetables & Herbs
    Certified Organic 
     
  • Pristine View Farm

  • Quiver Creek Farm

  • Red Hen Bread
     
  • River Valley Ranch
    Eric Rose
    Burlington, WI
    Mushrooms & Prepared Foods
    Certified Organic (Mushrooms)
     
  • Sandhill Cranberry

  • Sandhill Organics

  • Smits Farm
    Carls Smits
    Chicago Heights, IL
    Vegetables & Herbs
    Organically Grown

  • Spingdale Farm
    Peter & Bernadette Seely
    Plymouth, WI
    Vegetables
    Organically Grown
     
  • Stateline Produce
    Harvey
    Lime Springs, IA
    Vegetables
    Certified Organic 
  • Stover Farm

  • Stoltzfus Farm

  • Sunny Side Produce

  • Tempel Farms Organics
    Chris Cubberly

    Old Mill Creek, IL
    Vegetables & Eggs
    Organically Grown
     
  • The Eating Well
    Daniel Sikorski
    Hillside, IL
    Veggie Patties

  • TJs Pastured Free Range Poultry
    Tim & Julie Ifft

    Piper City, IL
    Poultry
    Free Range

  • Traders Point Creamery
    Fritz & Jane Kunz

    Zionsville, IN
    Dairy
    Certified Organic & Grass Fed

  • Triple "S" Farms
    Stan Schutte

    Stewardson, IL
    Meat, Poultry, Vegetables & Eggs
    Certified Organic & Organically Grown
     
  • The Urban Canopy
    Alex Poltorack
    Chicago, IL
    Vegetables & Herbs
    Organically grown

  • Vosges Chocolates
    Katrina Markoff
    Chicago, IL
    Chocolatier
    Certified Organic
     
  • West Loop Salumi
    Greg Laketek
    Chicago, IL
    Salumi

  • Windy City Harvest
    Chicago, IL

    Vegetables
    Certified Organic

Community Partners

Every year, Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks partners with nonprofit organizations to further our missions and improve our communities throughout Chicagoland. Sometimes our connections revolve around food access, or health or land preservation while other times the issues have broad themes like living green, supporting local economies and nourishing our children. We want to let you know about some of the great organizations we support and give you the opportunity to get involved, make a donation or just simply be inspired!

This month's community partner is FamilyFarmed!

Over the past 15 years, FamilyFarmed has established itself as a lead innovator in promoting Good Food. Good Food is delicious, healthy and accessible, grown as close to home as possible by family farmers and producers using sustainable, humane and fair practices.
 

Fresh Picks customers understand the importance of improving our communities throughout Chicagoland by making great healthy foods available to everyone by supporting local farms.
 

By bringing together farmers, food producers, trade buyers, investors, individuals, families and other key stakeholders, FamilyFarmed has helped grow the sales of Good Food, facilitated financing for food and farm businesses, and inspired entrepreneurs and NGOs toward greater innovation.

Now in its 13th year the Good Food Festival and Conference offers many opportunities to eat, learn and connect with Good Food over three days. Families, farmers, food producers, trade buyers, investors, chefs, policy makers, and teachers all come together to share, network, expand production, and eat local, sustainable, humane and fair food.

The Good Food Business Accelerator gets farm and food businesses ready for prime time, giving them the skills to launch or scale up. Now in its third year, this fellowship program for food and farm entrepreneurs is based at 1871, Chicago’s center of innovation. Fellows are paired with industry-leading mentors and are connected to potential customers and investors. This is the nation’s first business accelerator focused on building supply chains for sustainable local food.

FamilyFarmed works with farmers across the country
 to help them improve their post harvest handling, operations, and marketing skills, develop customized food safety plans, and break into wholesale markets. The Wholesale Success program has reached more than 11,000 farmers from across the U.S. The newly launched Direct Market Success program offers a reference guide for farms selling in direct market venues such as farmers markets, CSAs and farm stands.
 

Some of the wonderful organizations we have partnered with previously include:

Angelic Organics Learning Center
Climate Cycle
Common Threads
Faith in Place
Familyfarmed

Fresh Moves
Growing Power  
Growing Solutions Farm           

Local First Chicago
Mercy Housing
Nature's Farm Camp
Neighborspace
Peterson Garden Project
Purple Asparagus
Safer Pest Control
Seven Generations Ahead
Slow Food Chicago
The Land Connection
The Plant
The Resource Center
The Talking Farm
Streetwise


School Fundraisers

Let us raise money for your school with fruits and veggies! We partner with schools throughout the region to bring healthy food to families while donating funds back to the school.

Our School fundraiser donates 10% of every order of fruits, vegetables, Fresh Picks boxes, meats, dairy, eggs and grocery items all year round. Families can order whatever they like, with our School Box specially designed for a mix of staple produce items--lettuce, potatoes, apples & bananas--and several seasonal items that rotate each week.

Here’s how it works:

     > We work with a champion(s) at your school to get everyone excited about receiving fresh local and organic groceries delivered to their homes.
     > Folks that participate will sign up for an account with a school code we provide you
     > Orders are delivered in insulated bins to keep the food really fresh until families get home
     > We tally the donations of 10% per order and send your school a check each month

So contact us today at 847-410-0595 or answers@freshpicks.com to get your school signed up. It’s such an easy way to have a healthy school fundraiser to benefit you and your school!