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
    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

  • Castle Rock Organic Dairy
    Wayne & Carla Kostka

    Osseo, WI
    Milk & Cheese
    Certified Organc & Grass-Fed

  • Chicago Primal Gym
    Sean Griffin
    Chicago, IL
    Personalized training fueled by local
    food and a sustainable lifestyle

  • Coldbrook Farm
    John Pilcher

    Crete, IL
    Aronia Berries
    Organically Grown

  • 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

  • Driftless Breeze
    Levi Miller

    Monroe, WI
    Certified Organic

  • Driftless Organics
    Josh and Noah Engel

    Soldiers Grove, WI
    Vegetables & Sunflower Oil
    Certified Organic

  • Eden Farm
    Byeong Ho and Kum Ok Son

    Chillicothe, IL
    Fruits & Vegetables
    Organically Grown

  • Farmed Here
    Jolanta Hardej

    Bedford Park, IL
    Certified Organic

  • Flint Ridge Organic Produce

  • Food For Thought
    Timothy Young
    Honor, Michigan

    Preserves, Butters, Dried Fruit
    Certified Organic

  • Full Harvest Farm
    Chuck Frase and Terry Vlossak
    Hartford, WI
    Certified Organic

  • Genesis Growers
    Vicki Westerhoff

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

  • Goldmine Farms
    Jack Erisman

    Pana, Illinois
    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
    Organically Grown

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

    Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs
    Organically Grown

    Green Zebra Garden
    Jon DuBois
    Chicago, IL
    Prepared Meals

  • 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

  • Harvest Moon Farm
    Jenny & Bob Borchardt

    Viroqua, Wisconsin
    Certified Organic

  • Heartland Meats

  • Henry's Farm

  • Hidden Pond Farm
    Andy & Beverly McDowell
    Centerville, IN
    Raw Fermented Sauerkraut
    Organically Grown

  • Hill & Valley Produce
    Brian Wickert

    Hillsboro, WI
    Vegetables & Fruit
    Organically Grown

  • Hillside Orchards
    Paul & Sarah Thelen

    Berrien Springs, MI
    Integrated Pest Management

  • Igl Farms
  • Illini Pasterized/Grassfed Poultry
  • Intelligentsia Coffee
    Doug Zell and Emily Mange
    Chicago, IL
  • Jake's Country Meats
    Nate and Lou Ann Robinson
    Cassopolis, MI
  • John Hochstetler

  • K & A Organic Roots
    Keith & Anne Clute

    Fowler, IN
    Certified Organic

  • Katherine Ann Confections

  • Karma Kombucha
    Susan Fink
    Vernon Hills, IL
    Certified Organic

  • Keewaydin Farms
  • Kilgus Farmstead
    Paul and Carmen Kilgus
    Fairbury, IL
  • Kinnikinnick Farm
  • Lamer's Dairy
    Appleton, WI
    rGBH Free 

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!

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) is a coalition of individuals, organizations and businesses working to support and expand sustainable agriculture in the Chicago area, from home- and community-based growing to market gardens and small farms. With over 1,200 individual and organizational members, AUA serves as the hub and voice for Chicago's urban agriculture movement. Its staff and volunteers work to fulfill its mission with a three pronged approach:




Advocate for good urban agriculture policy

Local and regional policies on land access, land use, zoning, composting, livestock keeping, and more can have a huge impact on the ability of Chicago's burgeoning urban agriculture movement to reach its potential. AUA works with government officials, organizations, businesses, scientists, practitioners, and other stakeholders to develop and promote policies and best practices that allow urban agriculture to thrive. Recent examples include working with the Mayor's office to develop improved citywide composting rules (which just passed!), promoting best practices at events like AUA's annual Urban Livestock Expo and its "Bugs, Bees & Biodiversity Days", and partnering with groups like the Illinois Stewardship Alliance to pass statewide legislation that supports urban agriculture. AUA is currently working with City departments, aldermen, and local stakeholders to reform Chicago's "weed ordinance" so that edible and native plantings are no longer confused with noxious weeds (which can bring heavy fines for landowners), and with the Cook County Land Bank Authority to identify affordable vacant land for new urban farms and community gardens.


Share information, resources, and best practices

AUA provides free informational resources such as the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project and the Chicago Urban Agriculture Resource Guide, which are in a constant state of growth and development. From connecting producers to vendors and consumers, to helping families find nearby community gardens, to offering how-to videos, sources of growing supplies like compost, and funding opportunities, these resources aim to provide those interested in urban agriculture with all of the information and tools they need. AUA's website also serves as a great resource, offering regularly updated listings of relevant jobs, volunteer opportunities, and events. AUA's Google Group (with over 1,900 subscribers) continues to be the main communications hub for the urban agriculture community, and its new blog brings in a wide array of thoughtful voices and ideas.


Connect practitioners, consumers, and projects through a strong network

In order to be an effective advocate and communications/resources center for the urban agriculture community, it is essential to build a strong and diverse network. AUA is constantly reaching out to individuals and groups across the city by giving community presentations, offering workshops, tabling at farmers markets and other events, organizing large networking and educational events, and engaging in online outreach. In addition to regularly engaging its members through these activities, AUA regularly solicits member feedback on important issues to ensure that it is faithfully representing the broad interests of Chicago's urban agriculture community. AUA also regularly keeps its membership up to date on current issues and projects through its quarterly e-newsletter, Google Group, and social media outlets (follow us on Facebook and Twitter!).

See the listing here….

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

Angelic Organics Learning Center
Climate Cycle
Common Threads
Faith in Place

Fresh Moves
Growing Power  
Growing Solutions Farm           

Local First Chicago
Mercy Housing
Nature's Farm Camp
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

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!