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Residents choose farmers boxes amid rising costs at grocery stores

Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 21:42:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — For Eastlake Chula Vista, resident Sandra Guynes, the solution to cutting costs sits right on her kitchen countertop -- a large cardboard box filled with fresh fruit and vegetables packed to the brim, delivered every Monday by North County's Yasukochi Family Farms.

"We did try other farm-to-door services but the quality of vegetables and food, we just liked what we were seeing from another friend who was using their services," Guynes said.

Each box is $27 including delivery, and Guynes said, "There are lots of vegetables to choose from. They're all seasonal, we also can order eggs, which is great."

Guynes started using the subscription service about a year ago to avoid crowds at the grocery store. Now, she uses it to avoid inflation.

"I went in the grocery store to buy strawberries and it was $6.99 when I get a carton of strawberries in this box," Guynes added.

Yasukochi Family Farms isn't the only one on the farmers' box trend.

Nicholas Luna helps run his family's business, Chula Vista Food Services, out of the South Bay. Their delivery service was born out of the pandemic. For decades, they sold produce and other wholesale items to local restaurants but in March 2020, they found themselves with a lot of products, and no one to sell them to.

"We were hearing reports that there was nothing on the grocery store shelves like eggs; nothing at all," Luna said.

So, they packed what they had into cardboard boxes and that's when their farmers' box was created.

"I put it on my social media on a Thursday at 4 p.m. They sold out and it just grew and grew. I think we pumped 400 out in a day," Luna recalled.

Their box is $20 plus $6.99 for delivery. It includes about a dozen items like lettuce, strawberries, avocados, and lemons.

Luna added they can keep costs low since they still buy wholesale. He said as a family business, they made it through the pandemic. Now, they're trying to pay it forward so their community can make it too.

"There's always someone that needs help, regardless of if it's $20 in savings, and you're not having to spend $45 on groceries, you're spending $20 with us," Luna said.