Shelly Herman, Co –Founder, Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks
It started with a “vision” day at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Shelly left her job of ten years, and Irv, her husband was a freelancer at this time. They strolled through the gardens together, spent time alone, and mapped out what they wanted to do both professionally and personally in their lives. They knew through Irv’s past work with not for profits, and Shelly’s background in promoting growth in small communities, that they wanted to give back and make a difference.
When Irv first suggested they build a website and deliver farm fresh produce Shelly thought he was joking. Initially she was thinking of all the grocers that had tried this in the past and failed. Being able to look beyond, and realizing that more and more people wanted healthier foods on their table, and wanted to support local farms and businesses was Shelly’s defining moment.
Shelly and Irv already knew a lot of farmers and knew that farming itself is a lot of hard work. The added pressure to market, distribute and ship their product was very stressful for many. Armed with this knowledge, Shelly and her husband knew they could relieve local organic farmers of these stresses and create a livelihood for themselves.
With the click of a mouse, Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks created a local organic food system that links local farmers’ organic produce to the consumer. When not in season locally, Shelly tells us they reach outside of the region for other organic produce that would not be readily available in the Midwest. Fresh Picks has experienced year over year growth since being founded in 2006.