Imperfect: Redefining Beauty in Produce
Ugly is Beautiful!
Across the country, ugly produce (or as we like to say, “cosmetically-challenged produce”) is being treated like a second-class citizen. Every year six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables go to waste on farms across the U.S. just for looking a little different from other produce. Instead of going to feed people, all that wasted produce is sitting in landfills, where it releases methane gas into the atmosphere.
We think it’s ridiculous that so much delicious produce is going to waste, and so we are setting out to change that. We’re launching a new venture called Imperfect that gives consumers the chance to buy delicious, wonky-looking produce at a discount. So instead of going to waste, all those odd-looking fruits and vegetables will be helping Americans eat healthier, at a price they can afford.
Who We Are
Imperfect is the latest venture launched by Ben Simon and Ben Chesler. We’ve been passionate about food waste for a long time, always with the same goal in mind: Keep food from being wasted, and provide it to people instead.
It all started when we launched the Food Recovery Network in 2011 to recover leftover food from campus dining halls. 700,000 pounds of food and 127 colleges later, and we’re moving on to attack food waste at the source.
We’ve teamed up on this project with Ron Clark, who has worked for the California food banks for the last 15 years sourcing ugly produce. Together, our team has over 25 years of experience fighting food waste, and we’ve been recognized by MTV, NPR, the New York Times, and Forbes 30 Under 30 for our work.
What We Are Doing
Think that what we’re doing sounds pretty simple? Well, that’s because it is! We work with farmers in California to source their funny-looking produce at discounted prices. We then pass those savings on to consumers, giving you a chance to get quality produce delivered to your door for 30% less than at a grocery store.
When you sign up for our service, you get a box of 10-15 pounds of assorted, seasonal Imperfect-brand produce every week. Carrots, broccoli, potatoes, plums, onions, oranges – you name it, we’ve got it!
We’re launching our service in Oakland and Berkeley this summer, so you can start getting affordable fruits and vegetables soon.
We want to provide ugly produce to people in the East Bay (and eventually, all over the country), and with your help, we can be one of the first socially-conscious and environmentally-friendly produce companies in the US. Even though the concept is simple, we still need some basic infrastructure to make this happen. The money you donate goes to leasing a refrigerated warehouse to store the produce, and providing the salaries for a delivery and sales team to get the word out and bring you your produce!
As for incentives, we wanted you, the donors, to be the first to taste the beauty of Imperfect-brand produce. So for those of you in the Bay Area, we have a bunch of cool rewards like 6 months of free produce, and even a dinner party catered by a professional chef showcasing ugly produce. For our friends and supporters across the country, you can get awesome Imperfect swag to show off to your friends, or even a signed book by our good friend Jonathan Bloom.
Spread the Word!
Imperfect will be one of the first chances for people on the West Coast to buy ugly, delicious produce. By spreading the word, you can help us launch and grow our business and bring ugly produce to as many people as possible!
You can Tweet at our project @imperfectfruit #uglyisbeautiful
You can like us on Facebook
And check out our website to stay up-to-date on our plans!
And find some sweet pics of ugly produce on our Instagram @imperfectproduce
Don’t forget, you can also use the share tools provided by Indiegogo to help us out as well.