EASTON — Comptroller Peter Franchot visited Eat Sprout, on Aurora Street in Easton, on Wednesday, Aug. 15, during an Eastern Shore tour for Tax-Free Week.
During his visit, Eat Sprout owners Emily and Ryan Groll gave Franchot a history of their company that provides locally sourced, organic, nutritionist-designed ready-to-eat meals. They also allowed him to see the kitchen and gave him samples of their food. Franchot gave them medallions for their hard work on the Shore.
Eat Sprout opened in 2016 as a mobile kitchen that focuses on delivering healthy meals to the buyer’s doorstep and is now in the process of adding brick and mortar location. As experts in the health, fitness and the food industry, the husband and wife work with local farmers to bring a great variety of prepared meals whether a customer wants it delivered or pick it up at a delivery area.
“The key here is the innovations. These are entrepreneurs that are creating a great business model,” Franchot said. “That is how the state’s GDP (gross domestic product) works, which is about $350 billion a year. It is gratifying and satisfying because without these businesses, we are not going to be able to have a successful state. We are among the wealthiest states in the country because of small business people.”
When a customer spends money at a local business, it generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy compared to chain-owned businesses. Local businesses generate 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box stores, according to Ross Benincasa, Easton Business Alliance manager.
The Grolls enjoy allowing customers to understand where their food comes from in terms of nutritional value and quality. The company has a menu that has been carefully designed by local nutritionists and is seasonal. For example, instead of strawberries in the fall, they are replaced with crisp local apples.
“The variety is much wider when you are using mostly local product,” Emily Groll said. “There is so much more variety that is available when you are getting local products, one type of red pepper at the grocery store whereas the farm in Salisbury grows 15 of different varieties of peppers.”
To order food, you first must see if you fall within the delivery area, and if you live outside the delivery area, picking up ordered meals can be done at one of the “Sproutlettes” near you. Customers then choose their food and have the ability to order for multiple weeks or a whole month. If you would like a culinary surprise, customers have the option of choosing the Chef’s Choice.
The next step is to create an account and checkout where the customer enters the location where they prefer their meals delivered or choose pick up during the checkout such as an alternate refrigerator or a passcode. The customer must have at least five meals per delivery date and checkout. It is advised to do it three days in advance.
“Portion control is important so that (customers) receive a meal and not go back for seconds,” Ryan Groll. “Not only is it convenient, it is convenience. If you keep good food in your fridge you are going to eat it, so we are trying to get them to plan for the unexpected for ready to eat meals that are there for them. We don’t want them to have to run out somewhere at six in the evening.”
He also wants customers to come in and get a tasty, ready-to-eat snack or meal that is convenient and sustainable. Developing a routine of eating healthy food includes meal planning to avoid opting for the fast, but unhealthy, option.
The Grolls plan to open their shop in September.
For more information about their company, visit www.eatsprout.com. You can also visit them on Facebook and Instagram under @eatsprout.