Ripe Revival Delivers Fresh Produce to Western Wake

Will Kornegay, founder of Ripe Revival Market, launched the produce delivery service to connect N.C. farmers with consumers. “The market was really born out of the pandemic, out of necessity for survival,” he says.

Since it began distributing produce in April 2020, Ripe Revival Market has spread quickly from its base of operations in Rocky Mount to more than 15 N.C. counties — including western Wake County.

Now, as the company’s reach has broadened to more than 100 cities across North Carolina, from Wilmington to Chapel Hill, residents in Cary, Apex and Morrisville can have locally produced fresh fruit, vegetables and meats delivered right to their door each week.

“The market was really born out of the pandemic, out of necessity for survival,” said founder Will Kornegay. “Not only for ourselves, but we just saw the need for so many people to have access to the service that we offer, whether it be consumers who need a safe and convenient way to get food during a time of uncertainty, or be another food producers and food companies who like us, had the rug pulled out from under their feet when the state shut down.”

Ripe Revival Market joins a booming industry of produce distribution companies that serve the Triangle, with a convenient contact-free food delivery model that has thrived in the pandemic. To set itself apart from other similar companies, Kornegy says that Ripe Revival delivers to both rural and urban areas, while some of its competitors deliver in only larger cities.

Ripe Revival offers a variety of packages, from one-time deliveries to recurring memberships of grocery boxes, produce boxes and other North Carolina-made food products. The company plans to launch poultry, beef and pork meat boxes in March.

The produce box includes 15-20 pounds of fruits and vegetables for $34.99, while the grocery box includes produce and other products, like meat, dairy and snacks for $74.99 per box.

As many companies of its kind have grown quickly during the pandemic, Ripe Revival’s history is tied directly to COVID-19 — and the company might not exist if not for the shutdowns.

Ripe Revival was supposed to launch in March 2020 as a fruit and vegetable gummies company, but pivoted when stores were not accepting new vendors. Instead, Kornegay decided the company would address food insecurity concerns and support N.C. farmers whose supply chains were disrupted by shutdowns.

“Agriculture is one of North Carolina’s biggest industries, and I think that consumers are much more aware of that now after the last year,” Kornegay said. “We’re proud that we can represent a lot of farmers who lost a lot of business or outlets for their crops. Beyond, I think consumers are really looking for a deeper connection to the source of their food, so we’re excited that Ripe Revival Market can be that resource for them.”

In the time since, Ripe Revival has also resumed the sale of fruit and vegetable gummies. But now tied to its mission is the goal to maximize the use of crops that might not otherwise be sold. So far, Kornegay has partnered with dozens of farmers in the state to sell more of their produce and products.

The company recently launched a $22.99 Community Supported Produce Box that includes imperfect but otherwise perfectly healthy fruit and vegetables. Each purchase benefits farmers and helps families in need.

“We’re trying to find a way to utilize more of, a lot of people use the term ugly produce. We don’t specifically love that term, but the unwanted produce,” Kornegay said. “For every box we sell, we’re going to donate that exact same box to a family in need within their communities.”

All boxes change weekly depending upon the season and availability of produce. Ripe Revival delivers orders from Wednesday to Friday, but generally fulfills any orders placed in the Triangle on Fridays.

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