Illuminate Food, a popular subscription food delivery service is set to open its first brick-and-mortar shop in Montclair in December of 2021. The company’s goal is to educate and feed the community in a sustainable way by partnering with local farms and purveyors. Illuminate Food is revolutionizing grocery delivery, consumption trends, and boosting local businesses. Read on to learn more about Illuminate’s delicious mission and upcoming opening in Montclair.
How It Started
Illuminate Food was founded by Danielle Schwab in April 2020. Prior to opening the business, she started a blog called Illuminate Supply Chains which helped educate readers about where food comes from and how to understand various food labels. Now, through Illuminate Food, she is able to continue her mission by delivering local produce and products directly from farms and makers to its customers.
With a background in global trade and supply chains, Danielle began to “connect the dots how the food we eat not only affects our health but also has an environmental impact as well as an impact on communities who grow, harvest, process, distribute and sell it.”
Illuminate Food was founded during Covid related shutdowns as a result of all the food that was no longer being delivered to shuttered restaurants. Illuminate’s goal was to help stop food waste while also ensuring our community had safe and easy access to fresh food.
Illuminate Food promotes seasonal, sustainable eating. Danielle observed that while people tend to know a lot about the nutritional aspects of food, many times they do not know where their food comes from or how it was grown. Illuminate wants to ignite the conversation around where food is coming from and how far it travels before reaching tables.
This way of eating is not only healthier for consumers, but it also makes a difference in local economies. By supporting smaller farms and purveyors, kitchens become filled with better-quality products while keeping more jobs in New Jersey. Danielle points out that, if we don’t support farmers in New Jersey, there won’t be any more farmers here and we will be forced to rely on other states and countries abroad for our food.
Local produce is not often seen in local grocery stores because the stores prefer to stock shelves with products that can be found all year round, even if those products are not in season. Farmer’s markets and companies like Illuminate are trying to change that and make local products more accessible.
Illuminate Food strives to shift people’s eating habits to be focused on seasonal products. By partnering with Zone 7, a New Jersey distributor that works with small-scale, local farms, Illuminate is able to supply seasonal, fresh food to Maplewood, South Orange, Chatham, Madison, Short Hills, Millburn, Summit, Jersey City, Montclair, Bloomfield, West Orange and Livingston, with more towns coming soon.
Customers can order a one-time box or subscribe to its weekly delivery service. Currently, Illuminate delivers to 100 customers every Wednesday. The service is continuing to grow and is able to accept new customers.
In each box, customers will find around 6-8 seasonal veggies and fruits, milk, eggs, yogurt or cheese, 1-2 specialty goods, and fresh bread. Proteins and additional products, such as fresh fish and local honey, can be added to the box and rotate weekly. The box also includes a recipe card to help customers enjoy the products in a healthy and delicious way.
Illuminate is always looking for new companies and farmers to partner with and is transparent about where each box item comes from.
Some of its partners are:
- – Beef from Cotton Cattle in Asbury, NJ
- – Seafood from Local 130 in Asbury Park, NJ
- – Poultry from Goffle Road Poultry sourced from NJ poultry raisers around River Valley, NJ
- – Grains, popcorn, and flowers from River Valley Community Grains in Long Valley, NJ
- – Cheese from Jersey Girl Cheese Rockaway, NJ
- – Bread from Le French Dad Boulangerie in Montclair, NJ
- – Bread from Liv Breads in Millburn, NJ
- – Pasta from Nicola’s Pasta Fresca in Kenilworth, NJ
- – Pasta from Loré in Monmouth Junction, NJ
- – Eggs from Hazelman Farms in West Milford, NJ
- – Tomato products from First Fields in Princeton, NJ
- – Local honey from Bob’s Buzzy Bees in Yardville, NJ
- – Mushrooms from Foraged Feast in Maplewood, NJ
The mission is to stay local and Illuminate plans to only provide service within New Jersey. The company believes that this area is full of conscious consumers who have limited options to make conscious food purchases, and Illuminate wants to change that.
Illuminate chose Montclair as the location for its flagship store because owner/founder Danielle grew up locally in Maplewood and spent much of her time at the height of the pandemic there. Danielle found the space while chatting with Rachel Crampsey, owner of Montclair Bread Co. It felt like a perfect fit.
Montclair was an easy fit for Illuminate: founder Danielle grew up in Maplewood and spent much of the pandemic there. Danielle found the space while chatting with Rachel Crampsey, owner of Montclair Bread Co.
Illuminate Food’s storefront will serve as a mini farmer’s market. People will be able to pick up fresh produce and products from Illuminate vendor partners right in the store. In addition, customers will be able to pick up their weekly boxes if they do not wish to have them shipped.
The store is set to open in December 2021, and the location is 113 Grove Street. In addition to the vegetables, fruits, grains, and other goods available for purchase, the store will also have prepared food to take home. Sticking to its mission, the prepared foods will utilize local produce and products. The meals can also be added to customers’ weekly boxes.
The recipe cards found in the boxes will also be available in-store. Staff will be there to help customers plan meals and pick out groceries.
Illuminate Food is revolutionizing grocery delivery, consumption trends, and boosting local businesses.