In honor of Father’s Day, we spoke with Mike Gellar, father of two and founder of Mike’s Organic Delivery, one of our favorite secret mom hacks for keeping delicious, fresh produce and prepared foods in the house, without dragging our kids to the grocery store. Here’s our interview with this Greenwich native:
Can you please tell us a bit about your family?
We are a family of four. Mike (39), Asya (35), Nathan (2 1/2) and Charlie (18 months)…We live in Greenwich, went to school here and have lived here for most of our lives!
Why did you choose your neighborhood?
We love our little Copper Beech Rd neighborhood…It’s close to town but we still feel like we live in the woods. Our kids get the chance to catch frogs and grow veggies the same way I did growing up in back country Greenwich.
Can you please describe your business for those who aren’t familiar?
I started Mike’s Organic in 2009 as a way to directly connect consumers to small, local farmers. We sell: Organic Fruits and Veggies, Pastured Meats, Wild Fish, Grass Fed Dairy, Organic Pantry & Staples, Beverages, Prepared Foods and more.
It began as a home delivery service but has now grown into a really cool combination of home deliveries and a small retail market we run out of our warehouse right off exit 6 on I-95.
Now we do cooking classes, sheep shearings, private events and more right out of our warehouse and people love to visit and have an awesome experience around food!
Amazing! What have been a few highlights for you?
I think being featured on Martha Stewart’s site (and being invited on her show) has to be one of the highlights for a food business. We have also had over 15 different farmers tell us over the years that without our business (and your support) that they would have gone out of business. To know that we have had that type of impact on small farmers is a definite highlight for us!
So great. What’s your favorite part of the job? Least favorite?
My favorite part of my job is getting a chance to meet all of the amazing farmers and artisans that we work with and introduce their products to our customers. My least favorite part of the job is waking up before 5am to drive to the farms!
I’m assuming your kids are great eaters…
Our kids are great eaters! Nathan is at that picky stage so he definitely has an aversion to some of the green veggies these days but for the most part they eat really well. We don’t do a lot of pouches or packaged items so 5-6 nights a week I cook for the kids and Asya and I. To me the best way to get kids to eat their veggies is to establish a connection to what they’re eating. When you can say to a child “A farmer grew this just for you” it completely changes the interaction that kids have with their food….plus food from the farms just plain tastes better!
How did growing up in Greenwich prepare you to launch your business?
Growing up in Greenwich prepared me for a great many things in life. Most importantly it taught me what the expectations are for people in our community and what people are really looking for as it relates to food and level of service. More than anything people want an incredible experience around food and I think we deliver that better than anyone!
Did your dad give you any great advice you want to share, in honor of Father’s Day?
My dad has given me loads of great advice about both fatherhood and business and the basic premise has always remained the same. In your personal life, and in business, at the end of the day you have to live with the decisions you make and the actions you take. I choose (as he does) to treat people well and with respect whether they are friends or employees, farmers or CEO’s. At the end of the day when your head hits the pillow if you feel fulfilled and that you have made someone’s life better, then it has been a great day.
What are your favorite places in the area to:
Grab a drink with friends: East End in Greenwich
Have a date night: Elm St Oyster House
Spend time together as a family indoors/outdoors: Audubon Center of Greenwich
Grab coffee: Granola Bar in Greenwich
Workout: Greenwich Equinox