Interview with Rob Meyer of Papa Spud's

Rob Meyer's company, Papa Spud's, is an interesting business model. Offering fresh and local produce delivered to the customer's door, this business has enormous implications for food economies. The grocery store is taken out of the picture. Local farmers get the spotlight. Much thanks to Rob for sharing his perspective on his startup company.

Redress Raleigh: Tell us about the structure of your company.

Rob Meyer: There’s me: I head up the purchasing and customer service; also general operations such as accounting and marketing. This behind you here is Lee, our operations guy. Lee takes care of receiving, packaging, delievering, and staff. Everyone else includes 12 drivers, packagers and workers in general. They do all sorts of stuff, including helping me with marketing. They gotta do everything.

RR: Was the idea for your business complete upon starting or did the concept evolve over time?

RM: It definitely evolves. Originally we were trying to do...way at the very beginning, we had the subscription service: the CSA-like model. We also tried to do on-demand ordering, like if someone wanted broccoli we could align it with the orders going out. That was not paying. Inconsistent, you can’t plan for it. We were so small you just had no idea what people were going to order. Now it might be easier. The evolution has been working with more farms, offering more products. At first we did just fruits and veggies. Now we have meat, eggs, dairy, frozen pastas, and more farms too. We have more producers in general.

RR: What role have friends and family played in getting the business off the ground?

RM: I mean, I never really ask much of my friends and family. My parents bought a subscription, they have bought from us since the beginning. I did not try to push it on people. I did not want the inflated or false demand. I just wanted to know: is this going to work or not.

Boxes of local produce await delivery at Papa Spud's warehouseRob shows us local NC raspberries from the storage cooler