Food delivery services have been becoming increasingly popular. Meal prep programs like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Sunbasket deliver full meals complete with recipes and a range of ingredients, with components coming from all over the country and sometimes internationally. Pasture Provisions is a local alternative, providing a slightly different model for filling your fridge with top-notch ingredients without having to leave home. The young company — founded by local duo JT Eberly and Andrew Faires — delivers locally produced meat and vegetables in a model that more closely resembles that of the milkman. Subscribers are issued a “meat locker” — an insulated box that sits on the porch — with Eberly, Faires and a small team that includes friends and family delivering products on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
The founders — both Denver area natives — met while studying at the University of Colorado Boulder. For many years the two have discussed going into business together, with many ideas including a bone broth company floating around before they arrived at the basic concept for Pasture Provisions just shy of two years ago. The nearly two decades of friendship is evident. Eberly and Faires — who spend a great deal of time together, in the truck, at farmer’s markets and at any of the various other events where they promote their concept — don’t seem the least bit stressed about the close contact. “This is the most fun I’ve had working,” said Eberly.
While other delivery services focus on fully imagined meals, Pasture Provisions is more focused on providing exceptional ingredients. “We provide the building blocks for you to do your own,” said Eberly. All the meat is from local farms — the furthest ranch they source from is no more than 150 miles as the crow flies. There are some recipes provided — many of which come from the duo’s own kitchens — but they are not the centerpiece.
The beef and lamb come from Parker Pastures in Gunnison — the livestock are entirely pasture-raised, grass-fed and grass-finished. “Not all grass is created equal,” said Faires, discussing the distinct quality the high-mountain meadows imbue on the meat. “We just have it in Colorado,” he continued. Information on all the involved farms is available on their website — the pair stressing transparency as one of their central tenets.
A major impetus for starting the business was an opportunity to help farmers get a pipeline to the front range. Faires spent years living on the Western Slope doing medical sales — at which time he developed relationships with members of the tight-knit community of ranchers that populate the high country. Whole animals are processed at Kinikin Processing in Montrose, and the guys sell everything in their boxes and at farmers’ markets. Some of the odder cuts wind up at restaurants — Colt and Gray used some of their beef, pork and lamb heart tartare for their Valentine’s Day special last year.
A typical basket consists of meat, eggs and vegetables. Small baskets run $45 per delivery and come with three pounds of meat, with mediums costing $70 (5 pounds) and larges at $130 (10 pounds). There are seasonal one-offs as well — turkeys just got delivered and tenderloin, prime ribs and hams will be available for the holiday season. Baskets are customizable, with add-ons including additional eggs, ground beef, spices and even grass-fed dog food. There are meat-only boxes, but keep in mind the produce comes from the reputable Denver Growhaus. Everything is delivered in reusable bags with the vacuum-sealed packaging being the only thing that needs to be tossed.
Meat is almost entirely delivered to homes but the two recently developed a partnership with Vantage CrossFit in Wheat Ridge, working with the on-site nutritionist to bring clean eating to its clientele. They currently serve close to 200 customers but are hoping to expand in a dramatic way locally before considering expanding to other markets. For anyone interested in a delivery service with all the integrity of a CSA, Pasture Provisions neatly toes the line between the two.
All photography by Alden Bonecutter.