For many of us, Saturday mornings look like sipping coffee on the back porch, the soothing sound of an egg crackling in butter, or the gentle shuffle of slippers across the floor. It’s a beautiful thing, and I thought this was everyone’s experience. But a couple weekends ago, I learned that there’s a sizable portion of people in Atlanta who choose to bypass these comforts in lieu of a more challenging start to the day.

It was 9 a.m. There was a WAITLIST. Over 50 people stood mingling, a buzz of excitement in the air. The break room at Pivotal Labs in Ponce City Market was dotted with Fresh Harvest customers, design thinkers, environmentalists, developers, and creatives. You might be wondering what brought all these early birds out. A free basket of produce for life? The chance to win an all-expense-paid Mediterranean cruise?


There was actually nothing physical to be gained by attendees. In fact, quite the opposite, they showed up to help solve someone else’s problem. Specifically, they showed up to solve a Fresh Harvest problem: each year, our company loses around 20,000 dollars-worth of reusable delivery bins. They go out, but sadly, many of them don’t ever make it back.

Several months ago, we were approached by our friends at OpenIDEO Atlanta about partnering to put together a design-thinking workshop focused on solving this particular problem. As a company dedicated to sourcing local and organic foods, it’s only natural that we would want to leave behind the smallest carbon footprint possible. Amazingly, some of our totes have been circulating for years! But if our plastic bins aren’t being reused, we have to buy more of them, meaning more plastic—meaning more pollution, financial loss and an inability to distribute those funds into other more sustainable initiatives.

After a presentation of the problem, six teams worked tirelessly, barely stopping for lunch, to ideate their solutions. Sticky notes on walls, white boards covered in dry-erase, even the office ping-pong table was converted into a desk as the teams utilized every second before gathering together for a final presentation. Ideas ranged across the board, from personifying every basket with an “identity” to highly technical bar-code tracking systems. One group proposed a hashtag system similar to a “Where’s George?” campaign, allowing customers to see their basket’s journey via social media.

Our crew was inspired by something from each of the six teams, and we can’t wait to dive into the implementation phase of these incredibly creative, detailed, and thoughtful solutions. While the whole FH team is focusing on carrying out these ideas, we’ve got one particularly invested team member. You’ve probably seen him around, but scroll down the about page to get to know him a little better. You can’t miss him!

Each of us walked away from that Saturday with a fresh recognition of human passion, which allows us to think, to serve and to solve real issues without a single external benefit. Events like these reveal that our customers are go-getters, self-motivated and driven people, willing to choose a challenge over extra sleep. It’s Saturdays like this one that drive home a major point for our team: customers are the engine that keeps Fresh Harvest going. It’s your value-fueled drive towards a higher standard and greater efficiency that keeps us pressing forward on days when the shuffling sound of slippers and crackling eggs feel like distant memories.

Artistic depiction of the workshop’s major points, created real time by FH customer Paula Fagerberg