Fresh Midwest announces its launch to begin in the northern Chicagoland market from Kenosha, WI through the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The company plans to expand throughout the Chicagoland market in early 2021.
Twin brothers Patrick and Mike Fitzgerald, Creators and Co-Owners of Fresh Midwest and natives of Chicago’s North Shore, grew up with a respect for the food business. They garnered longstanding relationships with industry fresh food leaders and innovators through their Chicago-based Midwest Foods, a second-generation, family-owned business of eight brothers and sisters. It continues to be one of the most prominent wholesale produce distributors in the entire Midwest for more than 50 years.
The brothers gained admiration for a different aspect of the business through Mike’s friendship with Thomas Parkinson, Co-Founder of Peapod. The integration of their mutual appreciation for “fresh” and the value of an online store inspired Patrick and Mike to introduce the best of fresh foods to the marketplace.
“The passion behind Fresh Midwest is to provide an exceptional experience to order and receive the finest of local produce, fresh salads, meal kits, meats and seafood, and restaurant-made meals,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, Creator and Co-Owner of Fresh Midwest. “Our vision is to connect customers directly with offerings typically reserved for high quality restaurants at a good value.”
“Fresh Midwest is delivering a need for fresh food to consumers' homes on the day and time they want it,” said Thomas Parkinson, Co-Founder of Peapod. “Fresh has always been a challenge for any online company, but I am impressed with their experience and attention to quality and selection.”
A state-of-the-art climate-controlled cool chain guarantees freshness every step of the way, from the moment received from farms and local partners to diligent preparation. Each order is hand-selected by professional in-house staff, which is then delivered in refrigerated trucks.
Fresh Midwest also prioritizes consumer safety through limited handling of all products and contactless delivery, an essential standard during COVID-19.
Joining the Fitzgerald brothers at Fresh Midwest are former Peapod veterans, Chicagoans Tony Stallone (Chief Merchant) and Mary Rose Neises (Marketing Lead). Tony, also known as the “Produce Guru” and creator of meal kits at Peapod, was an integral part of Peapod’s team for 20 years and served as Vice President of Merchandising. During Mary Rose’s 17-year tenure at Peapod, she drove e-commerce customer loyalty initiatives and also served at Senior Director of the Midwest and D.C. markets.
With 150 years of combined fresh food experience, the Fresh Midwest team is dedicated to providing exceptional products and service. Together, their specialized expertise is integrated in every facet of the business, including seamless ordering and convenient delivery.
The Fitzgerald family’s exclusive connections with local farmers, artisans and restaurants through Midwest Foods provides a premium source for fresh food and meal kits. From nutritious breakfast items and time-saving snacks including home-made yogurt parfaits, to chef-driven meal solutions including sandwiches and salads, Fresh Midwest also will offer dishes from acclaimed Chicagoland restaurants all in one place, starting with Wildfire and Big Bowl, to soon be followed by a host of other well-known establishments.
“There was a void of delivering restaurant prepared foods to consumers when Peapod left,” said Howard Katz, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise Divisional President of Wildfire & Big Bowl. “We are happy to partner with Fresh Midwest to deliver Wildfire and Big Bowl favorites and meal kits directly to their doors.”
Based in both Chicago and Kenosha, WI, with more than 200 employees, the facilities meet the highest standards for food safety in the industry recognized by The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF3).