Ungraded is guided by the following values:
1) Breaking barriers: We are committed to increasing access to fresh produce. By sourcing items that would ordinarily go to waste, and cutting out middlemen, we can offer prices 30 – 50% cheaper than grocery store options. Additionally, our home delivery service makes buying fruit and vegetables more convenient– less time searching through the produce aisle and waiting in the checkout line!
2) Sustainability: We founded Ungraded to address the environmental impact of food waste. We constantly revaluate our operations to develop strategies for conserving resources— including sourcing from suppliers that use responsible growing practices, minimizing transportation distances, using recyclable packaging, and donating excess produce to food pantries.
3) Challenging conventions: Most of our produce can’t be sold in grocery stores due to its appearance— arbitrary cosmetic imperfections that don’t impact taste, shelf life, or nutritional content. We’ve set out to prove that funny looking fruit and veg deserve our love, one forked carrot at a time!
4) Community: We value giving back to the community that sustains us. To date, we’ve donated over 1,400 pounds of produce to Healing with CAARE, a Durham based organization that provides at risk individuals with health services, counseling, and personal development programs. As we grow, we hope to provide customers with opportunities to sponsor food insecure families.
5) Resourcefulness: We identify as a scrappy company that creatively leverages the resources around us. Through our first year of operations, co-founders Courtney and Anya were our only employees, and managed everything from ordering produce, to packaging, to delivering boxes in their personal vehicles! Though we’ve grown beyond a two-person team, we aspire to keep the spirit of a lean-startup through an “all-hands-on-deck” approach and maintaining close relationships with our customers.