Farm-fresh eggs certainly isn't a new concept, but more and more today it's something people are looking for when they shop. And now customers of DeVries Grocery & Market in La Grange can pick up locally sourced eggs in town.
The grocery store is offering online egg orders from Garden Patch Farms, located in Homer Glen, and they will be available for pickup at DeVries.
"This area cares about it," owner Dick DeVries said. "People are looking for healthier lifestyles. It can be a better alternative than the so-called status quo."
Tony Ndoca, who owns the farm, said the eggs are produced without using any hormones or antibiotics. The chickens aren't caged, either, though they do roam in a fenced area to protect from coyotes, Ndoca said. They're fed grains, corn and greens from the farm's field.
"The eggs you see at the store, they usually sit at the farm, then with transport it could be a week to 10 days before you get them," Ndoca said. "These are fresher. They're the only eggs I eat."
Garden Patch Farms is a "U-Pick" farm, meaning people can go there and pick their own produce. There's also employees who pick at the farm every morning.
DeVries is the first store the farm partnered with, but Ndoca said he'd love to expand if the farm can produce enough eggs. He said he turned to DeVries because he has friends who live and work in La Grange and they said it could be a good opportunity.
"(Dick DeVries) made it really easy," Ndoca said. "He's such a nice guy and his business is really based on customer service. It seemed like the perfect town, perfect opportunity and perfect people to do it."
The eggs are on sale for $5/dozen through Garden Patch Farms' website, but Ndoca is offering 50 dozen eggs free in case "people just wanted to try the eggs without buying them first."
Getting eggs fresh is a growing trend, as many communities have recently discussed ordinances over whether to allow residents to keep their own chickens in residential areas.
In October 2012, the La Grange Village Board voiced opposition to allowing it and said they would remove one resident's hens. Western Springs, on the other hand, conducted a test case last year before later approving an ordinance allowing chickens to be kept at home.
DeVries said he's excited to offer the eggs and would consider looking for similar opportunities with produce in the future. The independent local grocer and the independent local farmer makes sense, he said.
"I think it's a pretty neat idea. Buying something that's local, or at least closer to us, brings everybody a little closer together in the community."
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