Healthy food delivery service goes brick and mortar Front Porch Organics open in Lake Mohawk
The new store is located on West Shaore Trail, across from the Lake Mohawk boardwalk park
Photos by Rose Sgarlato
By Rose Sgarlato SPARTA — Making the move from home delivery to storefront, Front Porch Organics opened its first location in Lake Mohawk at 29 West Shore Trail. Co-owners Joshua Flores, Arminda Gonzalez and Mary Ihyde decided that offering home delivery service in a storefront setting would be ideal for the Sparta community. Started two years ago, Front Porch Organics began as a produce delivery business serving mostly Sussex County and Morris County. Customers choose from small to large boxes delivered weekly to their homes. It's similar to having a CSA share (community supported agriculture) but the goods are delivered to the doorstep. “We network with local farmers and distributors like a CSA, but people can choose from a menu based on availability. We pre-make the boxes and hand deliver them,” Flores said. The success and growth of the home delivery business inspired the founders of Front Porch to open a storefront and offer an entire organic selection of produce as well as food items such as coffee, honey, cereal and pretzels. Basically, they explained, it's a market for locally and non-locally sourced organic items. ‘We love Sparta and see it as an active community," Flores said. "Lake Mohawk was the ideal location for us, and Front Porch Organics is like having a farmer’s market. We only sell what we use in our kitchen.” The kitchen was built to create healthy breakfast and lunch options. Smoothies, acai bowls and salads along with Arminda’s homemade muffins are the house specialties. “I worked in restaurants my whole life," Gonzalez said. "I know the front end and the back end of how they work. I tell everyone who works here to make sure that customers leave with a happy face.” Gonzalez said that Flores is the creative one and comes up with the culinary ideas. “We work well in the kitchen.," she said. "Josh can listen to a customer and create what they want. Avocado toast and a chocolate nutty banana toast are two favorites. The Lake Mohawk Patch salad is also a big seller.” The owners extended a special thanks to Arminda and Josh’s 8-year old son who is responsible for “Juan’s Tropical Creation,” a delicious smoothie. Front Porch prides itself on searching the organic market to find the best quality products. In salads for example, locally sourced micro greens are used. Because produce is fresh, the menu varies, offering items always available plus seasonal ones too. “I always wanted a store to use leftover produce. So there is no waste, " said Flores. “I made a simple smoothie for a customer — peanut butter, honey and almond milk. We love special requests.” One-size made to order smoothies cost $8; acai bowls, using the Brazilian super fruit acai, range from $10 to $12. Salads have a similar price range and wraps/sandwiches are coming soon. “Presentation is colorful and tastes great. The goal is to have unique products and serve only the best. We will be adding gluten-free breads soon,” said Gonzalez. With the store open for less than a month, the Front Porch team is listening to its customers and hopes to bring in as much as possible for them. “ We look forward to evolving and offering what customers cannot find anywhere else in town,” Flores said. Conveniently located across from the Lake Mohawk boardwalk park, parents often come in with children for a snack. ‘We are looking forward to introducing kids meals, all non-GMO and also organic,” said Gonzalez. “People are really enjoying our private side patio too. We have some customers who come every morning and have a coffee and relax there.” “It’s great to have an organic place in town especially when there is no Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods nearby,” said Upper Lake Mohawk resident Robert Stone, who purchased a Berry Delicious Acai bowl. People can phone-in orders ahead of time and pick up at Front Porch by calling 973-726-5005. Now that the business has a brick and mortar location, Flores says at least 50 new people have signed-up for the home delivery part that also has a customer referral perk as an incentive. For more information visit the store at 29 West Shore Trail (formerly Salon Di Michele) or go to <URL destination="http://www.frontporchorganics.net. ">www.frontporchorganics.net. </URL>Gonzalez and Flores, partners in life too, are expecting their third son end of August. As soon as that special delivery arrives, there will be a grand opening of Front Porch Organics.