Harvie is a subscription service for buying groceries from local farmers and producers. Photo by Kristy Locklin.

It’s Friday morning at a Lawrenceville warehouse and Harvie employees are busy filling boxes of food destined for hundreds of homes across Allegheny County from more than 500 items on the shelves.

The warehouse — formerly occupied by Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance — looks like an upscale specialty market and runs like a well-oiled machine thanks to software developed by Harvie CEO Simon Huntley.

For a $99 minimum order, the weekly subscription service delivers a reusable box to your doorstep bursting with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Each week, Harvie’s purchasing team visits area farms to see what fruits and veggies are ready to go and outsources products that are unavailable.

Harvie also stocks a variety of meat, eggs, fish, dairy items, bread, pasta, peanut butter, grains, spices, sauces and coffee. There’s even vegan cheesecake, pizza bagels, chocolate, soda and kombucha.

Harvie’s software — which is used by CSAs across the country — will fill a patron’s online cart with local groceries based on their set preferences. Members can add and remove items online before the weekly delivery. Harvie delivers Tuesday through Friday to 3,408 members, who can choose to skip a week without penalty or can donate the food.

In 2021, Harvie donated 17,249 pounds of goods to 412 Food Rescue. The company also partnered with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and local food blogger The Pittsburgh Web to launch a holiday campaign that resulted in the donation of up to 10,700 meals for people facing hunger.

Huntley grew up on a Greene County farm and studied information science at Penn State University. In 2016, he combined his passion for agriculture and technology into an online software program that connects consumers with local growers.

In January 2020, his company was gearing up to launch its delivery service. The first shipment left the warehouse on the first Saturday of the pandemic. Covid didn’t create the direct delivery trend, Huntley says, it just exacerbated the need for it.

During state-mandated shutdowns, when restaurants were shuttered, Harvie gave businesses such as Jubilee Hilltop Ranch — which provides local eateries with USDA-inspected, dry-aged beef, pastured pork and eggs — a consistent customer base. It also helped Twin Brook Dairy Co., a small operation in Washington, PA, reach more consumers.

Boxes await shipment from the Harvie warehouse. Photo by Kristy Locklin.

Harvie often profiles its partner farms and businesses on its blog, which makes the shopping experience more personal.

In the next few months, Harvie — which employs 55 workers with competitive wages and benefits — will expand to a larger warehouse.

Huntley says the company might explore other markets in the future, but, for now, he’s 100 percent focused on feeding Pittsburgh and growing organically.

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.