We want to introduce you to all the amazing people who help bring fresh food to your door each week. Their dedication to supporting local Farmers and Producers and commitment to fighting food insecurity in Western New York are just a couple of reasons why they make FreshFix a great place to work. Learn more about their roles, go-to tips and recipes, favorite veggies and the artisan products they can't live without.
Each week, Stephanie Nick dispatches a team of more than 30 Community Coordinators into as many different neighborhoods across Western New York. She also ensures that our generous member donations benefit the neediest in our communities through partnerships with mobile markets and food pantries. We appreciate Stephanie’s ‘roll up your sleeves’ approach to her management role – if she's not packing curated produce boxes at our hub in the Niagara Frontier Food Terminal, you might find her working with (or delivering to) Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) or one of our other community partners.
What is your official title? Director of Special Projects and Coordinator Manager
What inspired you to join FreshFix? I first heard about FreshFix during the initial Covid shutdown in February. I lost my teaching position and FreshFix was offering free and half-price boxes. I signed up not knowing what my future held. In my first email from FreshFix, there was a job posting for a Community Coordinator. I applied immediately. I fell in love with the sense of community and collaboration that FreshFix represented. I took on more responsibility as the company expanded through the pandemic and eventually worked my way to where I am now.
What is your favorite thing about working with Fresh Fix? Can you share a little about what you do? My favorite thing about working at FreshFix is the feeling that everyone there wants to help. We are a team of food lovers who want to make sure everyone has access to healthy, local food.
I coordinate and organize our Community Coordinator routes and schedules. I create area maps and open new territories when there is enough interest. I follow up with customers when there is an issue and often get on the road to cover a route or redeliver a missed item. Helping pack in the HUB is always fun and I get to be a part of the action.
I also coordinate our special projects and donations. We currently have multiple programs underway with organizations like MAP, CAO, and Food Not Bombs; we are always looking for more ways to engage in the communities we serve.
What is your favorite vegetable and artisan product? My favorite vegetable is ALL OF THEM! I truly love vegetables and add them to just about everything I eat.
My favorite artisan product would have to be Snowy Owl Kombucha! Their shop is right next door to ours and we always enjoy taking a walk down there to see what new creations they are coming up with.
What is your favorite local business? FreshFix of course!
Do you have any tips or recipes to share? Add vegetables to everything! Just ask my teenage son … Broccoli on his pizza? YUM! Cauliflower in his pasta, peas in just about anything, greens in eggs. There must be a million ways to add veggies to your meal.
Why is eating local important to you? As a mother with multiple degrees in Environmental Science, my footprint on the earth is very important to me. Eating local and reusing as many items as I can helps to keep my footprint small. I was reusing a salsa jar as a cup recently and one of my son's friends asked why I was drinking salsa. First I had a good laugh, then I had the opportunity to educate him about reusing items and since it was a Martin's salsa jar I was also able to talk about local foods. Double win!!
What changes would you like to see in Western New York regarding food? I would love to see more connectivity in organizations working to bring fresh healthy food to underserved populations. That is actually my next big project!
Kim Brancato, Area Manager and FreshFix's resident vegetarian, hires and supervises our team of Community Coordinators. The mother of three active kids lives in Clarence where she occasionally helps make deliveries. Kim loves cooking plant-based meals, reading, crafting, and checking out local breweries with her husband.
What inspired you to join FreshFix? I signed up as a FreshFix member when the pandemic first started in March because I was nervous about obtaining fresh produce. I am a substitute teacher, and obviously wasn’t able to work because schools were closed, so once I saw that FreshFix was hiring to keep up with growth, I jumped at the opportunity.
What do you like about working with FreshFix? I love the flexibility and sense of community at FreshFix. It's great being able to connect with the customers and help bring local food from farms to table.
What is your favorite vegetable and artisan product? It's impossible to pick just one! I really love the butter leaf lettuce and oyster mushrooms. Elm Street Bakery’s sourdough bread and jalapeno jams from Lewiston Jellies are phenomenal, too!
Has FreshFix helped you discover any new foods that you can’t live without? Dill pickle probiotic shots from Barrel & Brine. I use it every day!
Why is eating local important to you? I love how fresh everything tastes, there are no strange wax coatings and wondering when that vegetable was actually harvested. In light of recent events, I think it is also important to source as many things as possible close to home to support our local economy and our fellow neighbors.
Do you have any tips or recipes to share? Be open to trying new things! Invest in a salad spinner. Keep greens wrapped in a paper towel to prolong freshness.