My whole life, I’ve dreamt of becoming a social entrepreneur, with the goal of changing the food system.
My senior year at the University of Maryland, Hungry Harvest was born in my dorm basement. We began delivering to our first 30 customers, 15 of which were free trials, in June 2014. The beginning was excruciatingly difficult, as we knocked on doors in the sweltering DC summer desperately trying to convince anyone to get a free trial. The problem was that nobody knew what ‘ugly produce’ was at the time.
This company was in danger of failure at least two times when we had less than $200 in our bank account. We worked 18 hour days to get our customers the right orders. We had doors slammed in our face, and investors laugh at us. In those tough times, the reminder of 20 billion pounds of food going to waste and 50 million people hungry in the US encouraged us to persevere along our journey.
The struggles of the first year were vindicated on June 17, 2015, when we made a deal with Robert Herjavec on Shark Tank. The tears shed on the show were raw emotion, as I flashed back to just how far we had come. The struggles were worth it.
Fast forward to today, we're four years old, with a team of over 40, spread across nine states with a HQ located in City Garage, Baltimore. Together, we have already reduced over 12 million pounds of food from going to the landfill and provided access to over 915,000 pounds of produce through reduced-cost markets and donations to people in need. And we’re just getting started.
Everything we do is driven by the belief that every person has the right to eat healthy and every fruit and veggie grown deserves to be eaten. We won't stop until that belief becomes reality.
– Evan Lutz, CEO & Co-Founder