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As pandemic worsens, two grocery delivery services launch in Austin

Addie Broyles
Austin 360
MilkRun is a grocery delivery company that specializes in local food, meat, dairy and eggs from Central Texas farmers.

Two new grocery delivery services have expanded to Austin, adding more choices for shoppers who are ordering food from home.

MilkRun has joined the quickly growing online marketplace connecting farmers and ranchers to customers who want to buy produce and meat from local purveyors. 

Started in 2018 in the Pacific Northwest, where it now has more than 3,000 customers in Portland, Ore., and Seattle, the company expanded to Austin in late November. 

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The local food delivery service sells produce, dairy, eggs and meats from farms such as Shirttail Creek, Windy Bar Ranch, Lightsey Farms, Animal Farm and Richardson Farms, and products from food companies, including Wholesome Meats, Texas Olive Ranch, Easy Tiger, Texas Coffee Traders, Yellowbird Hot Sauce and Rambler.

Customers can order boxes of seasonal produce, breakfast essentials and beef or pork cuts, as well as everything you need to make a steak dinner. They can also order individual items, and these orders can be delivered (the delivery fee is included in the cost of the items) or picked up at various locations around Austin. Find out more at localmilkrun.com.

Persimmons from Lightsey Farms were in a recent MilkRun delivery.

In Austin, MilkRun joins other startups Vinder, SnackShare and Trashless as produce and grocery delivery companies that have ramped up in the past year to give farmers additional outlets to sell their goods when restaurants closed or reduced services during the pandemic. 

Established players Farmhouse Delivery and Farm to Table also pivoted in the past year, giving customers new choices for getting groceries delivered to their homes.

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For customers looking for new ways to order from traditional supermarkets and grocery stores, a service called Dumpling also expanded to Austin late last year. This company, similar to Instacart or Shipt, uses in-store shoppers and delivers groceries. 

Dumpling's model differs because it allows shoppers to set their rates and allows customers to hire the same shoppers each time, unlike traditional grocery delivery or curbside services with which the customers don't have a connection to the shopper. You can find out more and browse personal shoppers in Austin at dumpling.us