Dr. Michaela Merryday, professor of Art at Delta State, is a Cleveland resident interested in ready access to organic food.
"Azure Standard carries a wide variety of organic foods - from bulk goods, canned and frozen items, dairy products to fresh produce. Their prices are very, very reasonable," said Merryday.
Azure Standard Quality Bulk and Natural Foods describes their company as specializing in "natural, organic, earth-friendly foods and products. We deliver directly to customers, buying clubs and retailers by semi truck and UPS."
While Cleveland continues to grow in many areas, such as holding a farmer's market every week, Merryday said, "There are still many things we cannot get in Cleveland. People interested in healthy and sustainable food choices have to make regular shopping trips to Memphis or Jackson. The carbon footprint created by these trips cancel out the positive impact of choosing earth-friendly products.”
Azure Standard began in 1971 when a farming family decided to take the chemicals out of their crops.
"In the first year, the chemical-dependent land only produced a small percentage of what it had formerly produced," said David Stelzer in a letter to his customers. "As the years went on, the soil slowly regained its natural fertility.
" We chose to call our business Azure Standard to signify by the name what we are attempting to do," Stelzer wrote. "Azure is a shade of blue which has been associated with law, justice, and honesty. In raising an azure standard, we want to place an honest standard in the marketing of food.
"We feel that the correct way to effect a positive change is not to attack the way it is being done, but to begin to do it right," said Stelzer.
In order for Cleveland residents to be able to have ready access to these organic foods, enough interest would need to be shown to the company. Covenant Ranch Trucking would be the company to make deliveries to the Cleveland area.
"Everyone is watching the numbers on our website and Facebook page," said Tandy Hogate, administrative assistant of Covenant Ranch Trucking. "We are asking that people make comments on the page about having deliveries in their area. People can also go onto our webpage and choose to request a drop. There they would fill out a request form."
"Having access to a service like that offered by Azure Standard would make it easier to be health and environmentally conscious and might even encourage those who shy away from the extra effort that is currently required," said Merryday.
For more information on Azure Standard, or to request a drop and bring organic foods to Cleveland, visit facebook.com/azuremidwestroute