Thrive Foods, LLC is an organic and natural food buying club where you order your food, we get it, you pick it up. This form of a cooperative is built around relationships who want quality foods, support local and sustainable foods, enjoy the benefits of organic, all for an affordable price at convenient location.

There is a resurgence of people who are taking a second look at what they eat.  If you are one of them, you have probably noticed the generous price increase for natural or organic foods.  Through Thrive Foods buying club we bring the purchasing power of a store and pass the savings on to you.

The Visionary: Leanne Ulrich, co-founder and director of Thrive Foods is a mom of three, a wife to one, and a friend to many.  She has lived in downtown Oklahoma City for 3 years now and has been stirred to see those who live within cities have access to amazing, healthy foods.  Out of a lack of options for quality foods downtown, she began to help with a local coop, Urban Organics, and was so blessed to be apart of learning the value of quality food with quality people.  From there, after serving for approximately 2 years, she decided to launch Thrive Foods to continue connecting others to the foods that she would want her family eating and to see a shift in how people purchase, pick up, and prepare their food.

Tim Ulrich, co-founder and assistant director of Thrive Foods, has been joyfully married to Leanne for nine years and is the father of their three amazing children. It is his passion to connect people to quality food produced by quality growers who are all wanting to benefit each other. He brings many years of entrepreneur experience to the buying club.

Together, Tim and Leanne, with the help and support of friends and family, have put together the DNA of connecting people to the farmers land to the family table.

The Vision: The vision that Thrive Foods is pursuing is to be a  local “hub” connecting customers, growers, distributors, farmers, gardeners, and neighbors within metro Oklahoma City to quality food and products.  We recognize the fundamental interconnectedness of people and we seek to build sustainable relationships for a sustainable city, both ecological and economic, in order that we Oklahomans may thrive.

Now that you know our vision, we hope you will help us put action to these words.  Putting the vision out there is a little scary, especially since we want to focus our efforts on starting small and building deep. But with any passion comes big vision and a need to execute that vision.  If you want to read about the vision in more detail, we invite you to click the link below and dream with us.

Click this link for more details on The Vision.

The Values: Our values consist of 3 major areas that we strive to maintain:

  • Raising  up communities with great food
  • Building relationships with neighbors, family, and friends
  • Reaching out to others who do not yet understand the benefits of eating organic and local foods.

The Vehicle: People are the key and food is the fuel.  Combining the 2 components allows people to share life together.  We invite you to turn the key and begin thriving in community.

The Vocabulary: There are  many different terms associated with local food systems, most of which we  don’t  encounter when walking into our local chain supermarkets. Here are some definitions we have found which help make sense of it all:

  • Antibiotic-free: This means that no antibiotic drugs have been given to the animal in its feed or by injection.
  • Free-range: Often used to describe poultry and sometimes pork, “free-range”usually means that the animals have room to run around outside. It does not necessarily mean that the animals can go anywhere they please. Fences may be used to keep the animals from destroying crops or to protect them from predators.
  • Grain-fed: Some livestock producers use this term to mean that the grain fed to their animals is 100 percent grain, and contains no animal by-products such as rendered fat or blood meal.
  • Grass-fed, grass-finished, grass-based, or grazing-based: This is a production system for grazing (grass-eating) animals such as cows, bison, goats or sheep in which the animals spend nearly all their time outside eating grass or other plants in a pasture. They are fed little or no grain. If animals are 100% grass-fed, no grain is fed to the animals at any time.
  • Hormones not used: In beef production, this means that the animals have not been given synthetic growth hormones to make them grow faster. In dairy, this means that the cows have not been given injections of bovine growth hormone to increase their milk production.
  • Natural: This is a word that has been used to mean so many different things that it is now almost meaningless. If you hear this, ask for more specific information.
  • Organic: Food that is labeled as organic has been grown according to the National Organic Standards. Synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides cannot be used on crops. Antibiotics and growth hormones cannot be used on livestock, animals must eat organic feed, and animals cannot be fed animal by-products. Genetically modified organisms are prohibited. In addition, organic farmers are to have a management plan to improve their soil and to manage weeds and other pests without harming the environment.
  • Beyond Organic: While no one term seems to sum up “Beyond Organic”, many agree that it means combining organic, local and sustainable.
  • Pasture-raised: This is a production system in which the animals spend most of their time living on a pasture, with access to shelter. Pasture-raised is a little different from grass-fed. Pork and poultry can be pasture- raised, but because hogs and chickens have a different digestive system from grazing animals like cows, they do not eat just grass. Hogs and chickens will eat some green plants, but usually get a grain ration as well.
  • Pastured Eggs: Pastured eggs and meat are chicken products which have been harvested from chickens that are allowed to roam in open pastures. Advocates of pastured eggs believe that the chickens are happier and healthier, and nutritional analysis has shown that pastured eggs are also richer in useful nutritious elements like omega 3 acids and vitamin C. As a result of more labor intensive production techniques, pastured eggs are more expensive than conventional ones, and they are rarely available in conventional supermarkets, which order eggs in such high volume that small farmers cannot meet the demand. Some consumers confuse the concept of free-range eggs with pastured eggs. Many conventional egg supply companies encourage this confusion, because consumers are sometimes willing to pay a premium price for products that they believe were harvested in humane and sustainable ways. However, the two terms are not synonymous. “Free range” eggs, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, must come from chickens which are offered access to the outside. Many commercial production companies provide this access in the form of a small door which is opened a few times a day; used to being confined indoors, the chickens make no move to explore the outdoors. Pastured eggs, however, come from chickens which are raised on pasture, with mobile coops to roost in at night.
  • Buying Club: A group of people placing a combined order for food. There are varying degrees of formality.
  • Community Supported Agriculture [CSA]: The farmer sells shares or subscriptions for the year’s crop of vegetables (some farms also include fruits or flowers). Customers who buy a share usually pay for it early in the year and then receive a weekly box of produce for a set number of weeks.
  • Direct Marketing: When a consumer buys a product directly from the farmer who produced it, that is direct marketing. Farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture, roadside stands, and direct meat sales are all forms of direct marketing.
  • Farmers’ Market: Usually in the open air, usually on a regular schedule of time and day (or days) of the week, these are gatherings of farmers who set up displays of products for sale.
  • Regional Food: Food that is produced in a certain region may come to be identified as a regional specialty. People can buy this food to get a “taste of place.”
  • Roadside Stands: A “Farmers’ Market”of one farmer, these stands are usually set up along roadsides that border the farmer’s property. They display farm products for sale and may be staffed, or unstaffed and on the “honor system” for payment.
  • Seasonal Food: This refers especially to fresh fruits and vegetables, which are available from local farmers only at certain times of the year. For example, rhubarb, and asparagus are some of the first fresh foods available in the spring.
  • Sustainable: A farming system or any other kind of system that is sustainable is one that can continue far into the future because it does not overuse its resources. Sustainable agriculture is a farming system that balances economic, environmental, and quality of life benefits for the farmers and their communities.
  • Intercropping: Intercropping is the agricultural practice of cultivating two or more crops in the same space at the same time. A practice often associated with sustainable agriculture and organic farming, intercropping is one form of polyculture, using companion planting principles.
  • Polyculture: Polyculture is agriculture using multiple crops in the same space, in imitation of the diversity of natural ecosystems, and avoiding large stands of single crops, or monoculture. It includes crop rotation, multi-cropping, intercropping, companion planting, beneficial weeds, and alley cropping. 
  • Crop Rotation: Crop rotation or Crop sequencing is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar types of crops in the same space in sequential seasons for various benefits such as to avoid the build up of pathogens and pests that often occurs when one species is continuously cropped. Crop rotation also seeks to balance the fertility demands of various crops to avoid excessive depletion of soil nutrients. A traditional component of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals and other crops. It is one component of polyculture. Crop rotation can also improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants.
  • Farmscaping: “Farmscaping” is a whole-farm, ecological approach to pest management. It can be defined as the use of hedgerows, insectary plants, cover crops, and water reservoirs to attract and support populations of beneficial organisms such as insects, bats, and birds of prey.
  • Biological Pest Control: Biological control of pests in agriculture is a method of controlling pests (including insects, mites, weeds, and plant diseases) that relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms. It can be an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) programs.
  • Rotational Grazing: Rotational grazing is the practice of dividing up available pasture into multiple smaller areas, called paddocks, and then moving the animals from one paddock to the next after a number of days. By keeping the animals in this one small area, the trampled and grazed plants in other previously occupied parts of the field are given time to recover and re-establish themselves.

***Note:  These terms, definitions, and vocabulary are general definitions from the website www.localsustainability.net and are for your  familiarity only.