Maybe the idea for It’s Simply Local came about when New Jersey native Julianne Tootell moved across the country to Washington, leaving New Jersey’s produce and her best friend, Kara Kilmer, behind. Little did she know that the two of them would hatch up an idea to bring the best that New Jersey has to offer to anyone, no matter what state they live in. Because you don’t have to live in New Jersey to love it!
Long time friends Kilmer and Tootell always wanted to start a business together, and a year ago they realized that bringing together the best that New Jersey has to offer would be the concept for their venture. Soon, a monthly subscription box service and online marketplace was born. It’s Simply Local was live.
“We’re a one-stop shop for everyone,” says Kilmer. “It’s all of our local flavors right in our backyard.”
It’s Simply Local is a take on just how great CSA boxes are, but instead of produce, they take the best goods from the Garden State, place them in the box, and then deliver it to your door every month. They work with artisans who craft and create a wide range of products, including bath and body items, beverages, candles, food, and accessories. The common thread? They’re all made with local products and place a strong focus on sustainability.
“We really want to support local businesses,” says Kilmer. “We include products that are made with wholesome ingredients, many in small batches. We have a love for pure ingredients and having the products be as natural as possible.”
Both Tootell and Kilmer were involved in the slow food movement before It’s Simply Local was born. Tootell had always been involved in the West Windsor farmers market as well, which turned out to be a great asset for connecting with local artisans.
Subscription boxes include items that can be found in your favorite grocery store, or a local restaurant, to local markets across the state.Their first subscription box went out in April containing five full sized products from local businesses. Boxes include everything from tomato sauces to mustard to lotion and even coffee – all made in New Jersey.
As It’s Simply Local grows, Kilmer and Tootell hope to share the uniqueness of New Jersey with everyone, no matter what state they’re in. They’re keeping a look out for great Jersey made products so they can curate a diverse box and marketplace. Selected artisans are also offered a “badge” for their website so they can share with their customers that they’ve been featured in the box.
In the future, they’re hoping to have theme boxes, like BBQ necessities for the summer season. But, for right now, they’re just helping local artisans get their small batch products into the hands of more customers. It’s really like your favorite farmer’s market finds from across the state, all in one box.
Kilmer and Tootell’s pride is in their community and their goal is to make it easy for consumers to support local businesses, while discovering new products.
For more information, visit It’s Simply Local: