The egg beats its way back into our homes

written by Julie Lee
Photography by The Egg Drop

The egg is peeling back its bad reputation. Once frowned upon as a cholesterol calamity, to the contrary, eggs are one of the best sources of high-quality protein you can find. Rich in vitamins including B2, vitamins B12, D, and A, and a host of minerals, eggs are an essential part of a healthy diet. A bonus? They are low in calories.

Shelling out pretty pennies for glowing skin? Try eating eggs instead. Eggs are great for skin; they soften, firm and hydrate all at once, with amino acids helping to generate new skin cells. Studies show that two major antioxidants in eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin, are known to increase protection against UV damage that leads to lines, age spots and cancer, as well as to reduce age-related macular degeneration. Eating one egg a day can significantly increase blood levels of these important antioxidants.

Where you source your eggs matters. Season one, episode one of the long-running Portlandia served a spotlight on how ardent our locals are for locally produced foods, and while the episode featured Colin the chicken rather than eggs, the point landed— local is best.

One of the most intriguing local egg producers is The Egg Drop. With 100 to 150 roaming hens, owners Amy and Brian Engelhard are devoted producers of farm fresh eggs, delivered farm to doorsteps.

What has evolved into a booming business started with a zeal for farm fresh eggs. The Engelhards spent weekends driving to farm fresh egg stands, and when availability became scarce, they bought chickens to test demand if they supplied farmed eggs themselves. There was.

Starting in 2017, the couple originally sold eggs through an on-line market, LemonStand, to handle e-commerce. Initial deliveries topped out at fifteen dozen eggs a week. They now deliver up to seventy dozen eggs weekly to more than 200 customers.

Deliveries are made every week, guaranteed. You can find The Egg Drop drivers out there, alongside the U.S. Postal Service, delivering in snow, ice or any weather surprise Oregon brings. “During the ice storm last year, it took us three days, but we made every delivery,” said Brian Engelhard.

To accommodate customer requests, The Egg Drop added other farm fresh foods. Engelhard is a 3.8% milk aficionado, and when customers asked if milk could be delivered, they set out to find partners to provide that service. The couple now partners with multiple farms to sell milk, raw honey, fresh fruit by the season, apple cider donuts and cookies that melt in the mouth.

The Egg Drop prides itself on customer service. “Our shining star is our service,” said Engelhard. “Our model is subscription, and most of our customers, once they become customers, never leave—we’re attrition positive.”

If anything is in error, The Egg Drop will re-deliver the next day for free—a policy that once caused some confusion. A customer continually called to say deliveries were not being made. Engelhard couldn’t figure it out, knowing the deliveries were getting there, but they kept the promise to re-deliver the next day. Eventually the mystery was solved. The customer’s kids were happily consuming deliveries from the doorstep before they ever made it inside.

As could be expected, the Engelhards have fielded calls to grow their business, but as Engelhard said, “we can only produce so much—so many eggs, so much fruit, so much milk. We’re too small for big farms, too large for small farms.” This makes The Egg Drop just the right size, selling more than some single location grocery stores, but not selling out on their carefully curated model of farm-to-door service.

One of many partners who helps promote The Egg Drop is Nicole Krill of The Balanced Plate, a popular Instagram site highlighting balanced whole food recipes. Krill created the business in college, crossbreeding an affinity for cooking with a devotion to healthy living. Her recipes are inspired by the delicate balance between eating healthy and adventurous eating. “So many things inspire me in the kitchen,” Krill said, “As an athlete who competes in Ironman 70.3 and endurance events, the importance of high-quality food and fueling for performance inspires me to create flavorful healthy food.”

Krill met the Engelhards through her mom, and when the Engelhards saw how her recipes incorporated fresh produce and eggs, they asked for help promoting their farm-to-front-door delivery service. It was an instant collaboration. “In terms of health, where you get your eggs from really does matter,” said Krill. “The eggs from The Egg Drop are from free range hens not pumped with antibiotics. The value for me is that the nutrient density of the egg itself is higher, the flavor is noticeably better, and supporting a local farm versus a large CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) feels good.”

Eggs for dinner? Of course. Try The Balanced Plate’s lentil-stuffed portobello mushrooms with poached eggs & arugula or the sausage & potato olive oil crust quiche, good any time of the day. Hungry for the best breakfast sandwich ever? Jace Krause, founder of the popular Fried Egg I’m in Love in Portland, shares his recipe for the Yolko Ono.

The Egg Drop delivers more than 70 dozen fresh eggs to customers weekly.

What has evolved into a booming business started with a zeal for farm fresh eggs. The Engelhards spent weekends driving to farm fresh egg stands, and when availability became scarce, they bought chickens to test demand if they supplied farmed eggs themselves. There was.

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