Cahaba Heights couple launches local produce delivery service April 6

Birmingham, Alabama, produce delivery, till, Will DeShazo, Hayley DeShazo
Birmingham, Alabama, produce delivery, till, Will DeShazo, Hayley DeShazo
Will and Hayley DeShazo. Photo by Brittany Sturdivant of Love Be Photography

Do you like to sleep in on Saturdays, but don’t want to miss the farmers market? Will and Hayley DeShazo, a husband-and-wife team from Cahaba Heights, have created a solution, till. till is an online marketplace and delivery service for produce, meats and baked goods from Alabama farmers.

Give Me Details

Birmingham, Alabama, till, insulated bag
A till insulated bag filled with a fresh delivery. Photo via till’s Facebook page

Membership to till is $12 a month, or $99 a year if paid upfront. Otherwise, prices are in line with farmers market prices. Place your weekly order between Sunday and Wednesday. On Saturday, till delivers to your doorstep within your chosen time slot.

Membership comes with an insulated till bag, which you leave on your porch, zipped and filled with ice packs on delivery days.

Ten zip codes in Homewood, Vestavia and Mountain Brook are eligible for till’s produce delivery service. Those include 35213, 35209, 35243, 35242, 35223, 35216, 35222, 35233, 35203 and 35205. There’s also a pickup location in Cahaba Heights.

So far, till’s local suppliers include Burnette Farms, Grandview Farm, Ireland Farms, Lake Majestik Farms, Morgan Farms, Owls Hollow Farm, Southern Organics and Sunrise Baking Company. 

How This Produce Delivery Biz Began

Birmingham, Alabama, till, home cooking, dog
Local Meyer lemons can take your main dish to wow. Expect “hungry eyes” from both dogs and humans. Photo via till’s Facebook page

Post college, the entrepreneurial-minded Will worked as a waiter’s assistant at The Hot and Hot Fish Club while building his book of business in the financial industry. The restaurant experience built his love and respect for local ingredients and farmers.

When he started dating Hayley, they courted over home-cooked date nights using fresh local ingredients. Now married, the DeShazos are sharing their passion with Birmingham through till. I asked them what the local response to their startup has been.

“Birmingham has been thrilled to receive till. The climate in our city is perfect to take on local, farm-fresh goods ordered online and delivered or locally picked up. We have a history of hospitality, a reputation for our culinary scene and are experiencing a new wave in tech startups. “

Will and Hayley DeShazo

Since launching a temporary site in late January, more than 1,100 have subscribed to till’s emails. Around 10 percent of those subscribes have now signed up as members for the till’s delivery service that begins April 6, according to the DeShazos.

Recipe Blog Coming Soon

Birmingham, Alabama, till, local produce
Beautiful Alabama produce! Now what to do with it? Photo via till’s Facebook page

The couple promises a recipe blog is in the works so that we’ll know how to use all that beautiful local produce. Photos of the duo’s home cooking on Facebook make my mouth water, so I am looking forward to this aspect of till.

Doing Good in the Neighborhood

A portion of proceeds from this produce delivery business will go to local Alabama food banks. “We’re also working on other convenient ways for till members to donate additionally on the website themselves,” the DeShazos said. “This way, we can all support Birmingham together.”

Meaning Behind the Name

“The reason many farmers till is to increase decomposition and add nutrients to the soil prior to planting seeds. till is a metaphorical parallel to what we believe we’re doing to play a role in the health of our city’s population. It’s time to stop sacrificing convenience for health, and till enables Birmingham to do so.”

Will and Hayley DeShazo

Food, Romance and David Bowie

Birmingham, Alabama, produce delivery, till,
One of these things is not like the other. Can you spot it? Photo of okra and tomatoes via till’s Facebook page

While perusing till’s Facebook page, I spotted a vintage David Bowie pin tucked among a plate of okra and tomatoes in one photo. I had to ask, what’s the deal?

“This really has nothing to do with food, ha!” Will said.

“We love music and Bowie. One of my favorite memories of Hayley and I actually goes back to The Syndicate Lounge (RIP). Maggie Rogers had released her first-ever tour and was stopping in Birmingham. I surprised Hayley with tickets. The show was phenomenal. After the show, Syndicate was blaring ‘Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)’ album. I specifically remember everyone in the small, dark and dungy venue dancing to ‘Fashion’ and Hayley smiling cheek-to-cheek.

“Soon after, she saw that pin at a quirky antique shop in Nashville and had to get it. So, Bowie sings to our fruits and vegetables regularly in our home.” 

Growing Marketplace

till joins Birmingham’s growing local produce business scene. Another newcomer, FarmStand by Stone Hollow Farmstead at Pepper Place, will sell local produce throughout the week, except during Saturday’s market.

Find out more about till at usetill.com or on social at @usetillsocial.