While Jill Keefe was away for a five-day business trip in 2019, her husband Jeremy got busy converting a guest room into a hydroponic garden. She was surprised to come home and find the room filled with shelves set up and ready to grow microgreens.
“I kept complaining about the recurring problem with E. coli in grocery store greens, and Jeremy decided to solve it for us. Then it grew into a little side hustle. We’d harvest every Friday evening and drive around Fountain Hills on Saturday to deliver to our customers.”
Around the same time, Jill started juicing, and they quickly discovered the health benefits. But juicing in large amounts created hurdles. They were purchasing all of the organic juicing produce from the local grocery stores, and it still wasn’t enough. The process took over their kitchen and dishwasher, and they wanted a place to set up a permanent operation so they could share with others.
In May 2022, Jill retired from her corporate job, and Good Living Greens opened on Parkview Avenue. The couple sums up their food philosophy in three words. Clean. Local. Healthy.
“We have found other like-minded suppliers who help us meet our goals. We have raw Jersey cow dairy, kombucha, Mexican comfort food that is vegan and gluten-free, and produce sourced from suppliers and farms around Maricopa County,” Jill said. “We want to be a springboard for others trying to start their own local health food businesses, and we hope to be a kind of incubator for others.”
The Keefe’s are frustrated with what they call a corrupted food supply in America, and they hope to play a small role in bringing simple, healthy, unprocessed foods to Fountain Hills. “Not only is it healthier, but it also tastes better,” said Jeremy.
As we chatted, three different customers stopped in. One picked up a healthy to-go lunch, another was sent by his wife to get two bottles of Easy Greens juice, and another was filling her arms with nourishing ingredients to make meals for her kids.
Jill said, “I remember Mr. Hooper, the grocer on Sesame Street. I just want to be Mr. Hooper, the local grocer.”
The store is settling into a weekly rhythm with different daily deliveries and fresh juice every day. Each day brings something different, and Jill and Jeremy are not afraid to experiment.
“Our intention is to offer what you would expect from the perimeter of the larger grocery stores, although we don’t offer meat yet. I see it a little like being in Europe, where you shop daily for the ingredients you need. This lets you eat foods when they are their freshest.”
Customers can visit the website and sign up for weekly notifications about what days different products will arrive, promos, and new product alerts. There’s a page to pre-order bread, juice, and other foods. You can also learn about their supply partners on the website.
Another important part of their business model is supporting the Extended Hands Food Bank. “We share a similar vision,” said Jill, “and that is feeding people and meeting their needs.”
As produce gets older, they offer it to customers for free and ask them to consider supporting the Food Bank through their donation jar. They’ve contributed about $40-50 a week through this effort. Customers love this option and feel good about not letting nutritious food go to waste while helping others who need help obtaining food.
“There’s a Native American saying that represents the experience you’ll have in our store,” said Jill. “They say you never step in the same river twice because the next time you come to the river, it will be different water. That’s our shop. In addition to the basic items we always carry, you’ll find something different whenever you come here.”
16842 E. Parkview Avenue #2
OPEN Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-6pm