Who We Are

We love food.

And a big part of loving food is knowing where that food comes from and the hardworking hands of those who produce it. We deliver locally grown food directly from small-scale farmers to your door, through a convenient and customizable online marketplace experience.

Founded in 2018

MilkRun was founded by Julia Niiro in 2018 with a goal of supporting small-scale farmers in her Oregon community.

In two years, we’ve established a vast network of farmers and producers, serving multiple markets in the PNW and Austin, and continuing to expand nationwide.

Learn more about how MilkRun works

The MilkRun Mission

Know your farmer, know your food.

Good food is growing all around us and everyone should be able to access it. MilkRun makes it easy: eliminating the middleman between food producer and food consumer and delivering high-quality meat, milk, eggs, and produce straight from local farms to your doorstep. We believe that locally grown food provides nutritional benefits, creates important economic opportunities in our communities, and reduces our environmental impact.

The milkman model, re-imagined.

MilkRun merges the convenience of new technology with the longstanding ethos of the milkman: high-quality local food delivered directly by the farmers themselves. Our online platform and customizable subscription boxes allow you to easily choose what you and your family needs each week.

We serve small farms to build a better future.

Our food system is broken. Small-scale farmers disappear every year as they struggle to compete with major retail chains; we’re facing the extinction of 90% of small farms over the next 10 years. And, because of shipping, production, packaging, and marketing, less than ten cents of every dollar spent on food in grocery stores makes it back into the farmer’s pocket. Plus, grocery store produce can lose up to 40% of its vitamins and nutrients by the time it makes it into your home.

That’s why MilkRun eliminates the middleman — putting as much money as possible directly into our farmers’ pockets and delivering undeniably fresh food that’s grown, raised, baked, and produced by those in our immediate communities. We handle the technology and the logistics so that farmers can focus on what they do best: grow delicious food.

A better food system is possible.

Supporting small-scale farmers enables them to uphold the best possible practices for land and soil health, animal welfare, and nutrient density in our food. Our partnerships with local farmers in the Pacific Northwest have already allowed them to expand their operations, feed more folks in their area, and increase their own quality of life.

Julia Niiro is the founder and CEO of MilkRun. She’s also a former farmer herself. After realizing the enormous challenges faced by small producers in selling their food to their community, she started MilkRun in 2018 to give small farmers like herself a local market for their product — connecting the needs of urban markets with high-quality food from their rural neighbors. With a background in digital marketing and technology and a passion for local food systems, she saw an opportunity to build a digital platform that makes supporting local farmers as easy as booking a room or calling a cab. Her goal was simple: make good food accessible to all and save small farms in the process. 

She’s since become a powerful advocate for small-scale farmers and sustainable food systems, including an impassioned 2019 TEDx Portland talk on saving small farmers from extinctions. She believes a better food system is possible, and it starts with us.

 


“I don’t want to live in a world where my only option is to buy meat and produce from a big corporation...Food is offering us an opportunity to come together, to stand on common ground, to put our hands in common soil, so that we can rebuild this future in a way that rebalances what we need with what we value. Let this be the era where we reclaim our connection with the land, with the people that feed us. We can do this, each of us, in our own way.”
Julia Niiro

 

HOW DID MILKRUN HAPPEN?

As a farmer in Oregon, Julia Niiro quickly realized that there were no available outlets to sell farm-fresh food, even to her neighbor down the road. After pitching a solution to others in her food community, she teamed up with fellow farmers to distribute their products in the Portland area. Her first delivery was to a team of preschool teachers: she took their order on a piece of paper, and borrowed a refrigerated van. MilkRun grew from there. It started with neighbors and a notebook — and rapidly grew into a scalable digital platform serving thousands of people in the PNW while supporting hundreds of small farms and producers.