AYER -- CD's Produce on Main Street was about as busy as it gets one recent morning as co-owners Caleb Aho and Dustin Krook hustled in and out, carting and stacking crates and boxes of fruits and veggies.
Aho said they'd purchased all this "super fresh" produce earlier that day, mostly from "big Boston markets." They also buy from local farms in season, he said.
Soon, it would all be stacked in place, a colorful, enticingly edible array that typically includes everything from apples and oranges to asparagus, squashes, yams, potatoes and then some.
Asked what happens to outdated produce, still good enough to eat but no longer farm-to-table fresh, Aho said it's donated to a charitable organization with a shelter in Devens.
The weekly shopping trip, an adventure in itself, is just one aspect of a new business that is a "sideline" for both of them but one that they're passionate about, Aho said, tapping into a shared interest: selling fresh produce in a community setting, farm-stand style. In this case, indoors and open year-round. CD's also sells produce to restaurants and caterers.
Having decided to "try a little shop," Krook and Aho, cousins from Southern New Hampshire, settled on this space in downtown Ayer, nestled among other small shops and businesses, with a sunny front window and just enough square footage to display and sell their wares. It's just right, Aho said, from aesthetics to location.
Foot traffic, another anticipated perk, has been slow to start since CD's opened, late last winter, but they're hoping for a springtime surge, Aho said. It's well worth stopping by, maybe to take home a reusable bag full (bring your own or buy one there) of healthful goodies. A couple of crisp apples, a super-sized orange, eggplant, asparagus, a bunch of leafy greens or a spray of spinach for $2.50.
Aho also operates two other enterprises, a weatherization firm and an elder care-giving service. Plus, he's a Lutheran minister, pastor of a small church in Ringe, New Hampshire, where he lives with his family. "It's a beautiful place to raise kids," he said.
At CD's, the morning hubub was short lived. Store clerks Jane Buchikos and Tiffany Normandin would soon spiff up the store scape when their busy bosses had left. After taking care of business on site, Aho and Krook dashed off to make deliveries. Yes, they deliver, and yes, you can order online, for at-home delivery or store pickup.
Delivery service is free for orders over $35; $3 for others and CD's delivers orders free to two drop-off locations in Leominster and Ashby, respectively. Details are on their website, cdsproduce.com
CD's is open Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, to check store hours or place an order, the number to call is 978-487-7075.