Behind the Box: Justin Beaver, Software Engineer Lead

Behind the Box is Harvie’s way of connecting you to the people behind your weekly grocery delivery. Meet Justin Beaver, a Software Engineer Lead at Harvie.

What is the last thing you ate?

All-Harvie ground beef tacos. Due to an ongoing kitchen renovation at my house, my “kitchen” is currently a 2-burner electric stove sitting on a table in the living room. While a desperate situation like that could easily lead to takeout or Hamburger Helper every night, Harvie has really come through for us and allowed us to continue eating high-quality, healthy food. Our dinner menu has been some type of salad, pasta, or protein-stuffed grain envelope every night for the last few weeks, but good ingredients really do make all the difference. 

The tacos were made with the Jubilee Hilltop ground beef, Tres Rios flour tortillas, Ocho Original Salsa, and an assortment of Harvie veggies. Kitchen renovation or not, I’d eat those any time.

What’s your favorite comfort food, go-to meal, or recipe?

I jumped on the wood pellet grill bandwagon a few years ago, and it’s become my favorite cooking device. It’s so versatile, and I love cooking slow, which gives me an excuse to clear out my schedule, spend the day outside, and finish it off with some really flavorful food. I’ve had success making all the staple barbecue meats in addition to some smoke-infused surprises like guacamole, clam chowder, shrimp, whole fish, and simple syrup for cocktails. But if I had to pick one thing, it would be chicken wings on the grill. I have some staple recipes that I revisit regularly, but it’s always more fun to try a new rub and/or sauce (I’m excited to try out the Uncle Jammy’s products this spring!).

What’s your favorite Harvie product?

It’s impossible to choose just one, but I’ll give a special shoutout to Pitaland’s Roasted Red Pepper Hoummus and pita chips, which make an appearance in just about every one of my Harvie boxes. I recently noticed that I’ve developed a Pavlovian salivation response that kicks in any time I can feel the presence of the chip container.

What’s your favorite spot in PGH?

I was first introduced to the city when I came here for college, so I always enjoy getting nostalgic and spending some time in Oakland. Whether it’s strolling around one of the many green spaces, getting some ice cream at Dave and Andy’s, or downing a shot of fireball at Hemingway’s (kidding on that one), it’s always a euphoric feeling taking a trip down memory lane. Most importantly, it lets me forget how old I am… at least for a little while.

What’s your favorite thing about Harvie/Working for Harvie?

I believe that one of the most important issues that the world faces today is the lack of a sustainable food system. The negative impacts of the mainstream food supply chain permeate our lives and environment in too many ways to count. I believe it’s possible to design a food system that doesn’t sacrifice the climate, the well-being of our community and community members, soil health, animal welfare, or the watershed. My favorite thing about Harvie is getting the opportunity to try and make that a reality every day alongside a team of amazing people who share a similar vision for the future.