Today, area consumers can choose from a plethora of providers specializing in North Carolina products, most of which deliver produce, meat, bread, cheese and other artisan products right to your door.
“Before it was only the folks who strongly identified with farmers markets, who brought their reusable bags and made kimchi,” said Robyn Stout, statewide program coordinator for the NC 10 Percent Campaign. “Before, it was limited to that population, and now we’re expanding local foods to a much wider audience.”
These home delivery services have taken off primarily because of the growing demand for local, sustainable food, says Stout.
“I have never seen a state that is so into its own products and its own people,” agreed David Welsh, co-owner of online grocery The Carolina Market. “Call it heritage, call it values, call it pride, whatever it is, it’s crazy. And the culture of supporting farmers and supporting local businesses is crazy, and I mean crazy in a good way.”
And then, there’s the undeniable convenience of home delivery.
“At a time when we’re used to going online, clicking a button, and within two days exactly what you want arrives at your doorstep, the home delivery part is so convenient and so attractive,” said Stout.
For the busy, health-conscious, civic-minded gourmand, the only problem is finding the right delivery service.
So while there are others to choose from, here is a peek at three companies – each with a slightly different take on the business model.
THE PRODUCE BOX
Average Cost: $25/Week
Registration Required: Members pay a sign-up fee and weekly orders are charged to a credit card.
Choice: Subscribers choose from among five to eight curated boxes. Can swap out one item in box.
Specialty Items: Nearly 75 other items including meats, cheeses and breads can be added.
Community Support: Gives grants to farmers and makes it easy for members to donate food.
Average Cost: $24/Week
Registration Required: Members buy credits up front and use credits to purchase food.
Choice: Subscribers have a default order which can be modified easily.
Specialty Items: More than 200 including prepared foods and recipe kits that include nearly everything you need to make a dish.
Community Support: Gives extra produce to Interfaith Food Shuttle.
THE CAROLINA MARKET
Average Cost: No set cost.
No Registration Required: But members are eligible for discounts.
Choice: Entire order can be customized. Customers pick from 600-plus items.
Specialty Items: Yes.
Community Support: Supports area food banks and fundraisers and donates extra food to various charities including NC Boys Homes.
SOURCE: Cary Magazine