Updated 05/07/2012 05:24 PM
Home-grown food is just a click away for Coastal residents
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WILMINGTON -- Some shoppers along the coast now have access to local food products right at their fingertips. Last week, a nonprofit that supports home-grown food programs in Southeastern North Carolina, launched an online farmers market.
Angela Cannon and her pickled products are a common sight at farmers markets in New Hanover and Pender Counties.
"It starts kind of slow until people start bringing in their family then it picks up and each year it picks up even more," said Cannon, who manages the Wrightsville Beach Farmers Market.
In hopes of picking up her business, Cannon is branching out to the online market.
Currently, she is one of about a dozen farmers and producers selling their products through the online Feast Down East Buying Club.
"We're trying to reach the average consumer directly. We are trying to make it convenient and give them the value of buying local food," said Jane Steigerwald, with Feast Down East.
For the last year, only UNC Wilmington employees and students have been part of the buying club and last week it was opened up to the public.
"We are trying to build the local food economy and build a vibrant, strong food economy," said Steigerwald.
It's similar to all the other online shopping sites, the only differences is you have to pick up your order. There are three pick-up locations to choose from and you must have your order in by 11 a.m. Monday for Thursday delivery.
"We are very competitive with local grocers. If you buy in season the prices are even less expensive so we try to incorporate that in to our buying club so it's not only a convenience but it is also a value," said Steigerwald.
A value to both the buyer and the seller.
"Through Down East I have the website visits that they get, the people who order things through them so it's more exposure," said Cannon.
The products available on the website depend on what's in season or what the farmers have to offer.