Online Grocery Stores Connect Farmers to Consumers

KEEZLETOWN, Va. (WHSV)-- A load of money to support foods that are home grown is coming from the governor backing the local food movement.

Online grocery stores connecting farmers to customers like you and me. Now the trend has become so popular that this online grocery store has nearly tripled in size. It went from three to more than twelve locations in just three years.

From the backyard barn to your kitchen table, the trend towards buying local continues to grow across the Valley.

Mark Macdanel grew up planting his own garden, and recently stumbled upon Relay Foods, the online site connecting shoppers
to their farmers. He says it's a tradition he loves sharing with his family.

"It just doesn't get any fresher than that, from the field right into my own home. It is as good as coming from my own garden, only better because they have so many more things to choose from," said Macdanel.

It has become so popular that the city and state is putting an additional $350,000 toward the online grocery store. They are hoping it will allow the industry to continue growing and supporting local farmers throughout Virginia.

One Valley farmer, with Radical Roots, sells his product through Relay Foods. He says it helps mom and pop places stay in business and thrive.

"A great way for us to streamline a lot of our sales that is still keeping the money in the local economy, and has given us a consistent high level volume for our fresh vegetables," said Dave O'Neill, the owner of Radical Roots.

O'neill also says this opportunity has allowed his business to grow by more than ten percent.

Now, as Macdanel picks up his gallons of milk and fresh produce, he says it gives him a personal relationship with the food he eats.


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