Food Drink, Lifestyle

New local initiative addresses supply chain concerns

Photo by Michael's English Muffins

We’ve probably all had this feeling by now — standing in front of empty grocery store shelves, the shopping list in-hand now defunct. New shipments of chicken and paper towels are, in many cases, getting wiped out as soon as they’re unloaded. National headlines murmur about food shortages. It’s stressful, right?

But we’ve got some really cool news to share, Raleigh.

Local chef Drew Smith — alongside Tabletop Media Group + food journalist Jenn Rice — is spearheading a new initiative called kommunity hub to help bridge the gap between consumers feeling the pressure of reduced merchandise + suppliers suffering from limited sales.

Many restaurants continue to receive their usual orders of meat, produce, bread, paper goods, you name it. Plus, our local makers are still creating art, small businesses are still producing useful items + farmers have plenty of goods to sell — and they all need buyers. That’s where ko•mmunity hub comes in. Note: this program expands on •än’s existing pop-up grocery to connect community members with more vendors.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Shop online. Find items ranging from meal kits, picnic packs, and baked goods (Michael’s English Muffins, anyone?) to at-home spa treatments and dog treats. Click here to visit the shop.
  2. Place your order. Purchases for the first hub must be submitted by 3 p.m. tomorrow, May 7.
  3. Pick up. Hub-goers will collect their orders this Saturday, May 9 from 12 to 8 p.m. at 2800 Renaissance Place in Cary, via drive-thru. Products will be placed in vehicle trunks for a touch-free interaction. 

More to know: ko•mmunity hub was inspired by a similar concept led by Acme chef Kevin Callaghan to serve the Carrboro and Chapel Hill communities (the next Carrboro United hubs will be held today and Saturday, May 9 — click here to place your orders).

How does it help? This program brings together two sides of the community who have been strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — connecting consumers in search of basic pantry goods, household items, and gifts with local producers. Similar to the community-supported agriculture model, the goal for ko•mmunity hub is to be an ongoing incubator project to help Triangle-area restaurants, farmers, and artisans find new revenue + connect local residents with products.