Relay Foods: Shop online *and* support local merchants

Relay Foods (a Charlottesville company committed to eco-friendly, locally-sourced shopping) is now serving Richmond, letting you shop online for food from your favorite local providers and pick it all up in one place.

Editor’s note: Thanks to Cameron Lewis over at Relay Foods, we’ve been able to update (and even correct) some of this information for you. Make sure you take a look!

Relay Foods, a Charlottesville company with a policy of eco-friendly, locally-sourced, online shopping, wants to bring the freshest products directly to the customer from local providers with ease and affordability. Recently expanded to Richmond, Relay Foods boasts 29 local vendors.

Customers can browse products ranging from coffee beans to tofu, order online by midnight, and pick their purchase up the next day at any of Relay’s locations across town.

Finding a way to bridge the gap between the consumer and local farmers, Relay hopes to allow shoppers to spend less time fighting traffic or waiting in line, sustain their communities, and be aware of what and how they purchase. The site allows users to review old purchases and track shopping patterns, hopefully leading to more informed decisions about what they eat.

One local participant, Blanchard’s Coffee, sells fresh-roasted coffee beans through the site. Their beans can be found in all MARTIN’S locations, as well as many local restaurants and coffee shops. Says Blanchard’s roaster, Tom Thorogood, “Since the switch to MARTIN’S, we’ve lost some of our customer base who used to shop at Ukrop’s. We have limited retail hours at our shop, so this is another way to get our product to customers.” Thorogood is a big fan of the company. “I use it personally to buy groceries.”

There are some challenges for the site. Because there aren’t yet that many users and sellers, Blanchard’s found that some of their coffee was sitting on Relay warehouse shelves longer than they liked. To solve this problem, Relay is working with Blanchard’s to come up with a solution that will ensure both companies are happy with the quality of the product sent out to customers.

Other local participating companies include Montana Gold, Carytown Cupcakes, Twin Oaks, J Emerson Wines, and Agriberry. Some of the companies included have just few products listed, while others have items numbering in the hundreds. With any luck, as more companies join and more consumers participate, the selection will increase even more.

As far as pick-up dates and locations, here’s what Relay has arranged for Richmond (all pick-up times are from 3pm to 7pm unless otherwise noted):

Innsbrook, Markel Lot
Leigh and 4th, Downtown

SPI Inc., Parham
Ashley Furniture, Midlothian
William Fox Elementary, The Fan (4pm to 7pm)

Grove Street Parking
Churchill, 24th & Broad

Innsbrook, Snag-a-Job
8th and Cary, Downtown

Ashley Furniture, Broad Street

For more information and to browse the selection of local products, stop by the Relay Foods website.

  • error

    Report an error

Holly Gordon

Holly Gordon spends her days working with Richmond’s hearty nonprofit community and her nights singing in a community chorus. She loves her feminist book club, and is always distracted by shiny things.

There are 2 reader comments. Read them.