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Chatham Marketplace wants local producers to stock shelves

By Kathleen Conroy
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005

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Co-op seeks suppliers of locally produced products

Pittsboro, NC - Chatham Marketplace, Your Local Co-op Grocery, is actively seeking local producers for everything that the Co-op will put on the shelves. The co-op is looking for local sources for everything from sustainably grown and organic fruits and vegetables, to meats and dairy products, to candles, crafts and health and beauty aids.

Chatham Marketplace General Manager Mary DeMare Stivers says, "Offering local products means that we can offer the highest quality and most nutritious food available. We can protect our environment by reducing travel miles from the West Coast and Latin America. And we'll be supporting our local economy, local farmers, and greenspace, as well as spending our money right here in Chatham County. We are committed to using local suppliers for everything from apples to all-natural twinkies. Now we need to start hearing from local producers so we know what we can put on our shelves."

To ensure that the Co-op will use local suppliers whenever possible, a Producer Relations Committee was established by the Board of Directors. This committee has worked hard over the last two years to devise a Purchasing Policy that will guide store personnel in purchasing produce, meat, eggs and seafood from local producers. This policy is available for review on the Chatham Marketplace website. In addition to the purchasing policy, the committee has developed a farmer questionnaire. " We would like as many producers to fill out the questionnaire as soon as possible" said Mary. Once the questionnaire is completed, a member of the committee will visit the farm to complete the application process to sell products at CM.

Members of the Producer Relations Committee, Debbie Roos, Chatham County Agircultural Extension Agent and Doug Jones of Central Carolina Community College's Sustainable Farming Program have designed two season extension workshops for vegetable growers that will be held at the Community College this September. Part of the impetus for the workshops is to help local growers meet the year-round demands of the co-op. Laura Lauffer, Chair of the Producer Relations Committee says, "I cannot tell you how excited I am that Chatham Marketplace is already having such a positive impact on local agriculture. Doug Jones and Debbie Roos are aware of our need for fresh locally grown produce year-round and have responded by developing these special workshops for local growers. This kind of cooperation between retailer, Extension Service and the local community college is the reason why Chatham Marketplace will be able to support local growers and sell premium quality produce. Our hope is that these workshops will result in local produce on our shelves when we open this winter."

Anyone interested in supplying the co-op is encouraged to visit the website. Use the "Become A Local Supplier" button to access the Purchasing Policy and fill out Supplier Questionnaire on-line. If you do not have web access, please call Mary DeMare Stivers at (302)562-7078 or email her at for more information.


Chatham Marketplace is a co-op grocery store that will open in Chatham Mills in Pittsboro by the end of this year. Chatham Marketplace will offer a full selection of organically and sustainably grown produce - as much as possible from local growers. The market will also sell a full line of sustainable grocery and dry-good products including deli, bakery, meat, bulk, dairy, vitamin and health and body care items.

Related info:
Chatham Marketplace
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page
Chatham Marketplace wants local producers to stock shelves

Related info:
Chatham Marketplace

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