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Mobile LoMo Market Makes It Easier to Buy Locally Sourced Food

By Pamela Sosnowski

Five days a week, a farmer's market on wheels in the form of several white trucks makes regular stops in the "Triangle," or the neighborhoods of Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh. The brigade is the LoMo Market, and it's changing the way people can shop for and enjoy locally-grown food and goods made from locally-sourced ingredients.

"Our model is to be walking distance from your home or neighborhood," says Founder and CEO Guenevere Abernathy. "We go to the same locations every week at the same time so that our customers can count on us. We provide a retail experience where anyone can come in, shop, and pick out their food. No need to order ahead of time with LoMo Market."

Abernathy was inspired to open her mobile food mart not just for food shoppers, but to also benefit local farmers and food artisans. 99% of the market's offerings are from North Carolina with the remainder being grown in neighboring states. "All products are labeled with where it came from, who produced it and how," explains Abernathy.

"We work with very small farmers and producers. So many of them do not have enough access to customers to create a sustainable livelihood. The question I asked myself was how can we make local food easy and convenient so that more people will participate in the local food system."

LoMo Market works with over 100 food producers, and foodies will find everything they need to keep a well-stocked pantry and kitchen, including fresh meat, fish, dairy, produce, baked goods, specialty products, and even flowers. Local food brands carried by the trucks include Strong Arm Baking Company, Imagine That Gluten Free, Locals Seafood, Boxcarr Cheese, Elodie Goat Cheese and Sassafras Fork Farm. A mix of organic and conventional produce is sold on the trucks.

There are many benefits to eating locally grown food, according to Abernathy. The most obvious one is that it's good for consumers and tastes great. It is a boost for the local economy, helping to support farmers and food suppliers and create jobs. It is also beneficial to the environment, as it reduces the amount of miles the food must travel to consumers.

"Many of us are so busy that we can't fit in regular trips to the farmers market or other specialty stores," says Abernathy. "We end up eating very little local food." LoMo Market's mission is to change that, by bringing the specialty food store to the customer.

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