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Photo: Relay Foods/screen capture

Western North Carolina is not the only place with a strong local food scene. The Triangle area has also become known for its farmers’ markets, farm tours and farm-to-table restaurants and cafes. Now a new grocery service aims to build on that culture, offering online grocery shopping with a strong focus on local, organic and sustainably produced goods.

Originally launched in Charlottesville, Virginia, Relay Foods now serves five regional markets including Richmond, Baltimore and Washington DC. Zach Buckner, CEO and Founder of Relay Foods, told Charlottesville Newsplex that the decision to come to Durham was based on the area’s growing population: “The Research Triangle continues to be one of the fastest-growing regions of the country, and we are excited to be the first major online grocer investing here,”

Currently much of the company’s selection comes from the Virginia area, but suppliers local to the Triangle include Maple View Milk, Slingshot Coffee, Tempeh Girl and Yawp! vegan snack bars. Eventually the plan is to supply local meat, fish, produce and processed foods from the local area. The company was named the “leading start-up” in online groceries by Time Magazine in 2009, and is a certified B Corporation.

Customers will be able to order online and pick up their order the next day at several locations in the Durham area. Prices are roughly in line with high-end big box grocers like Whole Foods and Harris Teeter.