With Eat Drink Local Month quickly approaching, Lowcountry Local First heard from one of its community partners, GrowFood Carolina. Anthony Mirisciotta, General Manager, offered some insight on how business is going.

What are the biggest pain points or concerns for GrowFood right now? 

In 2021, GrowFood Carolina celebrated 10 years of our work in support of local farmers and local food and we are excited about the future. We are in the process of moving into our new and larger warehouse located in Charleston at 1814 Harmon Street. This new space will increase our capacity by 3x as compared to 990 Morrison Drive, which means greater capacity to support local South Carolina farmers. This physical relocation and transition will be our focus throughout 2022-2023.

What is going well for GrowFood right now? 

It is the best time of the year for local food, as long as the weather cooperates we are anticipating a bountiful and flavorful local spring. The silver lining that GrowFood found during the Pandemic was in regard to increasing our activity in food access and nutrition efforts within our community. Thanks to our supporters and partners, we are on track to distribute 1 million pounds of fresh, healthy and local food into communities and neighborhoods that don’t otherwise have access. We look forward to continuing to innovate with our partners to continue these successful efforts.

Is inflation or the issues with global logistics benefitting GrowFood in any way? Are more chefs choosing to source closer to home because of delays and rising costs?

Inflation, shipping costs and climate change continue to cause disruptions to our food system. One thing that became apparent to all of us during the pandemic was how important our local farmers are to us, and how valuable it is to have a resilient local food system. These disruptions are only going to become more apparent in the future, so investing and participating in your local food system is more important than it ever has been, and we are grateful for the support of local chefs, supporters and partners that value and enjoy eating local, and besides local food tastes better!

What do you wish your customers knew or appreciated more about your GrowFood? What do you wish the community at large knew?

Everything that we do at Growfood is in support of local agriculture, it’s actually the entire reason that we are here. When we opened the doors in 2011, we worked directly with 5 local farmers, 10 years later we now have over 120 direct farmer relationships in South Carolina. Eating local, seasonal fruits and vegetables taste better and have greater nutrient density than foods that may have traveled around the world to reach you. Thanks to our customers and supporters, since 2011, we have returned nearly $10 million dollars back to local farmers and communities, all in support of local food.

Erika Grimes