Friday, April 08, 2016

Local First Friday: Relay Foods

Relay Foods provides groceries, beer and wine, and other home products to people in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area, saving them a shopping trip. The service offers the option of pick-up or delivery (in most local areas), and enables customers to build meal plans to choose their groceries.
The company was founded in 2009 by Zach Buckner, an engineer who was frustrated with the frequent grocery trips he had to make.

“[Buckner] founded Relay Foods with the hope of creating a simpler way to provide healthy meals for his family without sacrificing quality time at home,” wrote Cheryssa Jensen, the company’s press coordinator, in an email.

Customers can order groceries through the Relay Foods website based on their schedules; there is no fixed, required meal plan. Those who choose to have their food delivered pay an unlimited monthly delivery fee of $19.

The service offers a wide selection of items from various meats and produce to baked goods, canned items, sauces and condiments, and more. 

The website ( also offers a Meal Planning feature in which patrons can browse or search through the recipe catalogue, import recipes from online using a URL, or type in recipes manually. Meals can be adjusted based on dietary preferences and serving size. Customers can use this tool to plan and select groceries. 

Relay Foods sources its food from around 190 local producers and takes commission from sales.
With so many other food delivery companies out there, we often get pegged as something else: subscription-based, a CSA, or sourcing products from other grocery stores,” wrote Jensen. “We are always finding new and creative ways to reach our customer base and keep them informed about who we are [and] why we are different.”

In the future, Relay Foods will continue to expand its product selection, particularly its organic and local products, according to Jensen.

About the Author 
Seema Vithlani is a junior multi-platform journalism major and French minor at the University of Maryland. This spring she is also an editorial intern for Washington Gardener Magazine.
"Local First Friday" is a weekly blog series profiling independent garden businesses in the greater Washington, DC, and Mid-Atlantic region. Washington Gardener Magazine believes strongly in supporting and sourcing from local businesses first!

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