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Giant Eagle’s Market District banner stores this month are celebrating its commitment to local producers by focusing on the many offerings made and raised within 150 miles of its five locations.
In an email newsletter, the Pittsburgh-based grocer explained that it currently partners with more than 135 local farms of all sizes to deliver common and specialty products alike, signified by its “Buy Local” icon.
“It’s all about quality,” Steven Quallich, produce team leader at the grocer’s Robinson, Pa. store, was quoted as saying in the e-newsletter. “From tiny farms to big farms, each has an item that they are known for. I hear customers say the Triple B Farm’s corn is fantastic – and we have it! That’s a great feeling.”
Quallich added that the company also forges mutually beneficial relationships with its local farmers’ network. “If we call last minute to say we need eggplant, they send an emergency truckload. If they say they have a surplus of excellent green beans, we sell them…Buying local isn’t just a trend, it’s community building.”
In addition, Market District team leaders are also interested in additional partnerships to enhance its selection of local offerings, as long as the products are on par with the grocer’s standards of freshness and quality. “Our goal is to bring in as many farms as we can,” said Nilda Cortes, produce team leader at the Columbus, Ohio location. “We want to give them exposure and bring our customers the freshest tomatoes, beans, corn and peppers, squash, potatoes, peaches – you name it.”
Market District has one location in Columbus, Ohio and four throughout the metro Pittsburgh area.