Editor’s Note: This story was first published on FoodCary.com.
Cary, NC — You can shop for anything online these days – even your weekly groceries. This week, I did my grocery shopping through Relay Foods – an online supermarket that serves Cary and other communities around the Triangle.
Here’s how it works.
My Online Grocery Shopping Experience
“The best way to understand how Relay Foods works is to try it yourself,” Stefano Rivera, Relay’s Local Market Manager, told me. So that’s what I did. On Wednesday night, I visited relayfoods.com to place and pay for my order.
The website was so easy to use – I simply browsed through the different categories of groceries and picked out what I wanted. Essentials like bread, milk, flour and eggs were all there along with some other foods, snacks and desserts that you might not find in a classic grocery store – like specialty organic teas and frozen dessert cups full of cake and icing.
Once I had everything in my cart that I wanted, I checked out. You don’t subscribe to anything when you use Relay Foods, which is nice – you simply shop whenever you want. On Thursday afternoon, less than 24 hours later, my groceries and the Relay Foods truck were waiting for me in downtown Cary in the Ashworth Village parking lot.
The whole process took less than two minutes. I pulled my car up beside the truck and watched as my order was unloaded from the truck and placed in a grocery bag for me. Rivera told me that the average pick-up time is three minutes.
My groceries included a bag of locally-roasted coffee, fresh bakery items from local bakeries, a jar of chai almond butter from Big Spoon Roasters in Durham and other items.
I mostly picked fun snacks, but you’ll find a large assortment of grocery essentials on Relay Foods’ online store – dairy products and eggs, fresh produce, frozen foods, pantry items, beverages, coffee and tea, health and beauty aids and even household and pet products.
Relay’s mission is to serve customers healthy, local food and support the local economy, so the produce, meats, dairy products and other groceries on the site come from local farmers, local bakeries and local businesses.
How It Works
When you first visit the Relay Foods website, you’ll be prompted to enter your zip code.
If you live in an area that Relay Foods serves, your closest pick-up site will pop up. You have until midnight the day before you pick up your order to select and pay for your groceries online. Then, on your delivery day, you can stop by your designated pick-up location within a three-hour window to get your groceries.
I met Rivera at the newest Cary pick-up site, the parking lot beside Chatham Street Wine Market, to get my groceries, but Triangle customers can also pick-up food from 15 other sites, including Cary’s Weston Lakeside Apartments and other locations in Raleigh, Durham, Carrboro, Chapel Hill and RTP. You can view a list of all Triangle pick-up sites online.
Depending on customers’ needs or preferences, Relay Foods can also deliver grocery orders to any homes near a pick-up site. Shoppers can request that their groceries be delivered to their homes for a small fee, but ongoing home delivery service is available, too – customers just pay $30 a month to receive up to three deliveries each week.
Link to Start Shopping
If you want to start shopping for groceries online, now’s the time. Right now, Relay Foods is offering first-time Cary customers one free home delivery. Just visit the link above, enter your zip code and get started.
Story and photos by Jessica Patrick.
Stories on CaryCitizen are sponsored in-part by The Fotoshoppe on Kildaire Farm Road.