Raleigh, N.C. — When Kim Hammer starts talking about the vendors at her new shop, Raleigh Provisions, her eyes light up.
"Have you heard of Moondance? They make soap," Hammer says, walking over to find a sample. Holding the Raleigh-based company's Lavendar and Rosemary bath bar, she remembers how she met the owners at a local farmers market.
A lot of the products that will be sold at Raleigh Provisions are from small, local companies, like Moondance.
"These are all great people I want everyone to meet," Hammer says of the vendors.
In addition to wanting to provide great products, Hammer said she also wanted shoppers to be able to buy items without spending a half hour trying to figure out the ingredients on each label. Items won't have preservatives or a crazy list of chemical ingredients.
Hammer picks up a bag of potato chips, pointing to the label - Carolina Kettle. The chip company was started by Josh Monahan, a junior at N.C. State. For every bag of chips sold, his company - aptlly named 1-in-6 to represent that one in six people don't know where their next meal is coming from - will donate five cents to the local food bank.
Hammer reads on the ingredient list on the chip bag noting that it is gluten-free, nut-free and made with no preservatives. "And this is a flavored product," she says.
Hammer, who also owns Bittersweet, came up with the concept for Raleigh Provisions after having many Taste Carolina tour goers ask where they could buy some of the great local products she suggested. After two years in development, Raleigh Provisions opened last week at 107 E. Davie St. inside the ground floor of The Edison.
The store was originally going to be named Raleighwood Provisions, but Hammer changed the name
For Hammer, the project is more than just a store. It is a chance to introduce some of her favorite local products from business owners she has met along the way at local farmers markets. Big Spoon Roasters, Bruce Julian Heritage Foods' Blood Mary mixes, Goat Lady Dairy and First Hand Foods will be among the vendors on shelves at Raleigh. Fresh baked bread will be brought in daily from Night Kitchen in Seaboard Station.
Hammer also wants to include one-stop shopping for meals, with recipe cards next to collections of the ingredients needed for you to make that dish. Cooking demos and meet the purveyor programs are also planned. The future, Hammer hopes, will include email ordering for people in the neighborhood.