TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A sign that reads "locally grown" is posted around a Bashas' grocery store in Tucson. This is a phrase leaders at Bashas' said they stand by.
"We're a local company. Local businesses are really important to us and we like to support them," said Bashas' Senior Vice President, Steve Mayer.
As Mayer explained, finding local businesses to stock the Bashas' shelves is not always easy.
"It's really hard to go out into the community and find local suppliers," said Mayer.
That is where Forager comes in. They are a digital supply chain company that help grocery stores like Bashas' link up with local businesses interested in selling products on their shelves. Forager has partnered with around 40 grocery stores in the United States. Bashas' is their first partnership in Arizona.
"We want every vendor in Arizona to know that if they're interested in doing business with Bashas', we can help find an opportunity for them," said Forager CEO, Joe Blunda.
Blunda said the opportunities are near endless because Forager can customize the amount of product each vendor contributes and which stores they want to contribute to.
"We really are talking about food coming out of a community being put on the store shelves in that community," said Blunda.
According to Blunda and a survey collected by Forager, 96% of consumers think local food is the freshest on the market. Luckily, plenty of it will soon be on its way to a Basha's store near you.
"The thing we are most excited about is what this means for consumers. There will be more local food, in the ways they want to buy it, in the variety that they expect and the quality that they deserve," said Blunda.