I stopped by this location of the Winston-Salem-based chain to check it out on a busy Saturday in July and ran into Brent Barbee, farm manager for Barbee Farms, Concord, who was sampling melons at the front of the store.
People were smiling, asking questions and really engaging the representatives of local producers lined up at all around the store. Barbee had a prime spot right out front, where he had three varieties cut and ready to eat.
“We’ve started selling to Lowe’s Foods and we wanted to introduce folks to different types of melons,” Barbee said.
Barbee helped customers learn how to choose a melon at peak ripeness, and he got me to try some varieties I hadn’t had before – a canary and a sprite – and based on the number of people with bright yellow canary melons in their carts, it looked like a successful promotion.
Lowe’s Foods introduced the Produce-A-Palooza this year, which celebrates local growers and highlight’s the company’s participation in the NC 10% Campaign, which “encourages North Carolinians – consumers, organizations, agencies and businesses alike – to spend 10% of their food budget on locally grown and produced foods,” according to Lowe’s Foods’ website.
The program runs May through August, and Lowe’s says it sources more than 20$ of total produce from North Carolina farmers during that period.