Local company looks to make healthy foods fresh year round

Flash frozen strawberries.

MEBANE, N.C. (WNCN) – Two local business owners are working toward making fresh fruits and vegetables affordable and available year round.

Patrick Mateer and Will Chapman, co-owners of Seal the Seasons, love making healthy foods affordable. “I’m passionate about food work,” Mateer says. “After working with a lot of farmers I knew there had to be a way to extend North Carolina’s produce life and make it available for more people all year around.”

Seal the Seasons buys local fruits and vegetables from farmers and flash freezes them in Liquid Nitrogen to lock in nutrients and flavors for up to a year. The company then sells the produce in grocery stores around the state at affordable prices.

Mateer and Chapman started Seal the Seasons two years ago as students at UNC. Their goal is to help farmers sell their crops and make it easier to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

Thanks to the company, farmers like Todd Carter don’t have to wonder how well their crops will sell. “It gives me a guarantee sale of my product,” Carter says. “I’m not here spending all my time and money and not knowing if I can sell it at all.”

Now, Mateer and Chapman hope to expand to new areas where fresh produce isn’t usually available.

“We do want to take 20 percent of our profits and put it towards projects so people can access food even in areas where they (now) can’t,” Mateer says. “One of things we see about frozen is it doesn’t go bad. There’s not that issue of shelf life. We’ll be able to ship it to all these areas all year long in a sustainable way.”

Seal the Seasons’ products can be bought on the Bella Bean Organics Online Grocer site and are expected to be in stores by next year.

Copyright 2015 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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