There's a new way to get local food in Anchorage — and you can place your order online beforehand to get exactly what you want.
The Kenai Peninsula Food Hub will debut an Anchorage pilot operation Saturday. Members can purchase food, flowers, handmade goods and other farmers market items through a vendor's "virtual stall" and then pick them up later.
Weekly purchasing opens Saturday, and purchases are available for pickup at the Church of Love Spenard, 3502 Spenard Road, from 4 to 8 p.m. the following Thursday.
Robbi Mixon of Cook Inletkeeper, the nonprofit that provides administrative support to food hubs, said that after two successful years on the Kenai — the hubs have more than 650 active customers in Seldovia, Homer and Soldotna — the group decided to expand to Anchorage.
Alaska has other food hubs — including the Salt and Soil Marketplace in Southeast — but this is the first in Anchorage.
As of Friday, only two vendors had products available on the site — Jakolof Bay Oysters and Alaska Natural Organics, with hydroponically grown greens — but Mixon said four more will be online soon. She hopes to eventually have about 20 vendors.
Anyone can make their first order online, but a $20 annual membership is required for future purchases. Mixon said the membership fee goes toward offsetting the costs of the hub.
Mixon said the Anchorage food hub will run through at least mid-November. Purchases can be made at AnchorageFoodHub.org.