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My introduction to SILO

Posted: February 20, 2013 - 9:33am

About a month ago, I got an e-mail from Patrick Kelly, one of the owners of Sea Islands Local Outlet (SILO), about a truly wild coincidence.

Patrick shared with me that SILO’s supplier for wild Alaska seafood is Steve Sturman, owner of Fred’s Alaska Seafood (www.fredsalaskaseafood.com) based in Kenai. SILO’s selling seafood from Alaska is the only exception SILO makes to its policy of offering only locally grown or produced food.

Wrote Patrick, “We make the exception because Steve comes down here, and he brings the salmon that he catches himself. He recently told me that your column is in their newspaper in Kenai, which I thought was a pretty cool connection. We thought it may make an interesting column sometime to draw the connection and also how SILO is a great resource for local food.”

I thought it was a pretty cool connection, too. Each week, I strive to keep the column presented to the folks in Alaska just as relevant as it is for readers here in South Carolina. Thanks to Steve and Patrick, today’s piece fits like a glove.

As the former manager of Beaufort’s Habersham Farmers Market, Patrick Kelly recognized a need to improve how local growers/food purveyors could better connect with a community that valued having access to the kind of ultra-fresh, high quality foods they supplied. That increasing demand was met about a year-and-a-half ago with the establishment of Sea Islands Local Outlet (SILO), located at 7A Market Street, in Habersham Marketplace in the Burton area of Beaufort, which Patrick identifies as being “part a ready-to-go and once-a week pick-up shopfront, part Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and part food co-op.”

As such, SILO, which Patrick owns with wife Lauren and Garrett and Katie Budds, is a kind of online farmers market, where each week the growers/producers log onto the website (www.silo-beaufort.com) and update the products they assess SILO members can pick up that week.

Items offered by SILO’s growers/producers include fruits and vegetables; dairy and eggs; meat; seafood (wild Alaskan seafood), baked goods; grains, nuts and honey; herbs and spices; coffee and teas; prepared foods and canned items; flowers and plants; crafts; and more.

While the public may purchase merchandise at the shopfront without a membership, membership is required to shop online, after which orders may be picked up on “market” day at SILO-Habersham. (The annual $50 membership fee typically offers better pricing when shopping online, as well as other benefits. Also, SILO extends folks the ability to purchase items from the online market twice to test the program before being charged the annual fee.)

For details, visit www.silo-beaufort.com.

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchenade@yahoo.com.

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