Amanda Miller admits she is something of a "control freak about food." So in mid-August when she launches Dock to Door (docktodoorseafood.com), a Chapel Hill-based seafood-delivery business, the ability for customers to choose the seafood they'd like to purchase will be a major priority.
Weekly access to fresh North Carolina seafood has increased in the Triangle in recent years through community-supported delivery programs (see "Where to find N.C. seafood" and "Support your local shrimper" in our archives as well as nc-seafood.org for lists). Those groups offer seasonal shares of seafood, delivering a bulk selection to members depending upon what's available each week.
Dock to Door, on the other hand, will make small portions available for purchase with no monthly or seasonal commitment necessary. At the beginning of each week, the business will post what's available on its website. Orders placed by Wednesday morning will be available for pickup at a few area businesses on Friday (check Dock to Door's website for exact pickup locations, which have yet to be determined).
"The element of choice is so important to me," Miller says of her business plan. In addition, Miller hopes Dock to Door will provide access to local seafood to individuals who can't afford or don't want to make a multi-week commitment to buy fish in bulk. "The business is about making it affordable, providing choice and, of course, supporting North Carolina fishermen—the cornerstone of our idea," says Miller.
To secure fresh, seasonable seafood, Dock to Door has partnered with Haag and Sons, a fish supplier in Brunswick County. "Fresh seafood means that in the winter, you're not going to get frozen shrimp from us," Miller explains.
Between noon and 5 p.m. on Aug. 6, celebrate Mead Day at the Triangle's local honey winery, Starrlight Mead (480 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro, starlightmead.com, 533-6314). Owners Becky and Ben Starr have celebrated the holiday for years by holding a small gathering, but this will be the first Mead Day since their business began in Pittsboro last September.
For the holiday, recognized by the American Homebrewers Association, the Starrs are hosting something similar to a mini Renaissance Fair. Starrlight Mead employees will wear era-appropriate attire; sword-fighting knights will perform for children, and Chatham Marketplace will sell turkey legs.
The Starrs will demonstrate the mead-making process and offer Starrlight Mead for sampling and purchase, including in the form of a Meadjito slushy (frozen mint-and-lime honey wine). Other vendors will offer additional mead-based products. Hillsborough's Swanfire farm plans to sell mead soap, and Raleigh's Red Light Chocolates will offer mead candy.
Head west to Madison County this weekend to celebrate more regional spirits. The Southern Culture Society will hold its third annual Carolina 'ShineFest on Saturday and Sunday. The free festival will include live music, a tour of Piedmont Distillers (North Carolina's first legal moonshine distillery) and an appearance by moonshine legend and NASCAR alum Junior Johnson. For more information, visit southernculturesociety.org.