We asked Orange County residents about the items they have safely and happily purchased since the Coronavirus crisis began, and the local art they’ve enjoyed as they shelter at home. For more ideas on how to keep your dollars in our community at this time, click here.

Carrboro United. The amazing restaurants and some farmers in Carrboro quickly created a seamless order and pickup service collaborative, and I couldn’t be prouder of our community. We just pop online and can order incredible meals from our favorite local spots, then safely pickup all at the same time. I love Carrboro!”

“Carrboro United for food pickup – this is a well-oiled machine with online ordering, a wonderful mix of restaurants and menus, and contactless pickup in the parking lot outside of Cat’s Cradle. (Of course, there is a bit of sadness while there knowing that we won't be at live shows anytime soon!) But seeing these businesses come together and provide this service gives me hope!”

“I have been getting food from Carrboro United, Carrburritos, and Luna Rotisserie. I also have been doing curbside wine pick up at the Winestore in Eastgate Crossing. I'm planning to send my mom Chapel Hill Toffee for Mother's Day.”

“We just placed our first grocery order for curbside pickup at Carrboro's Weaver Street Market, after having done orders from Harris Teeter and Whole Foods earlier this month.”

“Local farmers markets are doing an amazing job on crowd control and traffic. We're so lucky to have good access to fresh produce in this area!”

“The Chapel Hill Farmers Market has provided me with some gorgeous flowers and some delicious strawberries. A lot of people have shown up to support the market, but most customers are wearing masks, and all are safely distancing.”

“Trader Joe's – by far the best grocery shopping experience in town. They were limiting crowds in the store early on, and while the line may look intimidating, it moves quickly. Your cart is cleaned before they hand it to you, the store is well stocked, they've created extra space by clearing the floors and moving items to other locations, the staff are super friendly and put you at ease, and the check-out process feels safe and fast. They even walk (six feet away!) with you to your car and bring your cart back for you. They are totally getting pandemic grocery shopping right!” 

Fifth Season Gardening: For all of the Victory Garden planters out there, you can call or order your gardening needs online, pull up to the store, and they will place it right in your vehicle. I got potting soil and plants and new tomato cages, and it was ready for pickup in minutes.”

Whilden! Courtney Whilden will shop her store and put a bag or box together of looks that she thinks you will love and drop them at your door, contact free. You try on, keep what you want, and she will come back to pick up what does not work!”

“I’ve gotten a love and hope bouquet from Bowerbird Flowers. I got one for my momma too, and they both lasted over a week.”

“In terms of ‘most joy sparked,’ some dear friends sent me a gorgeous birthday bouquet from Bowerbird. Such a beautiful surprise – stunning anemones, ranunculus, roses, snap dragons, and some things I couldn't identify.”

“We're getting our bread from Chicken Bridge Bakery. They take pre-orders every week starting Thursday morning through noon on Friday and then do contact-less pickup at the farmers market. In recent weeks, they've had all kinds of breads – plus granola and sourdough starter.”

“We’ve been spreading small business support over the Triangle. Here are a few from Orange County: Chapel Hill Farmers Market vendors, La Hacienda, Luna Rotisserie in Carrboro, Soul Cocina in Blue Dogwood, Mediterranean Deli, Italian Pizzeria 3, Alfredo’s Pizza, Ali Cat Toys.”  

“I love Dave, the pharmacist who owns Southern Village Pharmacy. They bring orders curbside and have been fantastic. Dave is the king of finding a coupon to make your prescription cost less.”

Sylvan Esso released their WITH concert film last [week]. I missed the DPAC show so was happy I got to see the film! So many local musicians there.”

Mandolin Orange recently livestreamed an incredible concert and collected some donations for Compass Center in the process.”

Venable will deliver within a two-mile radius. Score! It's great to live close to downtown; Venable is one of our favorites. We started daydreaming about burgers, their fried chicken and arugula, Korean BBQ bahn mi, Udon noodles ...”

“Couldn't survive without Flyleaf Books – between engaging reads and dozens of fabulous puzzles, this locally owned, independent bookstore is a lifesaver.”

“My niece, who lives out of state, has a birthday coming up. I have my eye on one of Epilogue’s surprise boxes, tailored for her age and full of books and other treats.”

“I have been so inspired by the people who have supported our arts community through this crisis. I set up the Orange County Arts Support Fund not really sure how it would do. More than 100 donors and $25,000 later, we’ve already provided 45 relief grants to local community members and are getting ready to open the second round soon. I’ve also been inspired by the artists who, despite experiencing a total loss of income, have stepped up to help us raise money.  We have a page on our website highlighting their projects.” – Katie Murray, Orange Co. Arts Commission  

Chocolatay. Best chocolate ever. We’ve ordered twice this week. Delicious!” 

Chocolatay Chocolate Sampler

(photo credits: header - Chocolatay Confections, bottom  - Andrea Griffith Cash)