Sit across from Lindsey Barrow, Jr. at a local coffee shop, and wait for the spark when he starts to explain the blood, sweat and dirt that is Lowcountry Street Grocery. Groceries become exhilarating. He may just credit some of the stellar produce to their “baller seeds.”
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Well before baller seeds were even a twinkle in LBJ’s eye, the College of Charleston graduate was off the mainland working with locals in Hawaii. There, he worked with the community to open one of the first farmer’s markets. During that same seven-month stint, Lindsey met a woman who would drive into underserved areas of Hawaii with a pop-up market out of her truck.
“It was so simple, but something that people don’t ever think about,” says Lindsey. And while he admits he returned to Charleston begrudgingly, Lindsey says he came back with experience and a newfound energy. So, he quit his 9-to-5 gig and put some ideas down. Thus began the Lowcountry Street Grocery.
“The concept,” Lindsay says, “is simple.” Lowcountry Street Grocery will operate out of a retro-fitted school bus. Think: grocery store on wheels. The kicker? The wheels on this bus will go ‘round and ‘round to serve the entire community of Charleston. That means locals--both in affluent and impoverished communities--will get a chance to sample all the bus’ offerings, slated to include items from fresh produce (some coming from the turn-key farm graciously donated to Lowcountry Street Grocery) to baked goods to local artwork. Added bonus: the retro bus will also host a handful of rotating local chefs and nutritionists.
Well aware that Charleston has several local farmer’s markets already, Lindsey says that he hopes Lowcountry Street Grocery will help those who live in Charleston’s food deserts have access to fresh, local produce at reasonable prices. But it’s more than food at your fingertips:
“We want to create a serious sense of community,” Lindsey explains. “I want the awareness there--that food insecurity is a serious problem. We’re not reinventing the wheel--there’s a network all over the country and we’re just helping each other out. We need the support of our community to help out our neighbors.”
And support we will. Look for Lowcountry Street Grocery’s Kickstarter campaign beginning this month. Looks like the ice cream truck might have a little friendly competition this year.
Words by: Evans Craddock
Photography by: Olivia Rae James