Scott’s Addition-based online farmers market looks to D.C. suburbs for growth

Seasonal Roots will begin operations in Maryland this spring, its first foray outside of Virginia. (Photos by Mike Platania)

A local grocery and produce delivery company is laying seeds to expand north.

Seasonal Roots, which describes itself as an online farmers market selling and delivering local produce, milk, bread and more, is expanding into Maryland and the D.C. suburbs.

Founded in 2011 as Farm Table before rebranding to Seasonal Roots in 2016, the company is based at 3413 Carlton St. in Scott’s Addition and has been operating throughout the Richmond region, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Fredericksburg and parts of Northern Virginia.

Seasonal Roots operates from a Scott’s Addition warehouse.

Founder Duane Slyder said this latest expansion will add Montgomery County and Silver Spring, Maryland to its operations.

“We decided it was time. We made sure we had everything in place where we could expand and expand fast,” Slyder said. “We’re not taking all of Maryland initially; we’re working hard to staff in Montgomery with our delivery people.”

Montgomery sits just northwest of D.C. with a population of over 1 million, per U.S. Census Bureau data. Slyder said Seasonal Roots aims to go into suburbs rather than cities.

“We deliver with what we call market managers, and they’re mostly moms, so we’re very successful in suburbs,” Slyder said. “It’s hard for someone to drive around (cities) with kids in their cars. We target cities where the majority of their people live in the suburbs.”

Slyder said they plan to begin operating in Maryland in April, then soon add Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

Seasonal Roots has raised at least $600,000 in venture capital to help fund the growth, and Slyder said Seasonal Roots may look to raise more.

Duane Slyder (left) with the Seasonal Roots crew. (BizSense file photo)

“My expectation of capital is, right now, I’d take it but we don’t really need it. When we start moving faster into Ohio and those areas, we’re going to need it,” he said.

In 2017, Seasonal Roots acquired local competitor Dominion Harvest. This year, it added Oberweis Dairy’s products to its inventory after the Illinois-based company left the Richmond region. Slyder said Oberweis’ dairy is its only nonlocal offering.

Seasonal Roots has a full-time staff of eight and about 4,000 members. Slyder said the company’s been profitable annually since starting its second year of operation.

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