Mobile market does home deliveries during outbreak, brings local products to community

FAIRBANKS, Alaska. (KTVF) A new mobile market in Fairbanks, the Roaming Root, hopes to make locally sourced food more accessible to the community.

The Roaming Root mobile market parked at the owner's house while they do only home deliveries during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Sara Tewksbury/KTVF)

Owner and Manager Erica Moeller converted a vintage bus into a mobile food market. “Our entire goal is to connect our community with local producers who grow our food. Everything that we sell is made or grown in Alaska, and we really are just trying to give a platform to our farmers and our food producers, and our soap and shampoo producers who work so hard to feed us and take care of us,” said Moeller.

She says she got the idea from the Alaska Small Business Development Center, “of doing a mobile market to increase my access to a customer base while keeping overhead low. I was kind of toying around with it... I was thinking about it. I wasn’t really sold on the idea, and then around that exact same time I saw the bus for sale and just figured if it didn’t work out, I would have a really cool camper."

Normally the bus would drive around to different locations so people could come aboard and choose the products they wanted; but to adapt during the COVID-19 outbreak, they are now only doing home deliveries.

The grand opening of the Roaming Root was March 6, and Moeller says the current business model where she is just doing deliveries was never in her business plan, but she says she is trying to adapt.

"I think now more than ever it's important to support our local economy. There's a lot of people that are hurting right now, there's a lot of businesses that are hurting. Again, only being in business for a couple of weeks, I don't rely on this for my sole source of income -- but a lot of the people whose stuff I sell do. So by supporting local, we're keeping that money in our economy -- and I think at a time like this, that's more important than it's ever been,” said Moeller.

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