Fairbanks specialty store wins the “Golden Carrot” award

Roaming Root Cellar wins Golden Carrot award
Roaming Root Cellar wins Golden Carrot award(Anna Bizon | KTVF)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 5:41 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The Roaming Root Cellar has won the “Golden Carrot” award for 2021 in recognition of its Alaska Grown display creativity, support of Alaska Grown small businesses, and success during the fifth annual “Alaska Grown $5 Challenge” campaign.

The Alaska Grown $5 Challenge encourages Alaskans to spend $5 each week on Alaska Grown products, including vegetables, dairy, meat, grains, and value-added products. The competition is held from June to November during the peak of the Alaska growing season where a larger variety of products are available. David W. Schade, the Director of the Division of Agriculture, came up with the idea to increase the amount and visibility of Alaska Grown products available in retail food stores.

“The Fairbanks specialty food store is the first Alaska small business, and the first store located in the Northern region of the state, to win the award,” said Schade.

“We are excited to see a small business in the Interior of Alaska, such as The Roaming Root Cellar, win the $5 Challenge,” Schade said. “This company exemplifies the Alaska spirit, supporting our producers and serving consumers in the heart of Alaska.”

Erica Moeller, owner of The Roaming Root Cellar, opened her business on Feb. 29, 2020, and operated out of a 23-foot, 1976 Bluebird bus. Her mission was to connect local customers with local products. When the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic came along, she was forced to close down the bus. She continued to produce and deliver products from her home to customers until May 2020, when she reopened back her in-store business.

Not only was Moeller able to continue supporting Alaska Grown producers while surviving the pandemic, she also expanded into a stationary store front business site which doubled in size on the one-year anniversary of the store opening, Schade said.

Everything the Roaming Root Cellar sells is made or grown in Alaska, and includes a “Meet Our Farmers and Artisans” feature offering more information about the Alaska Grown producers that supply its products.

“When you combine high-quality, produce with innovative and resilient business practices, you get a standout Interior business like the Erica Moeller’s Roaming Root Cellar,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “I am proud to see this Golden Heart City businesswoman get the recognition she deserves for helping expand Alaska’s agriculture business and build our state’s food security.”

Schade will present the Golden Carrot award to The Roaming Root Cellar during an award ceremony held at the store at 372 Old Chena Pump Rd. on Thursday, Dec. 9 at noon.

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