Chapel Hillian Named to Forbes 30 Under 30 List
Patrick Mateer, founder of Seal the Seasons
Chapel Hill, NC: At only 24 years of age, Patrick Mateer, the founder of Seal the Seasons has been named to the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Social Entrepreneurs. The Forbes 30 Under 30 list recognizes the top 30 individuals under 30 years of age who are leading entrepreneurial businesses as a way to create positive change throughout world.
Mateer is the founder and CEO of Seal the Seasons, a business he created in his dorm room at UNC. Seal the Seasons connects two basic ideas: consumers want locally grown produce and family farmers are struggling to find markets for their products. As a volunteer for a hunger nonprofit, Patrick met many North Carolina farmers who had seasonal surpluses of fresh fruits and vegetables – but fresh fruits and vegetables couldn't be kept until they were needed without going bad.
“If you have frozen strawberries in your freezer right now, they most likely come from Turkey, Serbia, Egypt, Mexico or Guatemala. This makes no sense to me. Why are we shipping food all over the world when we have wonderful strawberries right here in North Carolina? Local produce is better for our environment, our economy and our farmers,” said Mateer, a 2011 graduate of Chapel Hill High School and UNC class of 2015.
He had an idea: make seasonal crops like strawberries and blackberries available year-round by freezing them at peak ripeness and selling them on a state by state or region by region basis. Customers responded. Seal the Seasons started in 2016 selling in 7 natural food stores in the Triangle. Seal the Seasons Local grown produce is now sold in over 750 stores in North Carolina and neighboring states.
NC supermarkets beliefs align with Seal the Seasons. According to Randall King, the Category Manager for dairy and frozen food at Lowes Foods, “Our purpose at Lowes Foods is ‘We grow community’. With Seal the Seasons, not only can we support a local company, we can also support our local farmers.”
Weaver Street Market was Seal the Seasons’ first customer. According to James Watts, merchandising manager of Weaver Street Market, “Patrick Mateer and the Seal the Seasons team are everything we hope for in a local supplier. Seal the Seasons and Weaver Street Market are collaborators in building a strong local food system where all of the stakeholders win while bringing the customers products they want from farmers they know and trust."
Seal the Seasons products can be found in conventional super markets such as Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, Ingles as well as a wide range of natural food stores like Weaver Street Market and other co-ops and natural food stores throughout the state.
Based in Chapel Hill, NC, Seal the Seasons partners with family farms to freeze their produce and sell it on a state by state or region by region basis under the Seal the Seasons name. They started in North Carolina and now are expanding geographically with their National/Local model – a national brand that brings customers truly local products. Seal the Seasons currently markets North and South Carolina produce in the Carolinas; soon they'll sell Florida and Georgia produce in Florida and Georgia. In January they will be adding New York and New Jersey produce for sale in New York and New Jersey. They are currently raising money to expand this same model throughout the US.
For more information about Patrick Mateer and Seal the Seasons, please contact Jonathan Mills @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 919 593 6365.