UNC graduate Patrick Mateer has been named to Forbes 30 under 30 List for Social Entrepreneurs, a list that recognizes young entrepreneurs leading businesses as a way to create positive change throughout the world.
Mateer’s business, Seal the Seasons, makes local, seasonally grown crops such as strawberries and blackberries available year-round by freezing them and selling them regionally.
His focus has always been local, and he has no plans of changing that regardless of the international recognition.
“We see that doing things locally can reduce the carbon footprint and create jobs for our local economy, as well as having a better tasting and more nutritious local product,” said Mateer.
The growth of his business has been astronomical – from The Cube social business incubator at UNC’s Campus Y to selling to regional Harris Teeters, Whole Foods and Lowes Foods, to distributing North Carolina local frozen produce across the state.
Seal the Seasons will soon begin selling Florida and Georgia produce in those respective states and will do the same in New Jersey and New York in January.
“We want to keep our products local,” said Mateer. “We don’t want to sell North Carolina products too far away. The best thing we can do is work with new local farmers, freeze and source the products locally, and sell it locally in new places.”
Outside of expanding geographically, Mateer wants to make healthy, locally grown foods available for shoppers of all income levels.
“We’re here to make local food available for everybody,” said Mateer. “We take that work ‘everybody’ very seriously. We’re not just creating this product for a high class or upper class shopper.”
Seal the Seasons products are available in the majority of local grocery stores.