'Buy Local' community raises funds for long time supplier

Courtesy Colleton County Fire Rescue
Courtesy Colleton County Fire Rescue

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Buy Local. It's a phrase that spurred more than a dozen local Charleston chefs to get together and raise money for one of their suppliers in need Sunday.

More than 200 people showed up to Lowndes Grove to help get Keegan Filion Farms back on their feet after one of their barns and 100 turkeys inside was lost to a fire.

"They reached out to us and helped us and we're so appreciative to what everybody has done for us," says Annie Filion, the farm owner. "It's so heartwarming."

Filion owns Keegan Filion farms in Colleton County. Last month, on of her barns that housed baby turkeys caught fire after a few of the turkeys knocked down an overhead heating lamp.

Filion says the fire got out of control quickly. The 80-year-old barn, built by her Grandfather, went up in flames quickly based of the aged wood. Before she knew it 100 turkeys were dead and her business, that's based on selling products to local restaurants, was set back.

"Even though it's been gone for over a month now," says Filion, "It's still seems like this didn't really happen."

To show support and get Keegan Filion Farms back on it's feet, most of her clients turned the tables and volunteered to provide for her.

"If we achieve the goal of $20,000 we're going to be able to give them the money to rebuild their barn and get them back up on their feet," says Randall Goldman, CEO of Patrick Properties and creator of the event.

Goldman says all profits of the event went directly to building a new barn for the farm.

Under a tent at Lowndes Grove, those supporting the cause shucked oysters, were social and got to taste a dish from more than dozen restaurants and their chefs who donated their time and expertise to support Filion.

"She's been helping us for years," says local chef Nico Romo. "She's given us great products and when somebody needs help like Annie, no questions asked, you just turn around and help her out."

And Filion couldn't have been more excited for the support that she says will no doubt continue growing Charleston's "buy local" mindset.

"It's very important for the sustainability of our farm for those that are buying local," says Filion. "It's very important for them to have farmers like us to provide them with local product. So it's a win-win for both of us."

Filion says her farm plans on having an old fashion barn raising next month that will play host to an appreciation dinner for everyone that supported them sometime in March.

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