CHAPEL HILL — A food processing company helping local farmers has raised $1..8 million in a private equity offering, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Seal the Seasons Inc. raised the money from 13 investors, according to the filing.

[As WRAL TechWire reported earlier this week, the company has big plans for the funding.

[The Chapel Hill startup recently announced plans to expand their product line of locally grown produce to consumers in nearby communities to four new regions, expanding from the Carolinas to the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and Pacific Southwest in the coming months. Seal the Seasons works to “bring local family farm produce–delicious blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and broccoli–to a frozen aisle near you.” It flash-freezes the produce.]

In March, the company raised $160,000 in a debt offering. It also raised $735,000 in a private debt offering in November through 20 investors.

Seal the Seasons flash freezes local produce to enable small to mid-sized local farmers to market their produce in grocery stores year round.

The company’s products are currently available in various North Carolina stores, including Harris Teeter, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Ingles and Lowes Foods.

CEO and co-founder Patrick Mateer graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015. Founded in 2014, Seal the Seasons was a venture supported by UNC’s Social Innovation Initiative.

Companies such as Seal the Seasons relying on the Rule 506 exemption do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC, but they must file what’s known as a Form D electronically with the SEC after they first sell their securities.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism