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Little House Green Grocery is run by Jessica Goldberg (left) and Erin Wright in the Bellevue neighborhood. Photo by Rachel Weatherly
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Little House Green Grocery carries local products including honey from Bearer Farms and flour from Ashland Milling Co. Photo by Rachel Weatherly
A couple of Richmond neighborhoods are gaining new grocery stores that specialize in local and organic products. The first to open, Little House Green Grocery, at 1227 Bellevue Ave., was almost ready to stock the shelves when we spoke with co-owners Jessica Goldberg and Erin Wright in late November.
"The market is there, and we are in a place where we are near enough to reach and have impact on the food deserts around us," Goldberg says. "We also live in the neighborhood, so it's very important for us to provide something like this for our community." The store ( littlehousegreengrocery.com ) will carry food primarily from local vendors such as Bearer Farms, Tuckahoe Lamb and Cattle Co., Sub Rosa Bakery, and Manakintowne Specialty Growers. However, Goldberg says they will outsource some items, such as rice, that are not produced in Virginia.
Eventually, Goldberg and Wright plan to hold cooking demonstrations and information sessions for vendors to show their products and skills. "What we really want to become is a community hub," Goldberg says. "Our idea is, if we're successful and we grow, we're not going to get big, we're going to open another ‘Little House' in a neighborhood that needs it."
At press time, a second store was also close to opening in the Fan District. William "Mac" McCormack, owner of McCormack's Irish Pub in Shockoe Bottom and McCormack's Whisky Grill and Smokehouse, was waiting on some equipment for his newest business, the Acme General Store at 204 N. Robinson St. next to the Whisky.
"We will be as organic as possible in the store," he says, adding that he has found "a line of organic deli meats that are hormone- and antibiotic-free from ethically raised and ethically slaughtered animals." In an effort to foster a child-friendly environment, McCormack says the store will not sell alcohol. He also plans to make the store appealing to youngsters by allowing kids to make their own cotton-candy balls. Acme will offer fresh juices, penny candy, pure-cane-sugar sodas, gelato and soups, salads, and sandwiches.