I don't even have to ask if Halifax County is ready for this. I hear people regularly ask where to buy various items, from school safe peanut butter, to organic foods, to local produce, local meats, fresh eggs, gluten-free cake and cookie mixes, vegan items, and everything in between. After my "Halifax County Field Trip" this afternoon, I feel certain that there will be many happy grocery shoppers in Halifax County who are pleasantly surprised to now be able to purchase these products, plus your everyday staple items right here in Halifax.
I had the pleasure of taking a look inside the new Blue Ribbon Market Farm To Table Store in Halifax, Virginia today, and I was nothing short of impressed. I have often driven an hour or more to shop for certain items I could not find nearby, but I am pleased to say that those out-of-town shopping trips will be much fewer and farther between from now on. Here's why:
Immediately following a 3:30pm ribbon cutting tomorrow afternoon, the Blue Ribbon Market will open its doors to the public for the first time. At 4:00pm, the store will open for business, and will have tastings, samplings, and local farmers will be on hand grilling various meats for shoppers to try. The store looks rustic inside, with raw wood beams and shelving (built by my brother-in-law Michael Thackston, by the way, who is an excellent craftsman and builder). Make sure to take note of the rustic decor and Michael's craftsmanship. On the shelves are products that are new to me, as well as some old favorites that our family has enjoyed for years. See the shelf second from the right? There's no mistaking those Annie's Organics boxes. I see my husband's favorite salad dressings, as well as Rothschild dips, which we love. Then there are items that are new to me. I've heard about this, but have never seen it in the stores until today:
Every once in a while, school students understandably cannot take peanut butter to school due to severe peanut allergies present in the class. Wowbutter is safe for school and is peanut and gluten free. It's at Blue Ribbon Market.
My husband loves the Garden of Eatin' chips made with organic blue and yellow corn. The last time we were in Lexington, Virginia, we stocked up on these chips. They're now at Blue Ribbon Market.
Cornmeal from a historic plantation of Virginia's Eastern Shore? It is available at Blue Ribbon Market in Halifax, Virginia.
A variety of wines from different areas, including Virginia's own Barboursville Vineyards.
Virginia Chardonnay, my very favorite.
Vegan and vegetarian foods are available in freezers, as are local meats. I have not been a practicing vegetarian for ten years, but I still enjoy many of the foods I used to eat, such as these garden burgers. The black bean burgers are my favorites!
I took photos of the front and back of the soap pictured above. That was really more for me than for you. I'm trying to remember which one I liked the best. I tried to buy it today, but since inventory was being added into the computer, I had to wait until tomorrow to shop just like everyone else. Tomorrow I'm going back for this soap! It smells heavenly. I am also going back for the Homestead Creamery fresh, wholesome milk. The many Halifax County residents who do not eat gluten or wheat will be thrilled to see all of the many gluten-free products. Gluten-free cake mixes, cookie mixes, cereal bars, cereals, chips, and more are all available at the Blue Ribbon Market.
Oh, I added this wasabi mayonnaise to my list of things to buy tomorrow, too. I'm not quite sure how I'll use this, but I'll think of something. I like to serve horseradish and roast beef pinwheels around the holidays, and I wonder if the wasabi mayonnaise would work in place of the horseradish mixture. I'll keep you posted.
The Blue Ribbon Market Farm to Table store in Halifax, Virginia has its ribbon cutting at 3:30 pm, October 30, 2014. Following the ribbon-cutting, enjoy sample tastings and shopping. Blue Ribbon Market is open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, and Saturdays from 9am-2pm. It is located in the brick building by the Halifax County Courthouse directly across the street from Molasses Grill, and has a blue awning above the entrance.
Let me know if you find something awesome you've been looking for, something you previously had to go out of town to buy, or something new that you just wanted to try. When I was there today, I saw these dark chocolate dogwoods for the first time. Dogwoods are special and symbolic to me, so I was pleased to make this little find. I'm putting that on my list right now.
Named for the former Blue Ribbon Dairy, which was owned by Paul Edmunds and located at what is currently Edmunds Park, Blue Ribbon Market is owned by Mr. Edmunds' grandson, James Edmunds and his wife Jennifer Edmunds. Please come out and support our friends, neighbors, local farmers, and Delegate James and Jennifer Edmunds in this venture. See you tomorrow at Blue Ribbon Market! xoxo, Erin