Fresh food is hard to find, and Delegate James Edmunds knows that.
With all the processing that food goes through these days, it's difficult to buy fresh food that hasn't been enhanced with chemicals, additives and preservatives.
That is why the local farmer has opened the Blue Ribbon Market in the Town of Halifax adjacent to Town Hall. The store officially opened its doors to the public Thursday.
"We're trying to fill a need. We had spoken to a lot of people who were trying to eat better either out of necessity, or they just wanted to feel better. So, that's where we got the idea," Edmunds said. People want to know where their food comes from. That's kind of the gist of why we started thinking about doing the store, and it just kind of morphed from there. I think it's the desire for people to know where their food comes from and how it was handled prior to their consuming it."
According to Edmunds, the market will offer several gluten-free and organic selections for those people looking for healthier food options.
Fresh locally grown meats such as lamb, goat, pork and chicken are available for purchase at the Blue Ribbon Market.
All meats along with fresh eggs will come straight from local farms and will be free from additives, preservatives and other items that are added to meats when they are processed.
The market will take customers back to the old days with glass bottled milk and dairy products, compliments of Homestead Creamery.
"There's nothing like drinking milk out of a glass bottle," Edmunds said.
Baking goods and pantry items also will be available for purchase at Blue Ribbon Market along with seasonal vegetables. Currently, the market has sweet potatoes, butternut squash and turnips.
In addition to the many food selections, the market also will offer for sale local crafts, non-toxic candles and food related items such as cooking utensils.
Edmunds said several locally produced items such as cheeses, breads, soups and salsa along with customized gift baskets will be available in the market.
The market also will offer a selection of wines and crafted beers.
Items from Edmunds' Non-Typical outdoor clothing line also will be available.
Once a month, a local farm or winery will be featured in the store, Edmunds said.
The store is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and is closed on Sundays.
According to Edmunds, they had a naming contest for the store, and luckily somebody suggested the name they had already decided for themselves, "The Blue Ribbon Market."
The named is derived from the old creamery Edmunds' grandfather owned.
"I'm so glad somebody in the contest came up with it, so they wouldn't be mad that we didn't pick what they chose. Blue Ribbon was the name of my grandfather's creamery, and it was well known throughout the region," Edmunds said.
The ribbon in the logo is the same one his grandfather used for the creamery.
Edmunds said he is seeking input from the public about the products carried in the store. He encourages the public to let him know what products they'd like to see in the store, and he will work to try to get it.
The store has room to grow, which Edmunds hopes will be the case in the future.
from The Gazette-Virginian