Produce & Provisions Is A Top Destination For
Awesome Locally Grown Produce And Much More
By Jack Armistead
One of my favorite specialty stores in Hampton Roads
is Westside Produce and
Provisions that is conveniently located at 5015
N. Colley Avenue
A great assortment of locally grown produce and
specialty meats (including country sausage and beef)
produced in Virginia is one of the highlights of
the store. The store is operated by James and Gordon
Holley who grew up in Riverview and have lived in
most all of the neighborhoods that surround the
business. James Holleys background includes
experience in Foodservice and Retail food sales.
Gordon has expertise in Foodservice Marketing and
as a Procurement executive.
Gordon, who handles the day-to-day business functions
and operations at Westside Produce, along with procurement,
stocking and seeking out the best food for the shelves,
is an expert at displaying the goods. James handles
logistics, and getting all the fresh goodies to
the store. You wont see big tractor trailers
delivering from cross country here.
Gordon had a natural inspiration for creating the
store. The local foodservice distributor that he
worked with sold to a national concern in 2010.
After working for a family business for over 30
years, corporate America was not exactly what he
was looking for. Unfortunately, 2010 was not a great
time to be in need of a job. Gordon began volunteering
for Buy Fresh, Buy Local Hampton Roads, a non-profit
whose mission is to connect Farms and People. He
realized that aside from the Farmers Markets
on the weekends there was really no place, in town,
that you could buy locally grown and produced foods
on a regular basis.
The original plan was to do a seasonal produce stand
in a couple of locations in Norfolk. After touring
a friends property on Colley Avenue, it was
decided to expand the vision. Instead of marketing
just fresh produce, a variety of local food producers
were contacted, and Westside Produce and Provisions
Westside offers fresh produce and a variety of packaged
foods from over 20 growers and producers in the
Hampton Roads area, and at least that many more
from the Commonwealth of Virginia and eastern North
Carolina. The local produce is seasonal (you wont
find strawberries and melons there in December).
You will find the best selection of fruits and veggies
available in season, often times picked the day
before they are offered. Fresh produce is the largest
category by far, and Vine Ripened Tomatoes in all
shapes and sizes are the largest single item.
You can also find honey from Suffolk, pickles from
Swoope, Va., maple syrup from Highland County, grits
from Nelson County, peanuts from Capron, salsas
and sauces from Virginia Beach, peanut butter from
Norfolk, herbs from Sperryville, chocolates from
Chesapeake and Charlottesville, grass fed beef from
Windsor and Suffolk, country ham, bacon and sausage
from Surry, chicken from Suffolk and Swoope, crackers
from Chantilly, cheese from Fairfield and Blackstone,
pasta from Charlottesville, chips from Mt. Jackson,
free range and pastured eggs from Chesapeake and
Suffolk, BBQ from Edenton, N.C., baked goods from
Norfolk and Virginia Beach, locally roasted coffees
from Hampton, the Eastern Shore, and Virginia Beach,
cheese spreads from Virginia Beach, and last but
not least, over 50 premium wines, hard ciders, and
meads from the best vineyards and cideries in the
The brothers philosophy is that one of the
most important things you can spend your money on
is good real food - the kind your grandmother would
recognize. When you combine that with buying from
local farmers and producers, its a win-win
for everybody. The consumer reaps the health benefits
and the local farmers remain sustainable. According
to the Virginia Food System Council, if each household
in Virginia spent at least $10.00 per week on locally
grown agriculture products, it could bring $1.65
billion back into the Virginia economy each year.
To ask whats available today at Westside Produce
and Provisions, give them a call at (757) 962-1961.
Tell them The Downtowner sent you.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. -
5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday.