If you’re a foodie, chances are you’ve heard about Feast – a small, Central Virginia shop with a big reputation and a new reason to brag. It was named Outstanding Retailer of the Year by the Specialty Food Association.
Feast was actually one of five stores in the nation to be honored, but it’s on the cover of the Specialty Food Association’s magazine. Founded by Kate Collier and Eric Gertner, the store offers lots of local produce.
“Right now strawberries and asparagus coming in from the field. We taste everything, and if there’s something outstanding from Virginia, we purchase that first.”
And it’s renowned for 60 kinds of cured meat and an even greater variety of cheese, and a dangerously seductive array of prepared foods.
Feast opened more than a decade ago and has since tripled in size, adding a sandwich shop and seating which goes quickly at lunch time.
So now that it’s achieved national recognition, might Feast be spreading the gospel of good tasting stuff to other parts of the state or nation?
“We love to work on this, and the fact that you buy seasonally, and there’s new producers coming in all the time keeps it lively, and we also have a son, and it’s kind of a lifestyle choice to put our thoughts and our energy into this place and make it more and more fun year after year."
This spring and summer, the store hosts its own version of a farmer’s market – inviting producers to come each Saturday from 11-3 so customers can meet the people who produce their food, and this fall the Feast plans classes in cheese and hand-slicing ham – a European tradition that’s catching on here.