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A little grocery with big ambitions

Lena Price November 6, 2012 12

Little House Green Grocery owners Jessica Goldberg and Erin Wright

Jessica Goldberg and Erin Wright will open Little House Green Grocery on Bellevue Avenue this year.

Two entrepreneurs are on a quest to bring fresh, locally sourced food to the Northside.

Jessica Goldberg and Erin Wright plan to launch Little House Green Grocery on Bellevue Avenue. They want to be up and running by Thanksgiving, but Goldberg said they haven’t set an official opening date.

Little House will sell fresh produce, meat and dairy products as well as canned goods and a few kitchen supplies, Wright said. Local vendors will supply about 60 percent of the offerings, she said.

“Food is our number one priority,” said Wright, 38. “We’re not going to have 10 kinds of rice, but the rice we do have will be high quality and well-sourced.”

Goldberg, a Brooklyn native who moved to Richmond last year, said she noticed a lack of food options in her Northside neighborhood. Except for a small convenience store on nearby Macarthur Avenue, she said residents didn’t have a place within walking distance to buy fresh ingredients.

When Wright’s brother introduced her to Goldberg late last year, the two decided to fill the gap themselves.

“The goal here is to make local food more accessible to an area where it’s just not right now,” said Goldberg, 35. “We’re not trying to be the next Whole Foods.”

Goldberg and Wright signed a lease on the 1,625-square-foot space at 1227 Bellevue Ave. in early October. The building used to house a violin shop and required some minor renovations. Goldberg and Wright did most of the work themselves and used their personal savings to finance the startup.

Both owners have food industry experience: Goldberg managed a bakery in Manhattan, and Wright led the farmers market at St. Stephen’s. Goldberg said Little House would complement some of the other local farmers markets, which are only available on certain days and might close for the winter.

All of Little House’s inventory will be available online, Goldberg said. Customers can place an order and pick up their items at the shop the next day.

The store will also offer prepared soups and salads for lunch or dinner. Once they get going, Wright and Goldberg plan to host product demonstrations and cooking classes.

“We think this is going to be a good thing for the community something that most people here want,” Wright said.

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12 Comments »

  1. Mighty Casey November 6, 2012 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Great news – I’ve always thought that it was strange that Northside was, in its own way, a food desert. Some great little restaurants, but the closest grocery stores are a Kroger and a Food Lion on Brook Rd. at the Henrico line.

    Good luck, grrlz – you’ve got a real shot at success.

  2. Nathan Hughes November 6, 2012 at 8:59 am - Reply

    I am so excited to have this shop open up just blocks away from where I live. Congratulations to both Erin and Jessica on the new business! Bellevue has been needing this for quite some time.

  3. Tom Wolf November 6, 2012 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Good news! I will encourage my neighbors in Ginter Park to use it. Erin Wright is wonderful.

  4. Erin Wright November 6, 2012 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Thanks, all! Your encouragement means a lot to us. Looking forward to meeting our neighbors, and to bringing fresh food to our wonderful neighborhood!

  5. Taylor Steele November 6, 2012 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Very excited!!!

  6. Gail November 6, 2012 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Please email when you get opened. Look forward to shopping.

  7. Brandon Fox November 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    So, so happy that you’re coming to our neighborhood!

  8. Margaret Thompson November 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    What great news for Bellevue! I spent lots of time there as a kid at my Nana’s and still love going back for the wonderful restaurants on MacArthur and Bellevue. Welcome!!

  9. Cheryl Lage November 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    SO happy you all will be in Bellevue! Truth told, I don’t eat enough vegetables…your presence will be a motivating factor! 🙂

    Welcome, Little House!

  10. Steve Brown November 7, 2012 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Great to see locally owned stores carrying local products! You will do well!

  11. ice November 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Go North Side!

  12. Brett November 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Great news! The local bodega needs to make a great comeback! More than a mini mart that relies on cigs and beers. Be sure to keep it stocked, don’t make the same mistake House of Homemades in Church Hill did. They had a similar idea but it was poorly executed which was just a real shame. They wanted a coffee crowd but couldn’t even get up ealry enough to make it. Anything similar to Shields Mkt or Strawberry Mkt is a good bet with a spot to sit and chat as well. Good luck!!

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