Richmond’s farm bus is making a stop on the Southside.
Farm to Family this month set up its second location with a produce market inside TaZa Coffee ’n Creme, a newly renovated coffee shop on Forest Hill Avenue.
Farm to Family co-owner Suzi Miles-Lilly said the business already had a strong following south of the river and that it wanted to tap further into that customer base. The expansion has been in the works for about six months.
“It’s near the South of the James Market, so people are already used to going that way to pick up great produce,” Miles-Lilly said. “We’re open seven days a week, but we’ll eventually expand our hours to accommodate our customers even more.”
The outpost will sell seasonal fruits and vegetables, dairy, meats, eggs and a few personal products.
Farm to Family, which Miles-Lilly co-founded with husband Mark Lilly in 2009, operates a fleet of buses that deliver locally grown produce and meat at stops around Richmond. The organization also runs a market on Mechanicsville Turnpike.
While it’s growing its retail operations, Miles-Lilly said most of Farm to Family’s business comes from its CSA Farm Share program.
In addition to TaZa, the new location at 5047 Forest Hill Ave. is also home to Chocolates by Kelly. Miles-Lilly said sharing the space helps draw in more customers and lets the three businesses share utility and rent costs.
“We think this is a sustainable model,” Miles-Lilly said. “There are a few technology companies and other small businesses already doing it. We thought, ‘why it wouldn’t work with food?’”