Since we have begun to re-open in Virginia, at least for now, I will go ahead and continue on with my grocery tour for vegans series. This week, I’m taking you to one of Richmond’s locally owned organic grocers.
My younger daughter is always up for an adventure, so before our visit, we took a drive down Monument Avenue to soak in a bit of history in the making. We weren’t disappointed, and were quite moved by the experience. It’s one thing to see pictures on the news. It’s quite another to go and see things in person, to feel the energy of the area, and to see others experience the same.
Now back to our tour.
When my husband and I first became interested in cleaning up our diet and buying organic, Ellwood Thompson’s was one of the only stores in town to reliably purchase quality, organic food. Since 1989, Richmond has been lucky to have this store in our community!
Located in Carytown, it’s still a pioneer in our market for sustainably and locally sourced goods, even with so many other stores in the RVA market. What keeps Ellwood Thompson’s relevant is its real connection to local farmers and makers, extra services like health coaching, and its community events. It is through one of their programs that I found my functional medicine chiropractor! But they still carry all of the familiar organic brands of middle aisle and frozen foods, plus some specialty items you can’t find elsewhere. Basically, if you need something weird, organic, or vegan, you can typically find it here. And if you want a good, quick meal, their hot bar and juice bars are wonderful. Admittedly, I don’t shop here often, mainly because it is quite a distance from my home. But if I’m spending time in Carytown, I typically stop in for some vegan treats!
What are my recommended must-haves from Ellwood Thompson’s?
- Vegan baked goods
- So many varieties. So much deliciousness! I never leave the store without at least a cupcake. This week’s choice? Vegan Samoas cupcake.
- Supplements/Personal care items
- If you need to tweak your regimen, they have experts who can help.
- They carry a wide variety of goods, including locally made products.
- Bulk foods.
- They have a rather extensive selection. You are encouraged to bring your own containers under normal circumstances.
- Included in their bulk foods selections: BAKER’S YEAST!!! There is a sign in their baked goods aisle indicating as such, so I had to go back and check! So if you are in need, now you know a place to get it!
- Local produce
- If true sustainability is something that you value, this is your place.
- Prepared foods
- All of their in-house prepped meals I’ve tried are delicious! Lots of vegan choices here, including those from the hot bar and packed to go. I almost picked up their vegan Carolina style BBQ.
- Note that their hot bar is closed at this time due to the pandemic, but they do have a cafeteria style line for hot foods open at certain times of day.
- Craft beers, wine
- They have a generous selection, including single serve beers, so you can try a variety.
- Hard kombucha is included here. They have several varieties.
- Non-alcoholic varieties are also included here. If you are cutting back on your intake, but still love craft beer, they have a large selection of regionally sourced choices.
- Vegan cheese
- They have all of the national brands as well as locally and regionally made “cheeses” here, including Rooted Delights brand.
If you’re in the RVA and have never been to Ellwood Thompson’s, you should check it out! Lots to do in Carytown, too, once the City of Richmond moves into phase II next week.
Not from the RVA? You may still have a local organic market in your area if you live in a larger metro area. These independent groceries are worth checking out and supporting!
Have you shopped at Ellwood Thompson’s? What are some of your favorite purchases here? I’d love to hear about it! As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.