Rachel Kingsbury is so committed to having local produce at The Grocery that she’s secured two nearby garden plots to supplement what she’s already bringing in from local farmers and co-ops. “We’re planting flowers right now which will eventually be in the store, and then we’ll plant the things that most people want, like tomatoes, leafy greens, kale, carrots, and beets.”
Now six months old, The Grocery continues to find a loyal following among neighborhood shoppers as well as attracting the occasional tourist. Located at 3815 Lorain Road in the evolving SOLO neighborhood (that’s South of Lorain), this little shop aims to make a splash by offering a selection of the best local products, farm-fresh produce, and becoming a community meeting place.
Growth has been slow and steady. Undaunted by the brutal winter, with a gutsy location just a stone’s throw from the venerable West Side Market, Rachel’s fortitude is paying off. She’s quick to share that her focus is not on what’s already around her, but building a reliable inventory through relationships with her vendors and lifting up the neighborhood by providing great customer service. No request is too small or too big; she’ll gladly serve up your morning cup of coffee or fresh pressed juice, but she can also cater your business luncheon or even a small wedding.
Shelves are a “who’s who” of locally made products, like Stino da Napoli sauces, Little Lakewood Pasta, Randy’s Pickles, and Blaze Gourmet salsas. A well-stocked cooler contains numerous meal and snack options, from the decadent pork rilette by Saucisson, to lighter fare, including Red Lotus cashew spread, hydroponic greens from Cleveland Crops, Cleveland Tofu, and Fruit Vibe juices. Rachel encourages customers shopping her bulk offerings to bring their own containers or she’ll sell you a reusable jar for oats, quinoa, lentils, and a dozen or so other items.
In addition to picking up some mealtime essentials or indulgent treats, The Grocery is a place locals can gather for meal planning classes and kombucha workshops. A packaged meal plan program is in the works.
“Our mission is to uplift the community by helping the people that are in it,” Rachel explains. “I am talking about our regional community of farmers and beekeepers, our Cleveland area community of makers, and our direct consumers.”
Shopping at The Grocery is more than just a transaction; you’re taking action to shop small and local. By doing so, you directly support dozens of Cleveland-based businesses and a thriving farm-to-market community.
Find more information, including store hours, on The Grocery’s Facebook page or visit TheGroceryOHC.com.