We’re not afraid to let our roots show.
Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market has a long and interesting history in organic and natural foods in Richmond, Virginia. Many local residents will remember the first incarnation of the store, although it was nothing like the Ellwood Thompson’s of today.
In the mid 1980′s, Eric Walters, an employee of Grace Place, Richmond’s first vegetarian restaurant, began selling supplements, vitamins and a very limited selection of specialty natural products from a small corner of the restaurant. By the end of the 1980s it was time to expand.
Rick Hood, a local architect, was in the process of renovating a neighborhood shopping center. Together Hood and Walters opened City Market, a small 3,000 square foot full-service community market located near Patterson and Libbie avenues, to serve Richmonders hungry for organic and natural products. The store also featured organic produce and a small takeout deli.
In 1993, City Market moved to a larger space in Carytown. Shortly after moving, the store was renamed based on the suggestion of an employee’s 12-year-old daughter, Anica. Although many believe the store is owned by Mr. Ellwood Thompson, it’s actually named after the streets that intersect where the store is located, Ellwood Avenue and Thompson Street. Later, Walters decided to pursue new interests and Hood became the sole owner of the market. Since then, Hood has become deeply committed to the market’s mission of community and environmental practices. He also guides the store’s expansion and continuing improvements.
The market continued to grow after its move to Carytown. Stretching to provide more products to customers Ellwood Thompson’s grew to reach 20,000 square feet, and more than 120 stewards, through the latest expansion in the Spring of 2012.
But it didn’t stop there. In late 2011, our neighbors packed up and left, leaving nearly 5,000 empty square feet of space. It was almost a no-brainer, a eigth expansion would allow us to literally offer everything under one roof, without losing our small market charm.
Without haste, we worked with architects to create a space that not only expanded our offerings but one that gave our community more space to gather. Our 2012 expansion now includes a full-service meat and seafood department, in-house bakery, coffee & juice bar, and our 600 square foot Community Room.
We worked with local businesses such as Acorn Sign Graphics, ET Moore, and Concrete Ideas to incorporate reclaimed woods and environmentally friendly architectural elements. Dining tables were saved from old country stores just north of our store and recycled glass was incorporated into our concrete counter tops. For more information on our store and sustainability, read our Environmental Pledge.
Our current store sits at the top of Richmond’s Carytown district with ample space for dining, shopping, nourishing, and satisfying your sweet tooth.
To this day, we work hard to offer the best products and experience available. One with clean ingredients, friendly people, and a story worth sharing.