Rick is a husband, father of one, and grandfather of two.

He graduated with an A.B. in Economics from the University of North Carolina and a B.A. in Architecture from the University of Tennessee. Rick is a member of the RVA Food Collaborative and Independent Natural Food Retailer Association, a founding member of Real Local RVA, and a board member of Tricycle Urban Agriculture.

A Message from Rick

Ellwood’s purpose is to feed the soul of our community, but we also go above and beyond to create personal connections with our customers.

That may sound crazy for a grocery store, but it’s what we love to do. We have customers that have been with us for over two decades, and we consider them integral parts of Ellwood’s family.

These connections can only happen when you create an environment where people are happy and enjoy their work. People love our stewards, and we love them too. We’re not solely focused on speed, scale and the lowest cost like most businesses. If our customers continue to describe us as friendly, comfortable, and unique, we’ll consider that a great success.

At Ellwood’s, we value simplicity and honesty. We always want our customers to feel welcome and comfortable. We’ve built the store in a sustainable, enviro-friendly manner that also reflects Richmond’s history and art scene.

We value community. Community is born out of the love and care of our family, our neighbors, and the city of Richmond as a whole. Community is about thinking beyond yourself and doing what’s best for those around you - including the wildlife, plants, and climate that support us.

This is a precious and fragile world we’ve been so fortunate to be born into. We want to preserve it for the next generation and make sure this community is here to stay.

Real Local RVA

Mission: To educate, support, and raise awareness of the local food movement in the Greater Richmond Area.

Who we are

Real Local RVA is a grassroots group of independent, small grocery stores, restaurants, farmer’s markets, farmers, growers, and supporters dedicated to growing the local food scene in Richmond and the surrounding area. The group aims to organize all participants for purposes of economic and business development.


Rick Hood started the group, then known as the Local Food Group, as an informal roundtable in early 2014. They’ve since adopted a new name, Real Local RVA, to more accurately reflect their mission.

The goal was to create a network of informed, passionate, creative local farmers, local grocers, and nonprofits who could work together within the community to increase awareness and knowledge of locally grown food. Everyone involved upholds the idea that it’s better to collaborate than to compete, and we’ve seen proof of that as the movement has grown.

If you’re interested in deepening your involvement with the local food movement, join us!

Learn more at: reallocalrva.com

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