The Farm comes to Belmont

Belmont foodies are in heaven now that The Farm Cville has opened across from Spudnuts. The little hole in wall on the corner is bringing all the bounty of our local food scene to that neck of the woods.

Last year, Dish had a sit-down with owner Bill Davies, a food and wine pro from California's Napa Valley, where he co-founded a winery and launched a grass-fed beef operation. He brainstormed an idea he had about creating a place where all the great local food and wine in the area would be featured. The key was finding the right location. The Farm Cville sits at the foot of the Belmont Bridge, between the Downtown Mall and Downtown Belmont, and has the feel of a country market or funky cafe rather than a fancy food store.

Davies says he's noticed that a lot of people arrive on foot, which he loves, and that locals have dubbed it the "gourmet bodega." Indeed, in addition to a great atmosphere, folks come in for groceries, an espresso, a sandwich, or to pick up some beer or wine.

"I opened the store because it's so fundamental," says Davies. "People live in a place. They need good things to eat. And good food and drink just bring people together."

Much of the goods come via Horse & Buggy Produce, which distributes food gathered from small farms in the area. Coffee comes from local roasters Shenandoah Joe, baked goods from Albemarle Baking Company on West Main, and milk, yogurt and other dairy from Organic Valley, Seven Stars Farm and Grass Point Farms. There's tofu from Twin Oaks in Louisa, hummus, dips, salsa, pesto and fresh produce from The Farm at Red Hill, just down the road in North Garden.

Cheese and charcuterie including raw cheddar, fontina, bleu, goat cheeses, Port Salut, dry salami, sopressata, salsiccia, Aidell's sausages, prosciutto, and smoked salmon are also available. Wines come from Virginia, the West Coast, Europe and beyond. Ditto for the beer. Natural chips, crackers, cookies, bars, chocolate, teas, pasta, sauces, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt, mixed pepper and other gourmet items add to the fun.

"People are commenting about the 'feeling' of the place, and of course that's something I wanted to see," says Davies. "But we still have a lot more to do, and I don't forget that."

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