The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Five Finds on Friday: Jessica Hogan

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jessica Hogan of Farmacy, a health-focused food trailer coming soon that will showcase local and organic foods. While the trailer remains under construction, tomorrow morning at the Tom Tom Fest farmer’s market you can be the very first to enjoy a sneak preview, when Hogan and her boyfriend and business partner Gabino Gonzalez will be offering their breakfast tacos and burritos. Follow along here for updates. Hogan’s picks:

1) Buttermilk Pancakes at MarieBette Café and Bakery. “MarieBette is one of my favorite places to go, especially for breakfast. In my opinion it’s the only place to get good buttermilk pancakes with strawberries. Quality ingredients are what make the difference. Delicious!”

2) Chicken Salad at Feast! “Feast has many things I like, but my favorite is their organic chicken salad. It’s perfect on a salad or in their chicken salad sandwich made on fresh ABC ciabatta. It is the perfect consistency and spice and tastes great. I am also a fan of their concept – a grocery store supporting our local artisans and farmers. I am all about supporting local and eating organic food.”

3) Pupusas at Beer Run. “Sunday Brunch at Beer Run is amazing. I have worked there for five years and yet I have even chosen to have my birthday brunch at Beer Run before! Where else would I go? The food is local, organic, and incredible. The pupusas and the strata are two of my brunch favorites, but in all honesty you can’t go wrong any day of the week. It’s just so tasty, and is actually why I wanted to work there to begin with.”

4) Gnocchi with Truffled Mushroom Ragout at The Local. “The Local has great food,  and my favorite dish of theirs is gnocchi. Since I don’t eat beef, they are very accommodating and let me put their truffled mushroom ragout on them instead, and it’s absolutely lovely! I love that they use three kinds of mushrooms in it from Sharondale farm.”

5) Chocolate Praline Crunch Cake at Albemarle Baking Company. “Albemarle Baking Company has so many things I like. Hard to name a favorite. The chocolate praline cake is so moist and delectable, with its layers of chocolate and praline. It’s creamy and crunchy, and made with some of the finest ingredients.”

JM Stock Provisions Sold to Calder Kegley

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Four and a half years after opening, Matt Greene and James Lum III have sold JM Stock Provisions. But, fear not. New owner Calder Kegley plans to keep the beloved West Main butcher very much the same.

Since opening in 2013, JM Stock has earned both a local following and national acclaim. In 2014, it made Eater’s Charlottesville Heat Map. And, in 2015, 2016, and 2017, one of the butcher’s products claimed a Good Food Award. A three-peat. Most of all, though, JM Stock has been known for its commitment to local and sustainable agriculture, and support of the Charlottesville community. With JM Stock, Greene and Lum aimed to help change the way Charlottesville eats.

Kegley shares those values. “I want to continue to support local farmers and producers,” says Kegley, “and showcase their products by making them accessible to our customer base.” After growing up on a farm in southwest Virginia, Kegley earned a degree in forestry and resource conservation from the University of Montana. When he returned to Virginia, he first worked at Timbercreek Farm, and then moved on to managing Deep Rock Farm, which has provided grass-fed beef to JM Stock for years.

To Greene and Lum, Kegley is the ideal steward. “Short of Alex and Benny, there isn’t anyone that more fully understands our mission or what it will take to continue to operate and grow the business without sacrificing our primary mission statements or principles,” says Greene. “Calder has been a long time friend, cattle farmer, and JM Stock champion since day one.”

And so, Kegley plans to build on JM Stock’s success, not change it. “Everything that our customers have grown to love is staying the same,” says Kegley, who will still source from local vendors like Autumn Olive Farm, River Oak Farm, Wolf Creek, and Free Union Grass Farm. Kegley is also keeping JM Stock’s knowledgeable and affable staff, including Alex Import and Ben Moore-Coll, who have been vital to JM Stock’s success. “I would not have been able to embark on this journey without the support of the incredible staff,” Kegley says.

Regulars should therefore anticipate the same service, the same products, and most importantly, the same ham biscuits, which, Kegley says, will soon expand from morning to all-day offerings. Other potential changes include designated customer parking spots out front and, eventually, daily lunch specials.

What’s next for the founders? Lum has his own Richmond business consultancy firm called Easy Co., focused on butchery, agriculture, and sustainable food. Greene meanwhile, who was a chef before he was a butcher, has returned to the kitchen as Executive Chef of Common House. “At Common House, I have brought with me the same local and ethical sourcing that we applied to JM Stock,” says Greene. “Being back in a kitchen feels right. I am a pretty good butcher, but at the end of the day, I’m a much better chef.”

It has been an incredible gift to open and build a business that helped to change the shape of food culture in Charlottesville. To watch Charlottesville as a community go from thinking that shopping at Whole Foods was enough to a community that actively engages and analyzes their food sources has been very powerful. As a whole this community challenged me and James to be better than we were, they supported us when we fell short, and they embraced us unconditionally. We are grateful and humbled for the opportunities we’ve been given in the last 4.5 years and are thrilled to see what the future holds.

–  Matt Greene, co-founder, JM Stock Provisions

Thank you to Matt and James for bringing JM Stock to Charlottesville. And, thank you to Calder for carrying the torch.

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Ben Moore-Coll, Calder Kegley, and Alex Import.