Thursday, April 11, 2013

Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery

The Tomato Vine isn’t the only place in town to get fresh, local produce in Greenville. Conveniently located less than two miles from downtown Greenville and on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery is filled with fresh-baked goods and locally-grown food. Located in a nondescript-looking former abandoned warehouse, it can be easy to miss the small roadside sign, but coming from the east you can easily see the large white letters spelling out “CAFE & GROCERY.” Parking is apparently shared with Swamp Rabbit Trail users, but the bicyclists and runners passing on the trail are frequent customers judging by the amount of bike helmets, lycra and bicycles parked outside.

Along the back wall are the fridges containing all the local dairy and meat, but front center are Greenville and Swamp Rabbit Trail-themed products
According to their website, half of the inventory is from sources within 150 miles, all baked goods are made from scratch and they recycle and compost. On our recent visit we saw what looked like fruit tree seedlings planted opposite the store, and a freshly tilled field awaiting a garden; it could be some ingredients will be from less than 150 feet away.

Not too long ago we decorated Easter eggs in the outdoor seating area before taking a stroll on the trail, but recently we returned to meet our friends for a coffee and a walk. The café was doing brisk business, and we took our lattes outside to one of the picnic tables, distracting the four boys with yummy chocolate chip cookies while we tried to piece together a conversation. Afterwards, a walk in what seemed like sunny 90˚+ weather to run off some of the chocolate-generated energy. I’m tempted to pop Mikus into the backpack and Lauris into the jogging stroller in the near future to see how long it takes me to hike to Falls Park from the grocery - the Swamp Rabbit Trail is a hiking/biking trail I’ve not yet really explored during our time in Greenville.

The refrigerated room with yummy local produce
Upon our return the Happy Cow Creamery truck was making a delivery, and we chose one of their smoked baby Swiss cheeses and a tomato & basil cheese from NC-based Ashe County Cheese to go with the pork salami and freshly baked baguette.  For a minute I was transported back to France, but was jerked back to reality when I didn’t have to weigh the locally grown tomatoes before going to checkout.

A folding table set up outside provided the perfect setting for our French dinner!
As the offerings at the Swamp Rabbit Grocery are changing with what is seasonally available, we’ll be headed back often to see what’s new, in addition to picking up fresh bread and having a cup of coffee with friends. It’s encouraging to see a grocery that supports local business and high-quality, sustainable ingredients thriving in our community; we will be providing them more of our business in the future.

Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery on Urbanspoon

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