It’s hard to miss all the changes that took place this summer at our favorite locally-sourced grocer, the Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery. Just driving into the parking lot you’ll notice the large chain link fence is gone, and once you step in the front door you might wonder if you’re in the right place; the grocery portion has moved next door, leaving the café to utilize more tables and provide more seating to customers. A door has been built into the wall to the store next door, where local produce, meats, dairy and other products line the shelves.
The Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Local Food Promotion Program which will fund equipment and personnel to increase the capacity to buy, store, process, and sell local foods. The expansion (which is now well underway) will more than double available space from 2,600 square feet to 6,100 square feet, creating a delivery area for farmers, expanding the current kitchen area, and adding additional walk-in cooler and freezer space. By investing in storage and processing equipment, SRC&G will increase capacity by 50%, adding 20 new suppliers to the 150 local farmers and producers already supplying the business.
|the expanded seating area in the cafe|
There is an obvious increase in goods in the grocery, with increased cold storage and freezer space as well as shelving and displays. In addition to the usual fresh fruits and vegetables, customers are also able to purchase house-made pesto and ready-to-eat items, made in the new kitchen facilities. Those facilities will soon be a space where farmers can make products to sell, and meanwhile the kitchen will also be used for cooking classes, teaching how to use local and seasonal ingredients to create meals from scratch. And the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery isn't stopping there; their newest campaign is aimed at bringing an outdoor brick oven pizza kitchen to the cafe! For more info on that, clicke here.
Our favorite SRC&G products are all still present: the delicious scones are served up in the café while the stecca can be bought either in the grocery or the café. And although we can still get the best summer treat of all (popsicles!) in-store, King of Pops has also expanded… to the space next door!
They’re not just popsicles – King of Pops are fresh, all-natural, frozen treats in unique flavors like blackberry ginger lemonade, watermelon mojito and salted caramel. The new kitchen and walk up window make trying every single one of their flavors easier than ever, although KoP will still be hitting the local farmers markets and festivals with their signature cart.
The best news; if you stop by the Swamp Rabbit King of Pops window and buy a popsicle at any point before 6pm this Sunday, you'll be entered to win a t-shirt or 12-pack of pops! I feel that if this heat doesn’t break, we’ll be there every afternoon! Their hours are 11-7pm Monday through Saturday and 11-6pm on Sunday… See you there?
|the new door connecting grocery to cafe|
And more information on the Local Food Promotion Program here.