Gourmet shop offers mostly Virginia-made products

Foodies looking to stock up on great food and beverages from across Virginia during the holidays — or any time of year — need look no further than Virginia Gourmet on McLaws Circle.

Mike D’Alessandro and Jeff Gouger took over the business in August 2017 and have been working steadily since then to expand product selection and services. Virginia Gourmet carries a wide variety of culinary goods, the bulk of which are made in Virginia.

“Most of what we have is all-natural, Virginia-based foods,” said D’Alessandro. “We support local businesses by buying from Virginia companies.”

Product offerings at Virginia Gourmet include craft wine and beer, coffee, kombucha, applesauce, bison meat, cured meats, cheese, bread, honey, jams, jellies, chutney, spices, vinegars and olive oils, salsa, barbeque sauce, and a variety of pickled and grain products.

Among the top-sellers is the applesauce, which is made on-site. There are six flavors, four without added sugar: original cinnamon, apple, cranberry, blueberry, cherry and strawberry. The apple peel is left on during the applesauce prep to retain nutrients.

“The process is laborious, coring and slicing all the apples, but having that final product that you can open up and share with your friends and family at the table is very rewarding to me,” said D’Alessandro.

The spice blends are also made in-house. Other popular items include a selection of international gourmet coffee, more than 80 Virginia beers and wines, Ninja kombucha, which is based in Richmond, and several barbeque sauces.

“We have five different flavors of barbeque sauces and each is great; it just depends on how you want to use it,” said Gouger.

Tourists and locals have found their way to the shop.

“We have people who stop in for their morning coffee on their way to work,” said D’Alessandro. “We also have people who come in looking for gifts and others who want to pick up snacks to take back to their hotel rooms.”

D’Alessandro and Gouger like to attend food expos and sample products to get a feel for what might work within their store.

“I have not had a product that I’ve disliked,” said Gouger. “It’s been wonderful. We have the best vendors. They are courteous and responsive to your needs and they really care about their products and the consumers.”

Virginia Gourmet has quarterly tastings at the store and the owners also attend local farmers markets, including Yorktown. Products are also available for purchase on their website.

In addition, Virginia Gourmet has a commercial kitchen space for rent to other businesses in Williamsburg and on the Peninsula.

“It’s a beautiful resource,” D’Alessandro said. “We love to help other businesses starting off on their own new ventures.”

A selection of gift boxes and baskets are available during the holiday season as well as country ham for holiday meals and office parties.

Gouger and D’Alessandro hope to continue to expand the product selection at Virginia Gourmet. Gouger, who enjoys pickling, would eventually like to sell his own brand of pickled cucumbers, okra and jalapenos at the store.

“I’d like to see this place become a destination for people,” Gouger said. “The quality of products we have is very unique. I think Virginia Gourmet is one of the best kept secrets in Williamsburg.”

Want to go?

Virginia Gourmet

264 McLaws Circle, Suite K

virginiagourmetfood.com

Hours: Monday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Copyright © 2018, Williamsburg Magazine
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