I began tweeting with Katie of George Bowers Grocery on Twitter sometime last year. I decided to stop by and see her and her husband Brian on a visit to Staunton in November. Katie and Brian are fantastic people and great conversationalists. We stop in to see them every time we're in town now. I love chatting with them when I visit Staunton. Their grocery store is in the Newtown neighborhood, and was originally founded in 1881 by a New Yorker named George Bowers.
T&E Meats in Harrisonburg (featuring meat from Polyface Farms among others), dairy products from Trickling Springs Creamery, produce from Nu-Beginning Farm, and some delicious fruit butters, jams, jellies, and preserves. Everything I've purchased from Katie & Brian has been excellent, but my favorite is a Chesapeake Crab Salsa from Gunther's Gourmet from Richmond. That stuff is great and hard to keep in stock. They also supply the American Shakespeare Center with their crowd favorite gummi bears, which are evidently harder to keep in stock for the ASC than the crab salsa is for George Bowers.
George Bowers is a great neighborhood grocer. I hope people will take advantage of such a nice place with great owners who have a vested interest in their community. In these days of hectic everything and big box stores it's nice to know there's a place you can go and have a chat with the owners and who know about the products and where they came from. Staunton is lucky to have a neighborhood grocery like George Bowers. I certainly wish there was a local alternative like this around my home.