A new food retail concept has launched in Marshall, Virginia.
Operators of Gentle Harvest, located at 8372 W. Main Street, say the store provides a unique food shopping experience with products sourced from local farms, including its own Ayrshire Farm. Products range from certified organic and certified humane meats to grab-and-go meals, meal kits, coffee, flowers, local wines and beer. The store also features a casual dine-in restaurant, as well as a drive-thru that allows customers to pick up healthy meals or groceries—all accessible via the store’s app.
The concept is the brainchild of Sandy Lerner, founder of Cisco Systems and Urban Decay as well as Ayrshire Farm and Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville and Home Farm Store in Middleburg. Gentle Harvest has taken Lerner’s Home Farm Store concept and significantly expanded on it. She says she got the idea more than a dozen years ago when traveling through England. She noticed the great markets that were located along highways selling goods from local farms and producers.
“Gentle Harvest is a win-win for the local farms, residents and travelers along the highways,” said Sully Callahan, who oversees management of Gentle Harvest. “In essence, it’s a concept where the farmstand meets the freeway.”
A second Gentle Harvest store, at 120 Front Royal Pike in Winchester, is scheduled to open this spring, and there are plans for more stores.
“We’re planning an aggressive rollout,” Callahan said.
Gentle Harvest in Marshall is located in a former bank building. It serves not only as the flagship location for the company but also the headquarters, which are housed upstairs. There is a customer lounge on the second floor that offers free Wi-Fi and a large conference room with space for community meetings or events. The store is located off of I-66 and includes ample parking. The Winchester store will sit adjacent to I-81 and Route 50.