Local EatsMembers of the county business community, government, and a bunch of hungry Fluvannans turned out on Thursday (Aug. 24) to celebrate the official opening of Local Eats on Joshua Lane in Palmyra.

Owner Amy Myers said she got the idea for the micro-restaurant and grocery after visiting The Store in Staunton last February. Opened in 2012 by John and Stella Matheny, the farm-to-table cafe/grocery has become a popular spot for Staunton foodies, and Myers soon found herself asking the Mathenys about the nuts and bolts of their business.

“Finally I decided, why not do it?” said Myers. “Sink or swim.”

Working with the support of the Fluvanna business development community and the Small Business Development Center, she got underway earlier this year in the space formerly occupied by the Christian Outreach Thrift Shop.

Now equipped with a kitchen, a seating area, and a small grocery section, Local Eats made its soft open in mid-July, with a breakfast and lunch menu that soon created a buzz on local social media.

Myers has already lined up about 25 suppliers of both fresh and packaged foods, a few of whom were on hand with samples for opening day.  Some of the food is as local as Myers’ own large garden, with more coming from around the region.

Her day starts before 7 a.m. when she arrives to prep for breakfast service and doesn’t end after she locks the doors at 7 p.m.  “I go home and dig up potatoes or whatever else is growing right now,” she said.

She’s been pleased with the response to the restaurant so far, and there have even been some surprises. A vegetarian herself, Myers put both vegetarian and vegan offerings on her menu.  The vegan breakfasts options have turn out to be popular. “There are a lot of vegans around here. Who knew?”