Friday, April 22, 2016

Pickup-and-Pay Service Has Begun at B.J.'s Wholesale Club

You have to get out of your car, but that's about it.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 12:00 PM

When you enter a discount warehouse store with its towering shelves of enormous tantalizing products, you'd better put on a pair of sneakers and get ready to hike. You’ve got a lot of walking to do to buy that 3-gallon jar of Dijon mustard.

Except at B.J.’s Wholesale Club. The company announced, as reported by the website Consumerist, that effective immediately, customers will be able to shop for items on the shelves of their local store online.

A B.J.'s employee will collect them for you and an email will be sent when they’re ready for pickup inside the store. It isn’t quite as convenient as the curbside service offered by Kroger on Iron Bridge Road in Chesterfield, but there isn’t a $3.95 fee either.

Let’s all save our strength for spin class — where exercise belongs.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Coffee Comes to the West End

Shore Dog Cafe joins Kuba Kuba Dos and the Backyard Grill on Ridge Road.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 2:12 PM

The West End needed a coffee shop. And Gibbs Moody wanted to start a new company.

This former investment banker left San Francisco 12 years ago to move to Richmond and raise his family with wife Sharon. For the past few years, he's been looking for a company to buy, but as he passed the empty storefront at the Tuckahoe Shopping Center on Ridge Road, he began to think about what could go into it.

“When I was looking at other companies, I always found flaws,” he says.

Moody originally thought about putting an ice cream store in the space, but the idea didn’t excite him. One thing he did like, however, was a good cup of coffee. Moody had been a long-time customer of Lamplighter Roasting Co., and after a few conversations with co-owner Noelle Archibald, the idea of starting his own coffee shop began to take hold of his imagination.

And Shore Dog Cafe was born. “We wanted to bring our love of the Eastern Shore here,” Sharon, who is also co-owner of Fraîche, says about the name. The folks at Lamplighter designed the coffee bar and trained its baristas. The Moodys brought in milk from Homestead Creamery, Mountain View Farm cheese and New York’s Davidovich Bakery’s bagels for its breakfast and lunch menus.

“It’s not a traditional dark coffee bar,” says Moody. “We wanted a beachy sort of look.” Weathered wooden benches line the wall, and the space is filled with soft shades of grey and white mixed with a few stainless, industrial elements such as Tolix metal chairs around the tables and at the bar.

When it first opened, the kitchen at Shore Dog closed at 2:30 p.m. “Customers complained,” Moody says. The couple decided to extend the hours and add a few entrees, such as flatbread pizza and chicken satays, along with wine, beer, and tapas, to eat in or takeout.

“It’s still an evolving concept,” Moody says. “We’re too [much] of a well-kept secret.”

Friday, April 15, 2016

Even More Biscuits for the Fan

The Fancy Biscuit opens on West Cary Street.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 3:36 PM

At long last, the Fancy Biscuit has opened its doors. Shyndigz’s new baby took a while to gestate — more than a year.

Back in 2014, Shyndigz moved from Patterson Avenue to 1903 W. Cary St., morphing from a bakery with killer cakes to a full-blown dessert cafe that sells beer and wine along with its towering slabs of salted caramel chocolate cake and slices of double brownie pie.

"We turned away more business than we took," Bryon Jessee told Style about the move to the Fan two years ago. And business was so good at the new location, Jessee, along with his wife, Nicole, opened Shyndigz 2go & Market a short distance away at 1833 W. Cary St. to fill takeout orders and provide some space for diners waiting for a seat at the cafe proper.

The Fancy Biscuit, at 1831 W. Cary St., is the latest buttery wonder from the couple. The biscuits are loaded with unexpected ingredients such as fried chicken and blue cheese, bacon and arugula, or crunchy collards and a poached egg. You can grab a fork Wednesdays-Friday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Quickness RVA Expands Digitally and Geographically

More hungry people can take advantage of the bicycle delivery service.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 2:36 PM

Quickness RVA, powered by sweat and mad cycling skills, has expanded its delivery area and will add online ordering on Monday, April 18. This comes hard on the heels of the launch of Groupon’s digital ordering and delivery service, OrderUp.

The six-year-old local company will now send its riders beyond the Fan and downtown to the Barton Heights and Brookland Park neighborhoods as well. Manchester is the next delivery area up for consideration.

“Since we are a small local company, we are doing it in phases to make sure we can keep our reputation, starting with five to 10 restaurants for phase one,” says owner Frank Bucalo. “As soon as all our current restaurant partners — there are almost 30 — are rolling with online ordering capability, we hope to continue making relationships with more local restaurants.”

Quickness also works with Renew Richmond, a group that helps to establish organic community gardens, creates educational programs and provides produce from its gardens through its farm stands. Quickness is helping Renew Richmond make its fruits and vegetables even more accessible in areas of Richmond where finding fresh food can be difficult.

And Bucalo says the company wants to find ways to work with other small businesses to provide delivery service. “We recently paired with Photosynthesis Floral Designs over Valentine’s Day and delivered bouquets and floral arrangements by bicycle,” he says.

Once this network is solidified, Bucalo says that Quickness will be “basically like a local and ecofriendly Amazon Prime Now that will promote supporting small businesses.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Anheuser-Busch InBev Buys Virginia's Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

The world's largest brewer is investing in craft beer.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 12:47 PM

No one likes it when the little guy sells out. This is particularly true when it comes to the arts -- it’s annoying to watch a cruise line advertise itself to the strains of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” -- even though the never-mainstream musician probably now has a nice retirement fund from that commercial alone.

And given the fact that the U.S. economic market is based on capitalism, it’s a difficult to begrudge a small business for expanding or selling to a larger one.

Anheuser-Busch InBev announced today that it would buy Devils Backbone Brewing Company, based in Nelson County and Lexington. The craft brewery produces about 60,000 barrels a year and plans to increase that by another 35,000 in 2016.

AB InBev started its craft beer division, the High End, in 2011, and has a portfolio of beers that includes Goose Island, Blue Point, 10 Barrel, Elysian, Golden Road, Virtue Cider, Four Peaks and Breckenridge Brewery, plus Stella Artois and Shock Top.

Anheuser-Busch itself was acquired by the Belgian beer firm, InBev, in 2008, making it the largest beer-producing company in the world. In 2015, the combined Anheuser-Busch InBev then turned around and bought its closest competitor, SABMiller.

This mind-boggling behemoth that produces Budweiser, Corona, Beck’s, Peroni and others can offer small breweries both vast distribution and significant infusions of capital.

“While we are joining a creative group of craft breweries in the division, Devils Backbone will retain a high level of autonomy and continue its own authentic DNA within the High End framework,” brewery co-founder Steve Crandall said in a news release.

Devils Backbone’s owners will continue to run the company, their employees will keep their jobs and ingredients will stay the same. Beginning with its first craft brewery purchase, Goose Island, the High End has a reputation for a gentle, hands-off approach to the companies it acquires.

Of course, that can change -- the division underwent a reorganization in March. And that bears watching.

Nonetheless, although the decrease in competition means prices aren’t going to be lowered anytime soon -- and perhaps will go higher -- thinking from the pint-glass-half-full side, it also means that that your favorite beer will probably be available wherever you travel. And as more beer drinkers are exposed to more variety and become better educated, that paradoxically provides a buffer for other small producers which will acquire more of the curious, discerning patrons who keep them in business.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Helping the Heart with Cosmos

Cocktails and local chefs' specialties were highlights at the Richmond Heart Ball preview.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Sake Cosmopolitans and Smithfield pork were the order of the evening for the 24th annual Richmond Heart Ball’s VIP cocktail reception and auction preview, held last night at the Gateway Plaza to kick off next week’s main event.

Four local chefs accepted the challenge to create heart-healthy dishes using reception sponsor Smithfield’s “Lean Generation” pork. At tables scattered throughout the room, attendees noshed on colorful pork stir fry from Mama J’s Kitchen’s chef Velma Johnson, piquant pork and cabbage tacos from Emilio’s chef Chad Stambaugh, spicy pork lettuce wraps from chef Loretta Montano at Stella’s and rosy pink pork tenderloin with dragon fruit relish from chef Cory Sheldon of the Boathouse.

Mosaic Catering + Events also contributed selections of Asian meatballs and other goodies and oversees the Richmond Heart Ball's concept and event production.

A tower of pink, pre-made Cosmos, adorned with paper parasols and enlivened with sake, got almost as much traffic as the regular bar, with one attendee overheard saying, “I’ll drink one if you will.” Both did.

The preview also provided an opportunity for people to get a look at some of the silent auction’s glamorous prizes, from a string of South Sea pearls, to a Bermuda getaway, to “Fore for Two,” an opportunity to spend a day inside the PGA tour during its run at Country Club of Virginia in November. None of those grabs you? How about a diamond bracelet, a NASCAR package or an oyster weekend with friends?

Raising funds for research and prevention programs across the region is the primary goal of next Saturday’s sold-out Heart Ball, this year themed “Fortune of the Heart.”

Last year's gala, which transforms the space inside and out of the Science Museum of Virginia, hit $1 million raised, an event record.

Richmond Heart Ball, Saturday, April 16, 6 p.m. at the Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W. Broad St.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ukrop's Homestyle Foods Recalls 2,881 Pounds of Food

Trash those ham and cheese pinwheels, folks.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 4:03 PM

Time to practice your aim while chucking things from the fridge into the trash can. Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods is recalling turkey, pork, and beef that may contain glass, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

These include Ukrop’s Homestyle’s roasted turkey and colby jack pinwheels, black forest ham and provolone pinwheels, Angus roast beef and cheddar pinwheels, honey ham and honey turkey pinwheel trays, honey turkey and havarti pinwheel trays, and honey ham and swiss pinwheel trays made between April 1 and 2, with sell-by dates of April 4 and 5.

And it’s a lot of food that the company has to recall – about 2,881 pounds worth. Ukrop’s received a notice from Roland Foods on April 4 that its fire-roasted red pepper strips might be contaminated with glass fragments. I calculate that there’s been about a three-day delay in getting the news out to consumers.

Ukrop’s Homestyle hasn’t released a statement, and I hadn’t heard back from its spokesman before publication.

“There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products,” the announcement from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service says. “FSIS has received no additional reports of injury or illness from consumption of these products.”

So, throw those pinwheels in any of their various forms out or make a beeline to the store to return them. And check back for any updates -- I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kinsfolk to Serve Dinner (and Brunch) Only

The South Side restaurant wants to focus on what it does best.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Kinsfolk, located in the old Chef MaMusu’s African-Caribbean Cuisine at 3516 Forest Hill Ave., has experienced rip-roaring success with its dinners and tube lunches -- boxed meals offered in, well, tubes instead of boxes.

The success has been so overwhelming that owners Tiffany and Danny Ingram have decided to end lunch and focus on dinner -- things such as veggie paella and deep-fried quail brined in pickle juice -- according to a sign on the restaurant's door. Its new hours will be Tuesdays-Saturdays 5-10 p.m.and Saturday and Sunday brunch 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

CORRECTION: Originally this article neglected to include weekend brunch hours.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Byrd House Market Is on the Move

The renamed Birdhouse Farmers Market's new home is just a few blocks west.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 2:55 PM

With the closure of Oregon Hill’s William Byrd Community House, regulars of the weekly farmers’ market that the organization had hosted since 2007, the Byrd House Market, worried that its fresh produce, meats and artisan products would disappear on Tuesdays from this side of the river.

Fortunately, that’s not going to happen.

The market’s farmers and vendors are made of stronger stuff, and along with community advocates, figured out a way to keep things going. On May 3, the newly christened Birdhouse Farmers Market will set up its tents just a few blocks down the road behind the Randolph Community Center swimming pool at 1507 Grayland Ave.

The market will operate every Tuesday from 3-6:30 p.m. The new location has plenty of parking, the GRTC bus line is easily accessible and the nearby Petronius Jones Park offers a playground and walking path.

You’ll still find Amy’s Organic Garden, Faith Farms, Sub Rosa Bakery and other market stalwarts, plus face-painting, kids’ activities and food demos each week, just as you did before. In addition, the Richmond Public Library will also host a pop-up at the new market.

“The Birdhouse Farmers Market [will be] special and unique,” says Amy Hicks of Amy’s Organic Garden, “because it is now a farmer-led market -- and all female farmers to boot!”

CORRECTION: This article misstated the market's hours when it first published. The market is open from 3-6:30 p.m.

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