* updated 11/10/2012 *
For any donation of $50 or more made between Saturday 11/10 and Thursday 11/22, we will throw in a $15 gift card to Black Hand Coffee (if you're outside of the Richmond, VA area we will make sure you're taken care of as well).
Hi. I’m Anita and I’m building the Atlas Exchange, a modern take on the old fashioned hometown local grocer. Manchester is being rediscovered as “hip” place to live, but it’s underserved by grocers and markets.
We have an entire neighborhood living in reclaimed industrial buildings; we have dog parks, art galleries and tons of parking but not a single shop dedicated to providing us with groceries. A section of Richmond once booked as “up and coming,” this area is now a full-fledged hip place to be. Except for one little thing – we’re hungry and inconvenienced.
The mission of the Atlas Exchange is to provide Manchester’s residents and visitors with quality products and art, sourced locally whenever possible, with good service and a pleasant atmosphere. The store will make alliances with local farmers, growers’ groups, restaurants, artists, and artisans in order to celebrate the community focused culture of the city. Richmond is proud of its artists and creators – and so are we.
Manchester is growing exponentially in terms of residents, but the area is still lacking in terms of retail, specifically food stores. The only full-size, supermarket planned for Manchester is in the works for Hull Street, through a developer responsible for some other major residential communities in town. The project has not been started.
The Atlas Exchange will focus on providing grocery, produce and household items to the neighborhood. There are no plans to expand into a restaurant model. We would like to focus on fulfilling a need in this community. We want to bring fresh and local to the doorstep of Manchester and make it affordable.
We want to offer:
Produce: seasonal selections from local farms (within 75 miles of Richmond) and the Manchester Flats’ community garden space.
Grocery: dry goods sourced from local manufacturers and small-batch producers.
Grab&Go: product brought in from Richmond’s popular restaurants and suppliers, providing meals on the go to those in the Manchester community.
Household: locally produced cleaning and household supplies.
Wine/Beer: local and regional selections..
Coffee: selections from roasters throughout the state of Virginia.
Art: featuring the art of Manchester Flats’ artists in residence.
Produce, grocery, household and coffee products will all be available for order on the <a href="http://www.atlasmanchester.com>Atlas Exchange website</a>. Special orders will be welcome for products not usually stocked in-store. In addition, the Atlas Exchange hopes to work with the local CSA groups to bring their programs to Manchester. The store can act as the drop off/pick up location for the neighborhood, exposing more of this community to slower, fresher food at reasonable prices; as well as bringing new faces into the shop each session.
We will continue to update our list of vendors and partners on our website so everyone can see what we're working on. It's important to us that everyone can see how hard we are working to establish good relationships with our community - this project is for all of us, after all.
On this page you will be able to contact us if you would like to join the lists of growers, groups, and business who plan to work with us to buld an oasis in this food desert.
We hope to raise $50,000 to cover the cost of building out the space and stocking the store so we can open before the end of the year. We need to finish two walls, treat the floors, build shelves, buy a fridge, stock them and finish setting up our online ordering system. Atlas Exchange hopes to host a CSA program for folks on this side of Richmond and with your help we can make all of this happen.
In exchange, we're offering some great perks –including printed canvas shopping bags, t-shirts, thank you cards, custom built websites, and a free one-year CSA membership. Everyone who donates earns a permanent thank you on our website. We will never forget who helped us!
Your contribution will help us build a space filled with fresh food and local art, and further, it will help bring community supported agriculture to a completely underserved community.