Local Foods' Benjy Levit with fresh produce straight from the farm to his pop up market. (Photo by Local Foods)
Prepared foods are part of the offerings at the Rice Village Local Foods. (Photo by Local Foods)
No standing in grocery store lines thanks to Local Foods Rice Village where essentials such as milk are available. (Photo by Local Foods)
Wine and beer are among the offerings at Local Foods market. (Photo by Local Foods)
Full meals for take out are available at Rice Village Local Foods. (Photo by Local Foods)
The former seating area in Local Foods is being transformed into a grocery market. (Photo by Local Foods)
Specialty items are available at Local Foods pop-up market in Rice Village. (Photo by Local Foods)
Gourmet granola for shoppers at Local Foods' pop-up market. (Photo by Local Foods)
Fresh fruits and vegetables are among the essentials on the shelves at Local Foods Rice Village pop up market. (Photo by Local Foods)
The Chocolate Bar is one of the local vendors joining Local Foods in its pop up market. (Photo by Local Foods)
Fresh foods and vegetables are among the essentials on the shelves at Local Foods Rice Village pop up market. (Photo by Local Foods)
Even houseware goods are on the shelves for purchase at Local Foods in Rice Village. (Photo by Local Foods)
Gourmet shopping is alive and well at Local Foods in Rice Village. (Photo by Local Foods)
Add Benjy Levit — owner of The Classic, Local Foods, Benjy’s — to the growing number of restaurateurs moving creatively to remain in business in spite of the COVID-19 restaurant restrictions. Local Foods in Rice Village, an area where Levit has held a culinary stronghold for decades, is stepping up its game by creating a pop-up grocery market.
In light of the lines outside of H-E-B, Whole Foods Market, and Central Market while shoppers abide by numbers control, a mini-grocery with basics as well as prepared foods is a welcome addition to the Rice Village neighborhood. Located at 2424 Dunstan, the pop-up market is open from 11 am to 8 pm daily.
Items included in the Local Foods larder range from milk, eggs, and peanut butter to toilet paper and prepared foods from local vendors such as Slow Dough, Katz Coffee, Black Hill Ranch, Blue Horizon Seafood, and more. And, of course, there are takeout items from menus from the Levit stable of restaurants.
Last Monday — which seems like years ago in this era of social distancing and restaurant dining-room shutdowns — Erica and Benjy Levit and Local Foods partner Dylan Murray were pondering their next step by immediately focusing on to-go orders and free delivery for large orders from The Classic, Benjy’s, and Local Foods.
Three days later, they expanded the offerings at Local Foods to include a few essentials such as produce, fresh-cut meats ,and cheese, wine, beer, Katz coffee, hot sauce, and olive oil, among others.
On Monday, Levit announced that The Classic and Benjy’s are closed temporarily, while the focus is on Local Foods in Rice Village. By Tuesday, deliveries of fresh produce and other essentials were arriving at Local Foods.
“We want to do something nice for the neighborhood and the community at large,” Levit tells PaperCity. “Also, we are collaborating with other businesses in the community, such as the Chocolate Bar, while providing a new outlet for our vendors with the pop-up market. We welcome any other local vendors to join us.”
Among those already on board are Slow Dough, Blue Horizon, Katz Coffee, Black Hill Ranch, Dairymaids, and 44 Farms.
It’s a concept not unlike that of Clark Cooper Concepts, which transformed the Rice Village Coppa Osteria, right around the corner from Local Foods, into Coppa Marketplace.
Rice Village residents are market lucky.