Sandy Lerner opens new locally sourced food store in Marshall
Sandy Lerner, who founded Ayrshire Farm and Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville and the Home Farm Store in Middleburg, is expanding her retail footprint with a new business model.
The businesswoman launched a food retail concept on Oct. 1 in Marshall called Gentle Harvest. The store, located at 8372 W. Main Street off of I-66, stocks produce and other products sourced from local farms, including Lerner's Ayrshire Farm, the first certifeid organice/cdrtified humane farm in Virginia. The products range from certified organic and humane meats to grab-and-go meals, coffee, flowers and local wines and beer. The idea is to locally sourced food along with hard goods in a market setting.
The store also has dine-in space and a drive-thru that customers can use to pick up quick meals or groceries — all accessible via the store’s app.
Gentle Harvest is located in a former bank building. It will serve not only as the flagship location for the company but also as its headquarters. Lerner plans to roll out more Gentle Harvest stores next year.
“Gentle Harvest is a win-win for the local farms, residents and travelers along the highways,” Sully Callahan, who oversees management of Gentle Harvest, said in a statement. “In essence it’s a concept where the farm stand meets the freeway.”
A second store underway in Winchester at 120 Front Royal Pike is scheduled to open in late October, and there are plans for more. “We’re planning an aggressive rollout in 2017,” said Callahan.