SHEPHERDSTOWN — Located at 207 South Princess Street in the heart of Shepherdstown, the Community Garden Market has become a destination for residents looking for fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce.
Open Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and all other days from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Community Garden Market has proven itself to be far from the average grocery shop. It is a place where quality is prioritized. Customers can find many varieties of seasonal fruits and veggies at the market, sourced from local farms in the area. The market offers organic and all-natural pantry essentials, high-quality meats, artisanal cheeses and refreshing beverages, in addition to fresh fruit. They also cater to dietary restrictions, with gluten-free and vegan options available.
“Using food as medicine gives your body what it needs naturally, not chemically, and opens a whole new way of eating enjoyment, not just eating to get through it,” said Chef Scott Anderson, co-owner and culinary director at the Community Garden Market.
To add an extra layer of flavor, Anderson has developed a delicious menu available for customers to order from, which currently features a variety of sandwiches and salads.
“We source as many local, natural and organic items as possible. One of our staff members is a natural/organic grower who helps us navigate the local options, so we can feature some of the freshest produce available,” Anderson said. “There are a lot of growers out there and we source from as many as possible, without cornering the market and taking away from the local farmers markets. We also support many local bakers, farmers, butchers, beekeepers, harvesters and craftsmen, rotating out seasonal items whenever possible and keeping the needs of the community in mind.”
With a love for all things fresh and tasty, Anderson recently received recognition for one of his recipes, Bangin’ Spicy Shrimp, which was awarded a blue ribbon by Just A Pinch Recipes in September.
“[T]he award-winning shrimp recipe was featured in Food Management in the mid-2010s. [I] brought [it] with me to the market when we first opened,” Anderson said, noting the market’s kitchen has changed to suit customer needs over the years. “Menu items, grocery items and made-to-order large family dinners were not what our customers wanted. We created a few sandwiches in 2017 related to the Civil War. It took off in 2018 and grew even more in 2019, so much so that we dropped the lineup of entree items to focus on freshly made sandwiches and salads.
“We feature a special sandwich created by each employee,” Anderson said, mentioning those sandwiches are named after the employees who created them. “It’s fun to see the reaction when a customer asks for a specific sandwich and the staff member tells them that they created it. Our staff are an integral part of our success.”
Anderson’s son, Joe, keeps busy bringing these recipes to life and interacting with customers at the Community Garden Market.
“As a team member at our market, I bake, cook and do various tasks in the store, create recipes and operate the cash register,” Joe, who is a business student at Shepherd University, said.
Shepherdstown resident Tina Song said she regularly shops at the Community Garden Market, because it carries a number of items that can’t be found at the average grocery store.
“The Community Garden Market is a local treasure. They have everything, from fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables to unusual pantry staples,” Song said. “My family appreciates the vegan and gluten-free selections. I appreciate that they support local businesses and are environmentally conscious.
“I recently had a dish from Community Garden Market’s menu, and it was delicious!” Song said. “With their high-quality items and community-oriented approach, they’ve turned me into a frequent customer.”
Vanessa Cunha, a biology student at Shepherd University, said the quality of the market’s produce is what led to her becoming a regular customer at the market.
“It’s a delightful place to shop for fresh produce,” Cunha said. “It’s also a place that embodies the values of community, quality and sustainability. Shepherdstown is lucky to have such a gem in its midst!”
The Community Garden Market, according to Anderson, is an active community participant. It regularly supports local organizations through a variety of ways, such as by donating time and expertise to the Shepherdstown Day Care Center’s annual fundraiser at the Bavarian Inn.