PHILADELPHIA - A Gourmet Grocer’s Locally-Sourced Thanksgiving - Riverwards Produce Owner Vincent Finazzo Explains Why to Shop Local for Turkey Day This Year “If you’re going to make a big deal about a meal, you should find the best ingredients possible. And if those ingredients support real people in industries local to where you live, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
That was Riverwards Produce owner Vincent Finazzo’s response when asked about his perspective on Thanksgiving recently. Arguably Philadelphia’s busiest local market, Finazzo dedicates a substantial amount of his shelf space to countless local artisans and makers. When discussing the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Finazzo said, “It’s all about local makers this year.”
“With supply chain issues everywhere you turn, we do our damn best to ensure we have everything you need in one place,” he added. “We have more control over supply because almost everything we have is produced locally. Thanksgiving should be about celebrating the local bounty, and we work hard to be the place to capture all of it.”
Finazzo is preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving rush, which should see more customers come through the doors of his two market locations – his 3,000-square-foot new location, which opened last spring at 146 Bread Street in Old City, and the smaller operation at 2200 East Norris Street in Fishtown – than any other time of year. And while he’s ready for the rush, he wants people to know they can get everything they need to upgrade their Thanksgiving feasts at Riverwards Produce, all while supporting the local economy.
Riverwards Produce will offer whole turkeys from both Smith Poultry and Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op, available now for preorder through November 17th (or sellout), with turkeys ranging from 8-12 or 12-16 pounds. Visit http://riverwardsproduce.com/thanksgiving to pre-order turkeys.
The market is fully stocked with apple cider from Ben Wenk’s 3 Springs Fruit Farm, including many baking apples, from classics to heirloom varieties. The store offers Brussels sprouts explicitly grown for them by LeRoy Fisher of Country Hill Produce, which Finazzo says are sweeter and nuttier than any Brussels sprouts he’s ever tasted. Local eggs, potatoes, and squash, including honey nut, come from Sunny Harvest, an Amish farming cooperative. There are cured meats, local cheeses from Valley Milkhouse and Kensington’s Perrystead Dairy, and pickles from Fishtown Pickle Project for pre-dinner charcuterie boards. For stuffing, Finazzo is stocking bread from Lost Bread Co., Mighty Bread Co., and Merzbacher’s, as well as beef and pork for sausages from Stryker Farm near Wind Gap, PA.
For those who don’t eat turkey, Riverwards stocks Green Circle Lancaster chickens. There are many plant-based meat options for vegans, including the hype-worthy Bandit dairy-free cheeses. Finazzo offers gelato varieties from Fiore Fine Foods and Milk Jawn ice cream for dessert. There is also a large selection of local butter, including vegan options, milk from Oasis Farm & Fishery in Pittsburgh, and eggs from Horse Shoe Ranch in Pottstown.
“We are only going to carry what we feel are the best, most flavorful ingredients and products, and almost every Thanksgiving offering is locally-grown or made,” said Finazzo. “We are here for the essentials, and while I understand budget food shopping, when it comes to Thanksgiving, this is the perfect time to not only support local businesses for the holidays but to make sure you’re putting out the best product possible when having what is arguably the most anticipated dinner of the year for so many people.”
Riverwards Produce provides unique, quality ingredients to creative chefs and neighbors alike while focusing on sourcing ingredients, produce, and proteins from farms located a short drive from Philly. Both locations are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Learn more at http://riverwardsproduce.com.