Many of you now know that because the lanyard name tag I’ve donned, with feast logo and upper and lower case 72pt. type, is hard to miss.
We frequently hear from our customers that once they’ve discovered us, they’re hooked. Our recent 10th Anniversary party showed us how many folks have been frequenting the store since the days it was first conjured by Kate and Eric, welcoming the artisan cheese seekers of central Virginia to the Main Street Market a decade ago. Sadly, some customers come and go. But like Michael, baby Peter and doting Grandmother Luiza pictured here, many do not leave by choice. I was just getting to know Michael as a regular customer when he shared with me he would be leaving town. His wife’s UVA Architecture gig was up and the family would return to Harvard. Michael came in to feast at least 3 days a week and ordered lunch from the cafe menu, no drinks, then strolled on home. When queried, he spoke quietly of our great food.
He’s not alone. I know many faces and quite a few names of “regulars” who stroll in daily. Or stop in once a week, or have a planned monthly trip from out of town prepared to fill up their empty coolers. With some I’ve quipped about what they do on Sunday, the single day of the week we are closed. Benton, Charlotte, Melba, Lucia, Ned, Francisco, Melissa & Kate, Carola, David, Lizzie & Rick, Jed & Erin, Rene & John, Shannon & Mary, Paul & Maria, Kennedy, Katarina, 4 Karens and 2 Emilys, are but a few we see from our perch at register, in cafe, at the cheese and deli counter, and from our mezzanine offices above.
We know you, what you come in for each week, even what you might order for lunch before you approach the counter. Here’s a little random nattering on the names and faces of Feast.
Megan leads the cafe, has been to LA and back and can work a chainsaw. Julia is quite the visual artist with more than soups and sandwiches. Hernan is a powerhouse 4 days at feast and more at Beer Run, his daughter Nancy works the line with precision. Zuri is our dynamo food prep, ninja line wonder! Rene and Santina keep the backroom spic and span. Irvin knows your name and your side order preference, wielding his lunch ticket book.
Moving to the cheesemongers, Sara is fluent in Italian, manages the counter and rocks out to Steve Earle and Old Crow Medicine Show. Levi has a bulldog tatoo and is quite the oenophile. Wes is our Celtic wonderman.
Upstairs, Eric and Kate, our intrepid owners do much more than count the cheese wheels. Dave the GM loves his redwings, his wife and son and anything with truffles. Cari makes sure I get paid and does all things office. Jenna is an avid book worm, orders the food you and I devour, wields a price gun, and mans the register with a smile. Kelsey comes from Nelson County 0-dark-thirty farming roots and is the new produce and gift box manager.
On the floor is awesome Alex in her Toms, gently sweeping your items into a basket, and offering you a taste of your soon-to-be-new favorite treat. At register, Kim keeps efficient company ringing through the lunch rush. Me, I eat a lot of peanut butter balls, Effie’s oat cakes, cherry tomatoes and Fleur Vert. All at the same time.