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Behind Sprout Market and Cafe

Jason Guard profiles Laurie and Jamie Lay’s Sprout.

The new idea is all food from local farms, an emerging theme in the culinary world, popularized in Richmond by the farm to table themed menus at restaurants like Mezzanine and Lemaire. But, Sprout’s approach is intentionally more grassroots than elite eatery: offering affordable sandwiches and hearty sides, fresh produce for retail, and the eclectic crafts of area artisans.

“We are a small business, directly approaching small local farms and producers exclusively in Virginia,” wrote the couple in an email exchange. “The food we order comes directly from the farm or the farmer’s market with no middle man (unless Mark Lilly with the Farm to Family Veggie Bus brings it in to us), thus exchanging dollars one to one.”

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