Big Pine Provisions
A new local foods champion has emerged at the corner of Campbell Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown Roanoke – Big Pine Provisions. Co-owners (and siblings) James and Catherine Chewning opened the doors to Big Pine in November, giving Roanokers another place to buy locally grown offerings that include produce, meat, cheese, preserves and prepared foods. There is also a lunch counter.
Managing the shop and manning the lunch counter is Chris Parkhurst, former manager of the Happy Belly Deli at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op. Parkhurst is passionate about getting others excited about the locavore movement.
“We want to strengthen the local food movement by being more local than anyone else and paying farmers fairly for their produce,” Parkhurst says.
In addition to keeping the store full of products that don’t travel far at all to get to the shelf, the Chewnings and Parkhurst seek to appeal to a variety of palates and lifestyles.
“Generally speaking I’m very sensitive to vegetarians’ and vegans’ needs,” Parkhurst says. “I go a little beyond to try and include as much gluten-free stuff as possible.”
I recently sampled a vegan lunch at Big Pine that included a baked veggie chimichanga with sweet potato hash, braised greens and pico de gallo. I must’ve been enjoying it very intently as a nearby diner – a lovely and talented local artist – asked me if the lunch was as good as I was making it seem. I was able to give her a definite yes, and in turn found out from her that Big Pine Provisions also caters.
With warmer weather, Parkhurst predicts a lot of trout ceviche, fresh salads, homemade gazpacho, asparagus, strawberries and sugar snap peas and other fresh, good-for-you food.
“The new awareness of health and local foods all of these trends have come together nicely,” Parkhurst says. “This is a good moment in the history of Roanoke to start out in this local foods movement.”
Big Pine Provisions. 501 Campbell Ave., Roanoke. 206-2040