NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A coffee shop is giving back to its community through food. Back in March, we reported the Farm Fresh in Ocean View closed, leaving a lot of people without access to fruit and vegetables.
Only a year-and-a-half old, Coaster Coffee is a hub of Ocean View activity.
“We think its really important to be a part of a community,” said Coaster Coffee Business Manager Crystal Johnson.
Back in early spring, the City of Norfolk asked the owners, OV Church, to spruce up the area outside the shop. Instead of flowers and bushes, they went with fruits and vegetables.
“That way we could be able to give back to the community by just having fresh fruit and vegetables outside,” said Johnson.
The fresh produce is free for anyone who stops by — and there’s a lot of it.
“Sunflowers in the triangle over there, and then we have three – four different types of basil,” said Johnson. “There’s some tomato plants in the middle with some citronella.”
However, the owners didn’t expect the garden would become essential in their neighborhood.
“There’s such a food deficit in this area right now and we want to do everything that we can to help out with that,” said Coaster Coffee Operations Manager Christopher Brooks.
The Ocean View Farm Fresh closed just as the plants started producing food.
Brooks said, “It’s maybe just a small part of doing something in the right direction as far as getting food out to people in this area and it’s really needed.”
Any food that isn’t picked goes to Love Food Pantry, also run by OV church and two blocks from the old Farm Fresh.
“People don’t have access to get the fresh fruit and vegetables that they need and we can provide that for them,” said Johnson. “We can help different people. Some people who live in our area may never come to a coffee shop, but they need fruit and vegetables.”
It’s their way of fighting the food deficit, by planting seeds that grow their community.