VB restaurant teams up with Cape Charles farm to get through pandemic

Virginia Beach

CAPE CHARLES, Va. (WAVY) – On a chilly Cape Charles morning, the crew from Citrus restaurant in Virginia Beach harvested something positive during the pandemic.

“It’s been a challenge and it has been a challenge for all of us in our community,” said Citrus owner Lance Shores.

Like many restaurant owners, coronavirus had dealt a big blow to Lance and Cheri Shores.

“We are trying to find creative ways to stay busy, keep the staff busy and generate some sales,” Cheri Shores added.

The Shores and the Citrus family are now planting roots on the Eastern Shore by teaming up with Pickett’s Harbor Farms.

“It is definitely a partnership,” Cheri Shores said.

Because of COVID-19, farm owner W.T. Nottingham wasn’t able to hire his normal workforce.

“We figured out what we could to do to help him out was trade our manpower,” Lance Shores said.

Staff members and their families go to the farm and plant fruits and vegetables for Nottingham. 

“These are tomatoes and basically what we are doing is making sure the ones that have gotten beaten up by the wind are being replanted,” Cheri said. “We are going to do all the melons, canaries, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydews.” 

Once those crops are ready, they’ll be shipped back to Virginia Beach and put on the menu for Citrus customers.

“I think this last month of having the restaurants closed, we have bonded more than we ever have as a staff,” Lance added.  “We’ve done more things together.”

Call it neighbors helping neighbors.

“We work together for the goal, and good things come from it,” Cheri said.

As the virus continues to cut down restaurant revenue, the Citrus family is looking to make something sweet out of a sour situation.

“We are adapting,” said manager Shanon Connelly.  “It’s just a different kind of work.  We are still sticking together as our Citrus family.”

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