When it comes to bringing in downtowners, the new Georgia's Farm to Market on Main Street understands curb appeal. Along the windows facing Prairie are rows of beautifully enticing organic produce.
Sourced from seven local vendors who also supply the original Georgia's Farm to Market in west Houston — according to the owners, it's the freshest organic produce available in the city.
With an official opening on Friday, Georgia's is far from the sad, permanently half-empty shelves that plagued previous tenant Byrd's. Owners Rick and Georgia Bost have expanded the corner space to include all the trappings of a real grocer, albeit one committed to natural, organic and local offerings.
Georgia's is far from the sad, permanently half-empty shelves that plagued previous tenant Byrd's.
That includes everything from Pola cheese, Katz Coffee and Slow Dough breads to grass-fed beef, sustainable Texas wines and healthy snacks and cereals. There are bulk teas and spices, coconut sugar and other natural sweeteners, Seventh Generation cleaning products and enough vegan and gluten-free items for one visitor to dub the market "vegan heaven."
According to Bost, the market and café are part of a philosophy to supply the shortest path from where food is produced to where it is consumed. The food prepared in the café is made from the same items stocked on the shelves, and if you want to recreate them at home Georgia's will be offering cooking classes and sharing the recipes.
In the main café space, the airy vibe has been complemented by an influx of wood paneling and tables, plus chalkboard menus and some vintage photos of Houston. Geogria's has repurposed the space in front of the kitchen for their salad bar and buffet, although there's also a short a la carte menu as well as prepared to-go foods.
"We wanted to connect with the old Houston downtown while at the same time having a modern space," Bost said.
But there are also a couple of extra surprises in store. The reading loft above the new section of the market may be downtown's best place to hide away with some coffee and the Internet. (I recommend the overstuffed leather chair.)
Head downstairs instead and you'll find The Cellar. Like the coolest basement you never had, the Cellar is relatively small, with a handful of barstools and a few standing tables, but offers local and organic bottled beer plus Karbach and No Label on tap, as well as a wine selection sourced from the shelves upstairs. Any food from the café can be ordered in the cellar as well, and happy hour specials start in February.
In addition to opening the first Georgia's location two years ago, the Bosts also have a ranch in Waller county and have been active in the sustainability movement for decades. They were among the founders of farmers' market mecca Urban Harvest and created the first organic certification program in Texas.
According to Rick Bost, opening a location downtown is the "fulfillment of a dream." Hopefully it will be a dream come true for downtown workers and residents as well.