When I walk into a food shop that creates more than 70 percent of the products on their shelves, the food lover in me smiles. That’s the first feeling I had when I walked into Shepherd’s Provisions, a new shop in Vineyard Haven. The shop is food-inspired, and well curated. Owners John and Kira Shepherd know food all too well — both are culinary school graduates who have worked their way through restaurants. They’ve called the Vineyard home for a while now, and John has done the Island chef shuffle, moving around between Rockfish, the Wharf, Fella’s, Lattanzi’s, and others. Today, he’s back in his own kitchen at the recently opened Shepherd’s Provisions, where he is making large pots of fresh marinara and puttanesca sauces, dehydrating herbs for his rubs and spice blends, and whipping up chocolate chews.
It’s easy to fall in love with products while walking around the shop. The Shepherds have worked very hard to include items that are practical yet unique, gorgeous gifts even for yourself. That’s what I decided to do while walking around — the shop inspires you to treat yourself. Sure, I bought a friend some pimento cheese (where else on the Island can you get freshly made pimento cheese?), but the rest of the goodies were for me:
- Strawberry pâte de fruit ($5): basically, adult gummy candy made with fresh strawberries
- Chocolate chews ($4): chocolate caramels dotted with cacao nibs, carefully wrapped and waiting to melt in your mouth
- Vanilla marshmallows ($5): cloudlike sweets that lovingly float in your coffee or hot chocolate
- Banh Mi pickles ($6): a combination of daikon, carrots, ghost pepper, and vinegars, these pickles are delicious on their own and even better in a grilled cheese.
The Shepherds are focused on achieving a work/life balance, something most chefs rarely obtain. Running a shop gives a family regular hours, and the Shepherds are big on family time. Whether it’s fundraising for the football team or taking time to listen to their children’s afterschool stories, they want their family life to work. They’re so focused on that goal, they also offer dinnertime foods for when you need a quick meal to feed the family. These refrigerated items vary daily, but often include freshly made soups and stews, Asian noodles, crab cakes, dumplings, and more. This section also boasts homemade salad dressings — while I was there, the flavors were lemon thyme and roasted tomato garlic. The options are perfect for throwing a tasty dinner together.
I was delighted with my purchases, and how affordable the prices are at Shepherd’s Provisions. Pay them a visit — they’re located on 395 State Road in Vineyard Haven. And make sure to give them a like on Facebook: facebook.com/shepherdsprovisions.