Susanna Herlitz-Ferguson opened MV Salads four years ago on Circuit Avenue, and the shop quickly took off, with its fresh salads and ingredients sourced from several Island businesses.
Now, the salad shop is extending its reach to Edgartown, but is looking to serve the community in a different way than it has in the past.
MV Botiga, the recent offshoot of MV Salads, is bringing a variety of signature salad wraps to Church Street in Edgartown, where thousands of Vineyard visitors bustle to and from the buses and the visitor center each day. The Times visited the new botiga (botiga means “shop” in Catalan) on a sunny Sunday afternoon to try out the wraps.
“Every year, the Oak Bluffs shop got busier and busier. We were thinking of ways we could kind of expand what we offer to the community,” Herlitz-Ferguson said. “We’ve added branded merchandise, which is very popular, but really importantly, we sell our salad dressings in a bottle — we call it MV the Dressing.” According to Herlitz-Ferguson, their homemade salad dressing just received accolades from Bon Appetit magazine, and is becoming a staple in many Island pantries. “The person who wrote the article said, ‘If you bring home two things from Martha’s Vineyard, it should be the feta from Mermaid Farm and MV the Dressing.’ We use both in our salad wraps,” she said.
Finding the small but welcoming building on Church Street was a serendipitous development for MV Salads and MV Botiga. For years, the building was largely vacant apart from some small offices, and right when Herlitz-Ferguson and her crew began looking for another location, the Church Street location popped up on the market
Apart from the obvious benefit of heavy foot traffic in the immediate area, MV Botiga also attracts folks with some of its other locally crafted products that highlight the best of Vineyard food businesses. On the shelves of MV Botiga are products like MV Sea Salt, Mimi’s Hot Sauce, cookies from Pie Chicks, and several other local companies that were hand-selected by Herlitz-Ferguson. “It’s things with ties to the Island that kind of have to do with salads or food, or just Martha’s Vineyard in general,” Herlitz-Ferguson said.
Because the MV Botiga building isn’t zoned for a commercial kitchen, all the ingredients are prepared at MV Salads in Oak Bluffs, and then the wraps are sold in Edgartown. Two of the most popular signature wraps sold at MV Botiga are the Campground Grilled Chicken and the BLT Salad, both served with a side of MV the Dressing. Every week, there’s a different schedule of wraps, but make sure to get there early in the day — these sell out fast. “Each time, there will be a vegan option, and a meat or seafood option. Today we have our Campground Vegan and Campground Chicken wraps. We make them fresh in the morning, and we sell them out,” Herlitz-Ferguson said.
She stressed that her businesses always look to source local ingredients, such as creamy feta from Mermaid Farm, and shiitake mushrooms from Martha’s Vineyard Mycological. The BLT vegan option wrap is actually made with shiitake mushrooms straight from Martha’s Vineyard Mycological, and Herlitz-Ferguson said it’s very popular. “It’s like a vegan bacon almost, made from the shiitakes — it’s such a huge hit,” she said.
For Herlitz-Ferguson and her staff, MV Botiga is just beginning to realize its full potential, and there’s a lot in store for the shop going forward. “We have a lot of exciting things coming up, and we’ve already heard really wonderful things from people about our new location,” Herlitz-Ferguson said. “We are happy to be able to provide this kind of unique experience to people in Edgartown and the rest of the Island.”
MV Botiga is located at 15 Church Street, immediately before 19 Raw, going toward the Edgartown Visitors Center. The shop is open 11 am to 5 pm daily. Call 508-338-7754 for more information.