“The Super Local Food Project aims to educate, align and connect local farmers’ naturally grown produce with the local community. We attempt to bridge the gap between local farmers and the people in Hampton Roads. We plant, harvest and deliver local farmers’ products directly to local consumers,” says Lara Zawacki, Super Local Food Project owner. Zawacki runs the operation with her husband, Danny Lloyd. Together they work with five or six farmers from Virginia Beach, Hampton, Smithfield and Suffolk, bringing food to local consumers and restaurants.
Zawacki’s passion grew from first-hand experience, working with farm fresh food in the area. “I was volunteering with a group called a Crop Mob. We would arrive at a farm and assist the farmer with what needed to be done on the local farms with abundant fresh, available products right here in Hampton Roads. What was being sold at the big chain stores did not compare in flavor, freshness, nutrition and lower prices,” Zawacki says. “When you know how it is grown you can learn more about the food, including knowing if the farmer uses pesticides, hormones or antibiotics.”
Zawacki says working with local farmers goes beyond the freshness. She also focuses on supporting local farms to put money back into the local economy. “The business idea began in Hampton, where we still maintain one fifth of an acre of raised beds and two greenhouses. In 2020, we moved our housing to Newport News, where we hope to grow and build more space for local growing,” the owner says.
The Super Local Food Project works hard to connect the people of Hampton Roads to local and sustainable agriculture. In addition to seasonal and local produce, the business offers honey, food and plants that are grown or farmed in Hampton Roads. Gardening consultation and education for others is also provided. “We sell at farmers markets and provide delivery to consumers in the Hampton Roads area. We are confident that a grassroots campaign focusing on education of growing your own and selling locally grown fresh produce direct to consumers is right for our community,” Zawacki says. It is exciting for Zawacki when consumers connect with their local farmers and find some of the best fresh produce they have ever tasted.
Zawacki’s excitement for fresh and local produce started long before the creation of the Super Local Food Project. “It began with a fascination and wonder towards the miracle of gardening and growing your own food,” she says. “I remember starting a garden with my mom as a young child; we planted swiss chard. Wherever I lived I tried growing something.”
Zawacki has spent her life learning about gardening, even as she continued to move from coast to coast as a member of the United States Coast Guard. Zawacki retired as a disabled veteran and began her work with local farmers in Hampton Roads.
When Zawacki is not working, she enjoys reading and learning new things, watching movies and listening to live music. Looking to the future, she sees happy growth for the Super Local Food Project. “We hope to expand to new farmers markets such as Oyster Point’s City Center and Buckroe Beach in Hampton. We also hope to provide local food choices and education to neighborhoods in our more urban areas or food deserts,” Zawacki says.
Zawacki and her husband want to keep food, money and business local to support the area’s people, farmers and restaurants. “I love what I do,” Zawacki says. “Find us on Facebook and come to see us!”
TO THE POINT:
Super Local Food Project
Addresses: 3611 Victoria Blvd., Hampton, VA 23661; 111 Dilts Dr., Newport News, VA 23608
Contact: Lara Zawacki
Business: Produce, gardening expertise, farmer’s market stands