Colony Urban Farm will close its store at the end of the month.
May 31 will be the last day of business for the store.
Husband and wife Josh Pietrafeso and Allison Bowling opened Colony Urban Farm in early 2017 at 1100 Reynolda Road. In 2018, they moved to a larger space at 492 West End Blvd. across from Hanes Park.
“We want to thank the loyal customers we have had over the last two and a half years,” Pietrafeso said. “Unfortunately, we are not seeing the community support we need to keep the store running.”
Colony Urban Farm began mainly as a supply store for urban farmers — people interested in gardening, beekeeping, chicken coops and more. It also sold local food, including honey. A main feature of the store was about 30 different honeys from around the world, including a handful sold “on tap” by the pound.
When Colony moved to the larger space on West End, it incorporated more local and other food items through an informal partnership with Salem Delights, a food delivery service.
Pietrafeso is also a beekeeper and honey producer. And in the last year or so, he has expanded his Fool’s Gold brand of honey.
He said he will continue to develop his honey business. “It is growing. We now have distributors around the country,” he said.
Pietrafeso said that local fans of Fool’s Gold honey will be able to buy it at Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge. “They’ll even have my honey on tap,” he said. “They’ve been great supporters of ours.”
Pietrafeso said he received great community appreciation of his outreach and workshops on beekeeping, mushroom-growing and more.
“But people would come in to the store and pick my brain, then order things from Walmart and Amazon. That’s just happening everywhere,” he said.
Once the store closes, he’ll focus on his beekeeping for the time being. “I’m a beekeeper. That’s where my passion is. So I’ll keep doing that.”
Fans of Salem Delights products will have a new outlet this summer when Buie’s Market opens at 749 Avalon Road in the Buena Vista neighborhood, next to Diamondback Grill.
Kristin Holcomb and Stacy Doss are opening Buie’s as a neighborhood market, offering a mix of local, regional and national products.
Holcomb and her husband, Ben, along with Doss’ husband, Will, own Salem Delights.
Kristin Holcomb said that Salem Delights is closing, but that customers of Salem Delights can expect to find some of the same products at Buie’s.
She said that they decided it was best to focus on opening the store at this time. “The person who managed Salem Delights for us is moving to New York, so that kind of sped up our decision-making. It just made sense to focus on the store,” she said. “Once we get the store running properly, then we may look at having a delivery service as part of Buie’s.”