Nostalgia at Nuttall’s

From crab pots to catering this country store has it all.

Long before Target and Wal-Mart ruled the world, general stores were community epicenters. A number throughout Virginia still remain vibrant hubs, providing a welcome dose of nostalgia and windows into simpler times, where people still gather to chat and shop for household odds and ends, hardware, and groceries. 

Nuttall’s Country Store, named for Rudolph Nuttall who bought it in 1947, is still bustling nearly 150 years after its founding in the small hamlet of Ware Neck in Gloucester County. It flourished for generations thanks to its profitable ties to the steamship lines that connected this part of the Middle Peninsula to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic coastline. 

The store is much the same as it always was, with “Rudy’s” original store signs, “penny” candy in glass jars, and local produce for sale in baskets. General manager Deanna Murphy made smart upgrades, adding a deli, store swag, commercial grade appliances, a coffee station, and popular Virginia-made goods like Nightingale ice cream bars and wine and craft beer. 

Another game changer came in 2019 when Chef Winslow Goodier arrived, bringing with him decades of experience in the industry and a giant network of suppliers and food service pros. He’s expanded the store’s social media reach and added specialty meat purveyors like Seven Hills in Lynchburg and Autumn Olive Farm in Waynesboro. “I want our customers to taste the difference,” he says. Goodier also exponentially expanded Nuttall’s prepared meals and catering services. Business has almost tripled. 

Despite the changes, it’s still the same store locals love. “There’s a little magic at Nuttall’s,” says Carole White, who lived in Ware Neck for 40 years and still keeps her post office box there. “Where else can you borrow a lobster pot, mail a package, meet a friend for a sandwich, buy a crab net, and pick up dinner? Plus, they have the greatest pimento cheese in the world.” NuttallStore.com


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2023 issue.

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