Keeping it fresh in Winston-Salem

March 01
05:00 2018

By Busta Brown

The Business of the Month is The Village Produce and Country Store, 4219 N. Liberty St. in Winston-Salem.

I sat down with owners Jerry Anderson and his wife, Paula McCoy, to talk about why they saw the need to bring a fresh produce store to the Twin City.

“We knew that there were many conversations in the city of Winston-Salem around food deserts and food scarcity, and we noticed that this is a food desert because if you’re a mile away from a major grocery store, then that’s considered a food desert.”

The Village Produce and Country Store promotes healthy eating, by providing customers with a variety of foods that give them the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They believe that a healthy diet full of nutrients makes you feel great, have more energy, improve your outlook and stabilizes your mood.

“We thought that if we could provide fresh produce to this community, that it would be very beneficial.”

McCoy and Anderson visited other stores to see what they provided. “Most of it is sugary items like sodas, potato chips, and other things that are very unhealthy for you,” McCoy said.

Anderson gave insight on the most convenient places to get unhealthy foods. “Food deserts are typically around bus stops in low-wealth communities. Bus stops are magnets for convenient stores. They open very early in the morning, catching the student traffic.”

He continued with some eye-opening insight. “Convenient stores only sell four things: sugar, salt, alcohol and tobacco. We thought about children starting their day with those non-nutritious items. They won’t have the proper brain functions, and we wanted to do something to change that.”

The power couple are members of the Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce, which visits different small black businesses to see what’s needed and how they can help support those needs. The more I listened to Jerry and Paula, they made it clear that what they were doing was more about love for the communities, and less about money. The Village Produce and Country Store is located in the Ogburn Station section of the city. McCoy said they offer the highest quality of “farm fresh” produce to its customers, and to create awareness of eating to live.

The biggest complaint I hear about eating healthier on a consistent basis is it’s too expensive.

“We try to keep our prices affordable, and so far, it’s working pretty good.” Paula and Jerry truly believe in supporting the community as well, by inviting local musical artists to come showcase their talents in the store at no cost. “It really creates a really great environment,” Paula said.  Local organizations can hold meetings there as well.

Jerry is also working with city’s Chamber of Commerce to bring awareness to the businesses in the Ogburn Station community.

“I was invited to participate in a conversation with Smith Reynolds Airport regarding bringing commerce to this neighborhood,” he said.

Check out more of my interview with Jerry Anderson and his wife, Paula McCoy, to learn about all the different events they’re planning to make Ogburn Station a thriving community. One event Jerry is excited about is “Ogburn Nights”; you’re going to dig it. 

Companies interested in becoming a Business of the Month should apply at

This feature is sponsored by the Winston-Salem Branch of the NAACP, Winston-Salem Urban League, Triad Minority Business Expo and The Chronicle.

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