by Joey Phoenix
Images courtesy of Little Radish Provisions
What does it mean to eat for nourishment? It’s more than just eating healthily or choosing local and seasonal, it’s a conscious choice to treat your body with kindness and compassion. In the current environment with most people staying inside and ordering their meals online or via shopping services, nourishment can mean a number of things, and some are far more comforting than you might think.
Courtney and Gordon “Wallace” West plan to open a small business in Salem sometime this year called Little Radish Provisions. Little Radish will be a well-curated market with a selection of locally sourced produce and dairy as well as dry goods, prepared food options, and an espresso bar.
“It originally started as a coffee shop idea because we wanted a place that had nut milks that were made on-site and weren’t just boxed Almond milk,” Courtney said.
“We like simple things done well,” added Gordon. “We like consistency.”
It was during a family vacation to Cape Cod in 2017 that the two of them made a detour to Salem and fell in love with the city. Gordon had been working in New York City, Courtney in Houston, TX, but their draw to Salem made them curious about how they would be able to make their way to the North Shore. It was in this early planning that the seeds for Little Radish were planted.
“[The North Shore] has a wealth of farmers and producers in a very small space,” Courtney said. “It’s really exciting.”
The duo had launched an Investment Campaign on MainVest before Social Distancing guidelines went into effect in mid-March. While the campaign is currently paused, Courtney and Gordon and many Salem hopefuls believe that this small roadblock is just a temporary red light standing between them and their own healthy, intentional grocery store in the heart of downtown Salem.
In the meantime, Courtney and Gordon continue to meet with farmers, dream up delicious recipes, and, until the quarantine is lifted, use their knowledge to eat really well. Yet, to them, eating well doesn’t always necessitate eating healthily. It means eating in a way that can nourish not just the body but the mind as well.
“Everyone makes this assumption that we should try to eat as healthy as possible during this time,” Courtney explained, “but you have to consider what’s going on mentally, and a lot of times people want something comforting. It’s ok if you eat mac and cheese for dinner because you made it and your body thought it was good.”
For Gordon, he is reminded of a bygone era where instead of having the privilege of eating with the seasons and buying food as needed, people right now have to be a bit more resourceful in how they acquire and prepare food. And that requires a change of mindset.
“The mindset is ‘I’m going to be smart, I’m going to be resourceful, I’m going to take care of my body,” he said, “and I’m going to do it in a way that is responding to the environment around me but also being mindful of what my resources are.’”
They encourage everyone to shop local or directly from farmers where possible (Gordon recommends Common Crow Grocer in Gloucester), choose nourishment over just health, and practice kindness to themselves in these very difficult times.
Editors’ Note Stay tuned in the months to come for an update on their investment campaign and to hear more of their story, but in the meantime, Eat Well.
Little Radish Provisions’ Any Greens Pesto
Prepared by Courtney West
Pesto doesn’t just have to be made from basil, or herbs at all! Here’s an adaptable recipe that can be catered to the greens, herbs, and nuts you have on hand. If you’re using tougher greens like kale, give them a light steam first to make them tender. My favorite combos are baby spinach + cashews and flat leaf parsley + sunflower seeds.
- 2 cups total of greens and/or herbs (i.e. baby spinach, steamed kale, baby arugula, radish greens, nettles, basil, parsley, etc.)
- 1/2 cup toasted nuts or seeds (my favorites are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cashews)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or alternately Parmesan cheese if you eat it)
- zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- sea salt to taste
- 1 minced garlic clove or 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
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