By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV
The Lewisburg Chocolate Festival kicked off at 7am with a farm to table breakfast at Hill & Holler.
Hosted by the growers of the Courthouse Farmer’s Market, it provides local farmers the opportunity to serve their products directly to local residents.
“It’s a win-win,” says organizer Mary Surbaugh. “Farmers get to showcase what they grow and let the public know that we have very good food here in Greenbrier County.”
The menu consisted of pancakes (buckwheat & regular), sausage, country ham, apples, maple syrup, chocolate gravy, and drinks.
“We started working on this a month ago with our farmers,” explains Surbaugh. “We served 200 people last year and ran out. So we are planning on 300 this year.”
Lewisburg resident Valerie LaPolla attended the breakfast. “I believe in shopping local,” she says. “Going to the farmer’s market is my main shopping each week. I always buy as much as a I can from them.”
Surbaugh says the impact of local farmers is often underappreciated. “For every $1 spent at a local farmer’s market, 90 cents stays in the local economy.”
Bill Visted runs a family farm in the Frankford area. His sausage was served at the breakfast and is available regularly at the farmer’s market.
“We sell locally wherever people want,” he says. “When I go to church each week, I take product with me that folks like to buy.”
Jody Wooton owns Hill & Holler and offered his restaurant for the farmer’s market breakfast.
“Anything we can do to support our local farmers,” he says, “we are all for it.”
They will serve pizzas the rest of the day during the Chocolate Festival and host an Easter Egg Hunt at 3pm.
“Volunteers make this possible,” Surbaugh explains. She received help from local farmers and from students with the WV School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Angela Jeon is a student from Florida who volunteered for the first time today. “I couldn’t go home for Easter weekend, so I wanted to do something to help out the community,” she says. “This has been great!”
The Chocolate Festival is a fundraiser for the United Way of Greenbrier Valley. It will conclude Saturday afternoon.