Restaurant News

13 Locally Owned Grocery Stores around Boston Where You Can Avoid Supermarket Stress

Shop online or from a safe social distance to stock up on food and sundries—and support these small businesses in need.


Signs at the ready to direct customers to Safe Supply, a touchless shopping experience outside at Bow Market. / Emily Tirella Photography

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, anxious shoppers are depleting the shelves of major grocery stores all over the country—though supply chain experts say these shortages are not the new normal (not yet, at least). That’s reassuring, but in the meantime, you can still avoid stressful supermarket scenes—and support economically vulnerable local business owners—by spending your money at small markets instead of big-box retailers. Like the restaurants that are offering takeout and delivery, these stores are adhering to best practices when it comes to safety, like supplying sanitizer to shoppers and enforcing social distancing capacities. Many have bolstered their online ordering and delivery systems, as well. From Watertown to West Roxbury, check out these 12 local shops for everything from fresh produce, to fancy cheeses, meats, snacks—and yes, toilet paper too.

Allium Market

Located in Coolidge Corner, owner Talia Glass’s café and specialty shop remains open daily with café drinks to order—and any tips received are going into a fund for laid-off staff. If you’re comfortable shopping at a safe social distance, you’ll find shelves full of artisan snacks, cheeses, olive oils, beans, condiments, tinned fish, and more. Call-ahead phone orders and curbside pickup is also available, as well as gift cards, online ordering, and free delivery. The staff has packed up convenient and fun packages like a cheese basket, paella kit, and cocktail necessities, too. Current hours are Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

1330 Beacon St., Suite 105, Brookline, 617-278-1486, alliummarket.com.

American Provisions

Both the Southie and Ashmont locations of Andy Fadous and Matthew Thayer’s neighborhood grocer, bottle shop, and deli remain open, though exact hours are updated daily on social media and the number of in-store shoppers is being limited. Curated gift boxes—like a $150 “survival” case of different wines—are available to order online, along with gift cards; deli sandwiches, meanwhile, are available via Postmates. In store, along with the usual selection of top-shelf wines and cheeses, and local pantry staples and perishables, the kitchens at both locations are making additional prepared food options like grilled vegetables, whole roasted chicken, meatballs, grain salads, and more. Call ahead to either location for curbside pickup.

613 East Broadway, South Boston, 617-269-6100; 1971 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, 617-514-4599, americanprovisions.com.

Bacco’s Wine and Cheese

This Back Bay boutique is open with spirits held high. Bob Bacco is keeping the store stocked for socially distant shopping, and is also updating his web store with select products available for local delivery or on-site pickup, spanning a range of items from cheeses and crackers, to nuts and chocolate, salami, wines, beer, whiskey, and more. Phone and email orders are also welcome for curbside pickup.

31 Saint James Ave., Back Bay, Boston, 617-574-1751, baccoswineandcheese.com.

Boston Public Market

The Haymarket-area’s local food hall is closed to the public through April 5, so that the non-profit Boston Public Market Association can focus on amping up online sales and delivery options. So far, the online selections include Stillman’s and Siena Farm produce, Chestnut Farms meats and eggs, Boston Smoked Fish and Red’s Best seafood, and much more. Beginning the week of March 23, several BPM vendors will be setting up shop on the market’s outdoor plaza (along Surface Road) select days, as well—check out social media for daily updates about that.

100 Hanover St., Boston, 617-973-4909, bostonpublicmarket.org.

Bow Market: Safe Supply

Union Square gathering place Bow Market has largely closed amid the public health crisis, but several of the independent food businesses located there are open for online orders, takeout, and delivery. Plus: Bow Market vendors are also teaming up on outdoor, touchless, prescheduled shopping experiences, called Safe Supply: Make a half-hour appointment to shop for local fish, meats, produce, staples, and specialty products like macarons and pierogi on select dates. Vendors will handle and bag all of the products. Finally, Bow Market’s on-site local grocery and CBD shop, In Season Food Shop, is open by appointment only, though it’s stocked with local vegetables, eggs, drinks, provisions like honey and hot sauce, and more. If you’re inclined to stay home, check out In Season owner Bobby McLean’s online shop, which also features gift cards for future groceries.

1 Bow Market Way, Somerville, bowmarketsomerville.com. In Season Food Shop: 617-764-3387, inseasonfoodshop.com.

City Feed & Supply

David Warner has been serving the Jamaica Plain community with his organic-oriented grocery store since the late ’90s. Its main Centre Street store remains stocked with organic produce, local eggs and dairy, coffee by the pound, frozen local products like Jaju Pierogi, and pantry items. It’s open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. (Note: Deli service, as well as the smaller City Feed market on Boylston Street JP, are closed for now.)

672 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-553-4822, cityfeedandsupply.com.

Curds & Co.

This “21st century cheese shop,” physically located in Brookline Village, has always offered online resources for cheese lovers, such as the Curdlist app that proprietors Jenn and Matt Mason created for customers to keep track of their favorite fromages. But in these uncertain times, they’ve also expanded their online ordering platform. Choose among provisions like fresh pastas, canned beans, sauces, and more (along with cheeses and proper pairings) for curbside pickup, and stay tuned for direct delivery coming soon. Meanwhile, Curds & Co. also delivers via third-party apps Caviar and Mercato.

288 Washington St., Brookline, 617-879-0565, curdsandco.com.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s Fresh Pasta

Dave’s Fresh Pasta

Call in an order to fill your freezer with pints of sauces, fresh and frozen pastas, and more house-made prepared foods, of which owner Dave Jick and team are ramping up production to keep serving the community. While the store is closed to in-person shoppers, the coolers and shelves remain stocked with fresh produce, eggs, cheese, ice cream, breads, beer, and more. Call ahead with your order for curbside pickup and even free local delivery for orders of $30 and up. The Davis Square shop is taking orders weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

81 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-623-0867, davesfreshpasta.com.

Formaggio Kitchen

Now with three locations in Cambridge and Boston, Valerie and Ihsan Gurdal have offered a robust selection of cheese and charcuterie, produce, wine and beer, and specialty foods for more than 40 years. The flagship Huron Village location is closed to in-person shopping, but is accepting call-ahead orders for curbside pickup and local delivery. Both the Kendall Square and South End locations have social distancing policies in place for in-person shoppers, and also offer curbside pickup and delivery for preorders. Formaggio also ships around the country. Hours right now are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays).

244 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-4750; 94 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617-714-5758; 268 Shawmut Ave., South End, Boston, 617-350-6996, formaggiokitchen.com.

Greek International Food Market

This West Roxbury grocer has been a go-to for Mediterranean specialty products since 2009. In light of the current public health crisis, though, owner Katerina Iliades is expanding her inventory to include more everyday staples like fresh produce, breads, dairy and juices, and cleaning supplies. Rest assured, you’ll still find a large selection of imported oils, grains, and beans, plus frozen spinach pies, marinated meats and sausages. While the in-store shopping hours have been shortened to 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, an online shop will ship nonperishables to your door, and prepared foods are also available via DoorDash. You can also email to place an order for curbside pickup.

5204 Washington St., West Roxbury, 617-553-8038, madfeta.com.

Neighborhood Produce

With a unique business model focused on affordable produce, this small grocer is a respite from the chaotic aisles at big-box stores. There are also grains, beans, and more in bulk, but owner Matt Gray kindly asks shoppers to leave their reusable containers at home right now. Besides edible staples, the Winter Hill shop is also fully stocked with necessities like toilet paper and hand soap. It’s currently open Thursday-Monday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and stay tuned for information about online ordering and delivery.

415 Medford St., Somerville, 617-702-2811, nbrhoodproduce.com.

Russo’s Produce

For decades, Tony Russo’s Watertown market has been a go-to shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, bakery items, cheese and meats, flowers and garden items, and more. It remains open, and also offers delivery via Mercato. The staff is also now curating special Russo Boxes for curbside pickup. Finally, Russo’s has added an extra hour and a half of service each morning from 6-7:30 a.m., a specifically delineated period for senior citizens to get their shopping done.

560 Pleasant St., 617-923-1500, russos.com.

Savenor’s Butcher Shop

It’s not just prime cuts of beef, pork, poultry, sausages, and more locally raised meats that are available at Ron Savenor’s 80-year-old staple. Both the Cambridge and Boston locations remain open daily (though the Cambridge location is delivery-only on Monday and Tuesday) and stocked with tons of produce, provisions like house-made stock, and even toilet paper and coffee filters. Savenor’s also offers local delivery via Mercato.

92 Kirkland St., Cambridge, 617-576-6328; 160 Charles St., Beacon Hill, Boston, 617-723-6328, savenorsmarket.com.


This post was updated Tuesday, March 25, with the latest details about shopping locally.