PROVIDENCE — When Darby Eames opened her first natural foods store on the Cape in Dennisport in 1978, it was ahead of its time selling cruelty- and chemical-free cosmetics, macrobiotic staples, and dried fruits and grains in bulk.
Fast forward to present day, and her daughter, Rory Eames, has since taken over the store, Rory’s Market and Kitchen, and with a dream to expand from their 800-square-foot original location to now a 6,000-square-foot storefront in Providence. It’s bringing downtown residents a much-needed grocer with a space for fresh meals and cold-pressed juices.
“I’m a big believer that you can solve all of your problems by sitting down at a table and eating a good meal with someone,” Eames told the Globe.
Rory’s is slated to open this winter on the ground floor of the newly developed $54 million Nightingale building at 113 Washington St. Rory’s, which is still an independently and woman-owned organic grocery store based on Cape Cod, will take up nearly half of the retail space in the building that was recently constructed for mixed use (143-unit apartments upstairs with retail space below) by Cornish Associates, Nordblom Co., and Boston Andes Capital LLC. Prior to construction, the space was a parking lot.
“Downtown residents have been asking for a grocery store, and we are excited to bring Rory’s Market and Kitchen to the neighborhood. Within blocks, residents, those working downtown, and visitors to the city will have an easy walk to pick up organic groceries, fresh bread, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and more,” said Cornish Associates’ founder Buff Chace. “With tables available as well, Rory’s is not just a grocery store, it’s a gathering spot.”
Eames told the Globe that before the pandemic, she was looking at expanding into a third location in Boston, but “it just didn’t feel right.” It was while she was helping deliver groceries recently that she decided to sign a lease for in Nightingale building in Providence.
“I knew it was the space when I saw it. And I want to be part of building up a community,” she said.
At Rory’s, Eames said they’ll bolster a menu similar to their sister locations on the Cape, including a juice and smoothie bar with options such as the “Lemon Luster” elixir for $8 with coconut water, lemon, ginger, agave, and cayenne, or a “Gold Goddess” cold-pressed juice with grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, ginger, and turmeric for $10.
They will also have grain bowls, such as the “Roaring Rice Bowl” with kale, garbanzo beans, corn, peppers, onions, wild rice, sautéed in jerk marinade and topped with avocado and lime crema. Their “Crunchy Verde” salad will have romaine lettuce, fajita chicken, avocado, red onion, cherry tomato, roasted corn, crushed corn chips, and a house-made salsa verde dressing.
Eames’s favorite part: Breakfast will be served all day.
“The amount of bacon, egg, and cheeses we make is offensive for an organic store,” she said, along with various types of oversized avocado toast, wellness shots, house coffee (including one with CBD oil) and açai and dragon fruit bowls.
“The vision that I see in downtown is exactly what I want to be a part of ― everything about it from the culture to the people,” said Eames.