If you’ve found yourself traveling from Reynolda Road toward downtown Winston-Salem lately, you have likely noticed the crisp white building at 395 West End Blvd with its welcoming outdoor seating, ample parking, and throngs of happy shoppers hanging about.
What the heck is everyone doing there and why do they look so darn content?
My guess is that they just sat a spell at the delightful bar inside Poppyseed Provisions! Part neighborhood market, part local product boutique, and 100% friendly, Poppyseed Provisions is exactly what the West End – and all of Winston-Salem – has been yearning for!
Which is exactly what Joe and Jodi Williams realized when they renovated the 1960s-era building and welcomed Fiddle & Fig, Lavender & Honey, and Alkali Hair Studio. Truth be told, Joe Williams, President of LMI Builders Inc., then realized he needed somewhere to enjoy a beverage while his wife Jodi supported the retail establishments in the West End. One thing Joe and Jodi knew they didn’t want was the “bar scene,” and this is apparent from the open-air warmth of the seating area inside Poppyseed Provisions. While Isabella and I chatted at the bar, I sipped an organic iced tea that I got from the cooler, and my husband took his Sweetwater 420 IPA to one of the patio tables outside. I had brought home a Canteen corn dip from a visit earlier that day, and on our later visit, Hubs couldn’t resist a container of locally made pimento cheese. You can’t get much further from the “bar scene” than that.
Not only was the concept of a reimagined general store a stroke of genius, but hiring Isabella Diniz to manage it ensures that customer service will remain a top priority. Originally from Brazil, Isabella and the team of six employees welcome shoppers (and canine companions!) with big smiles and an easy charm that gives one the impression that Poppyseed Provisions has been around for years! I asked Isabella what they found to be the most challenging aspect of opening the store this past April. “Figuring out what products people are expecting to find,” she said. Judging by the atmosphere during my visits, mission accomplished.
Isabella Diniz, General Manager
Before Isabella and I started to get to know each other, I enjoyed a conversation with a woman who had walked down from her home on Brookstown Avenue to grab a couple of bottles of white wine for the company she had dropping in that evening. She was clearly delighted with finding her “go-to” Sauvignon Blanc just steps from her home! Isabella confirmed that folks from the West End neighborhood have been visiting Poppyseed Provisions regularly since day one. They love the choice of local products and unique, prepackaged food in the cooler. Not to mention the cool, collaborative vibe that emanates in the courtyard and even the parking lot! The cohesive design of the four businesses that brought this building back to life is both stylish and welcoming. Add to the mix Poppyseed Provision’s occasional live music event or food truck visit, and your weekend is planned for you!
Jodi Williams, Owner
Looking ahead, Isabella shares that Poppyseed Provisions is planning to add an online shopping option. Although a lazy afternoon peruse, sip and shop is my recommended way to experience Poppyseed Provisions, undoubtedly the convenience of being able to order from their vast array of goodies and then just pick it up on your way home is sure to be a success!
Above all, this writer recommends that you plan a visit to Poppyseed Provisions at 395 West End Boulevard at your first opportunity. But until then, you’ll also find them at www.poppyseedprovisions.com, www.facebook.com/PoppyseedProvisions, and, if you’re curious like I was, you’ll find the furry friend named Poppy who inspired the name at: www.instagram.com/poppyseedprovisions.