Vendor Spotlight: Piemonte Provisions

Jun 28, 2021 by

By Layla Khoury-Hanold

When Sandra Sarlinga and Fabian Luján decided they wanted to start their own small business, they knew they wanted it to be food related. “As Argentinians, food is a focal point in our life,” Sarlinga says. “[It’s] the Italian side, with food and people around the table on Sunday.”

When they moved to Alamance County, North Carolina, in 2000, they discovered an equally passionate food culture and local food scene, which provided fertile ground for small batch artisanal food businesses to flourish. In 2005, they launched Piemonte Provisions, starting by selling jams and jellies to North Carolina farmers markets, including Winston-Salem, then expanding to bread and cheese. Upon moving to Floyd, Virginia in 2020, Sarlinga and Lujanand, like many small business owners, found they had to make some business pivots during the pandemic. Today, the products they sell at the Grandin Village Farmers Market reflect that evolution as well as their dual Argentinian and American South influence. To wit, you’ll find signature herb-inflected jams and jellies alongside stone-ground peanut butter, and freshly pulled mozzarella next to tubs of pimento cheese.

Roanoke locals first got a taste of Piemonte Provisions at Taste of Virginia in January 2020 and people immediately started asking if the products could be purchased locally. (At the time, Piemonte Provisions had a presence at the Floyd farmers market and had recently expanded to Blacksburg.) At least four people told her about the farmers market in Grandin Village—something that Sarlinga kept in mind. When the couple relocated to Floyd in 2020, they sought out the Grandin Village farmers market and started selling through LEAP’s online ordering in June.

“Most products we move out to the people by sampling—people taste and buy,” Sarlinga says. “We couldn’t do any sampling for a long time and at first, we didn’t have the chance to sell at the farmers market because we weren’t an essential food product.”

Once they were able to set up a table at the Grandin Village farmers market during the 2021 winter season, they were able to sample their products and share their food and story with new customers.

The jams and jellies are what started it all, and the small batch preserves with an herbal twist remain fan-favorites today. Think orange-rosemary, strawberry-lavender, merlot-thyme, or the best-selling balsamic-jalapeño. You’ll also find an excellent apple jelly, crafted with Virginia apples, which sometimes includes fruit from Sarlinga and Lujanand’s own tree.

When Piemonte Provisions was based in North Carolina, it earned a following for Lujanand’s artisan cheeses, which included hard cheeses crafted with raw milk, fresh mozzarella, and fromage blanc. But once the couple moved to Floyd, building a mobile creamery from scratch was financially prohibitive, and securing a consistent source of local milk in the quantities required was challenging. But the couple didn’t forgo cheese altogether. Luckily, you can still buy balls of fresh mozzarella at the Grandin Village Farmers Market. Try them with summer tomatoes and basil in a caprese salad, atop pizza, or melted on crostini topped with Piemonte Provisions’ sweet-savory spicy burnt tomato jam. And Sarlinga and Lujanand have leaned into their Southern roots, too, offering pimento cheeses, including one with a smoky-spicy kick.

In January, Sarlinga and Lujanand also started making and selling peanut butter. They source Virginia peanuts from Suffolk County and stone-grind the nuts in a mill, which yields a lovely texture that Sarlinga describes as “creamy, and finely chunky.” There are a variety of peanut butter flavors, including the brunch-ready cinnamon bun, crafted with cinnamon and Virginia maple syrup.

Sarlinga and Lujanand hope to continue growing Piemonte Provisions (as long as they can continue to manage it themselves) and are happy to have found another home in which to do so. “Grandin Village has been a fantastic market for us,” Sarlinga says. “We love the people; we love the vendors. We couldn’t be happier with the market.”

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