A side effect of exploring new places is stumbling upon hidden gems.
The spots that only locals know.
The stops that have as much history as they do social connections.
And the locations where, if you find a really good one, have access to some of the best local foods as they do the best tales.
In Gloucester on the Middle Peninsula in rural coastal Virginia, one such place is Nuttall’s Store, an old country store tucked into the Ware Neck community of the county.
Serving as not only a general store, but also post office, kitchen, wine shop, souvenir store, and fishing supply, Nuttall’s Store has been a central hub for Ware Neck since the nineteenth century.
Read on for more reasons to visit before, during or after your next paddle on the Middle Peninsula.
Where Nuttall’s Store Began
Originally known as the Arthur Tabb Store in 1877, the store thrived for decades due to its use, not only as a store, but also as a community center for what was, at the time, an entirely rural region.
The store’s ties then to local steamships connected to the nearby Hockley Wharf, where they stopped while running the ports along the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Seaboard, helped it stay afloat since the very beginning.
Eventually, brothers Richard P. and H.E. Taliaferro bought the store and added a post office in the mid 1880s.
“Their business was so successful that they added two flanking wings and a living quarters to the back of the original two-story building in the 1890s,” Nuttall’s Store writes on its web site. “Even after the wharf was destroyed by the Great Hurricane of August 1933, later owners such as Rudy Nuttall, who the store is named after, maintained a strong neighborhood presence long after other country stores had gone out of business.”
The Ware Neck Store and Post Office, which houses today’s Nuttall’s Store, was placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
“Its location at a key intersection of roads in Ware Neck and its close proximity to the old public Hockley Wharf on the Ware River has enabled the Ware Neck Store and Post Office to survive for the last 140 years even as the community and commerce transitioned from the waterways to the highways,” the current ownership writes on its web site.
General Store and Deli
Today, Nuttall’s Store features the following:
- -Full wine shop that offers quarterly wine tastings and case discounts.
- -Large selection of local and national craft beers.
- -Whitley’s peanuts and gourmet food items.
- -Wallace Edwards and Sons cured pork products.
- -Custom gift baskets.
- -Ware neck t-shirts and other gifts and souvenirs.
- -Groceries and sundries, including in-season seafood from local waterways.
- -Fishing and crabbing gear.
Nuttall’s Store kitchen is under the direction of Chef Winslow (Win) Goodier CEC, AAC, who focuses on the deli, prepared foods for take home and a butcher shop that features hand-cut meats.
The deli’s daily lunch menu, available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes a crabcake sandwich (made from Chesapeake Bay crabmeat on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato and remoulade sauce), brisket bacon burger, bologna burger, pulled pork, reuben, build-your-own sandwiches and more.
How AND WHEN to Visit
Nuttall’s Store is located in Ware Neck near the famed Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, an internationally known flower farm, as well as Gloucester’s historic Main Street, the oldest living village in Virginia.
6495 Ware Neck Rd, Gloucester, Virginia 23061
Nuttall’s Store is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays.
Photos by Nuttall’s Store.