Vidalia’s — Hello Again


Melissa is trying to understand what the space should be. 

She is standing in the middle of the sun filled room, toggling between produce, baked goods, artisanal groceries, and the insanely good food being made in the kitchen to take away or eat in.  We are at Vidalia’s, the beloved market and café on West Street in Beverly Farms which today is beginning its next chapter; if only Melissa was sure of what that is.

She is sure about one thing -- keeping the spirit of Vidalia’s exactly as her mother intended.  Mimi, a lively and welcoming fixture in Beverly Farms, is retiring and Melissa, her daughter, and Melissa’s husband Glen, have been trusted to take over the space and keep it healthy and growing.  When Mimi first opened the doors to Vidalia in 2011 her vision was to have amazing fresh food, with a focus on local farming, seasonal produce, and, most importantly, community.

All of this will be part of the new Vidalia’s.  As many of you likely know, Melissa and Glen are the team behind Willow Rest, the adored daytime eatery nestled into the curve of Holly Street as you drive between Gloucester and Annisquam.  It’s amazing.  And if you have not had the deeply delicious pleasure of eating there, stop what you are doing and go; you will be so glad you did. 

And while Melissa and Glen are taking on Vidalia’s, Willow Rest will remain as it is (thank God).  

So, while the ethics of Vidalia’s will remain intact, and the general vibe as well, a few changes are in the works.  Plans are in place to push out into a large open patio space, the breakfast menu will be built out a bit to maybe include a breakfast bowl or two.  We will also see more of an all too well-kept secret at Willow Rest, Glen.  Glen!  Melissa credits him with much of the addicting tastiness that comes out of the kitchen, especially the soups. 

The soups are Glen’s specialty, and they are, in my opinion, one of the best parts about Willow Rest.  The chicken noodle soup is my go-to for anyone who is feeling the slightest bit sick; you cannot beat it.  I’ve tried.  Luckily for us, soups will be a big part of the new scene at Vidalia’s, not only hot and ready to have for lunch, but quarts to grab and go.  Beyond that, they are still figuring it out.  Melissa wants to know what everyone out there wants -- so much so that she asked for people to email with input (  I checked, she’s serious.

Melissa is clearly dedicated to preserving and celebrating Mimi’s vision for Vidalia’s.  But now that she has been given the reins, she wants to be thoughtful about how she comes to make it her own as well. 

So, what might that look like?  I know one thing for sure, it will look familiar. 

Already you see that any space she inhabits brings with it the warm and inviting touch that she and her mother share; a compassion and magnetism that have created the family that is the team of people who work with them — and those who visit.  (During our interview eight people came through the door, Melissa knew six.) 

So, visit.  And when you do, be sure to say hello. 



9 West St., Beverly Farms

Mon – Sat 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closed Sundays

(978) 998-4814

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