Croftburn Market treasures

By Posted on Mar 23 2015 | By

One stop shopping for fine dining at home 

FullSizeRender (1)Characterizing the Croftburn Market as a butcher shop is like calling the Taj Mahal a building. Both are technically correct but belie the treasures held within.

The small Culpeper shop packs a big punch.

Quality locally raised and naturally fed beef, lamb and pork are available five days a week at the market. And if you leave without taking a tour of the rest of the store your dinner table will be disappointed.

The four-year-old business embodies farm-to-table freshness while supporting up a dozen local farms. The shop is a farmers market on steroids. It is opened 37 hours a week and features meats and a variety of other locally produced foodstuffs.

“We want to give people something different than what’s available in the grocery stores,” owner Andrew Campbell said. “It’s a store front for a number of local businesses instead of products just from our farm.”

Campbell conceived the idea for the market as an alternative to selling his farm beef exclusively to restaurants, farmers markets and other wholesale venues. The question was “how can we realize a little bit more from our animals” than simply selling wholesale.

The Campbell family operated a farm in the area for many years before opening the market. He realized there was a demand for naturally raised beef, chicken and pork that had not been raised on antibiotics, growth hormones, preservatives and other additives.

“The grocery stores sell meat that comes mostly from feedlots out west and fed all those additives because that’s what the U.S. system does to get weight on the animals quicker and keep them from getting sick. Our local meat is not raised in that manner.IMG_0899

“We grind fresh hamburger everyday and make a total of a dozen different sausages and also hot dogs; steaks and roasts are cut to order. The glass display cases are the first thing customers see when entering the shop. Proteins are our main focus.”

But not by protein alone does man survive so when your main entrée has been selected its time to swing to the right side of the store and select pastas, sauces or seasonally available fresh vegetables to accompany your repast.

And while animal protein takes center stage, fresh and fresh frozen fish is also available. And if hors d’oeuvres or snacks are on your grocery list, don’t forget to peruse the selection of cheeses, jerky, salamis, jams, jellies and more.

Local eggs, milk and other dairy products round out the food selections.

Most gourmands believe that good food should be accompanied by a good adult beverage. Such shoppers need to pivot left in the shop and head toward the wine and beer section.

“We try not to carry beer and wine that you can find elsewhere,” Campbell said. So while Bud Light is not on the shelves, a plethora of 75 different craft beers are. Virginia’s reputation for quality beer production has accelerated in the last decade and many of the best bottlings are sold at Croftburn; the rest of the selections are national and internationally known offerings.

IMG_0900For lovers of the fermented grape, an estimated 75 different wines are for sale. Selections hail from Virginia, the U.S. and worldwide.  Prices range from $9 to $30 a bottle but average in the $9 to $13 range. Campbell uses the quality-to-value ratio in selecting the wines.

Often on Fridays beer tastings are featured and on most Saturdays wine tastings help shoppers make that all important buying decision; “What are we drinking with dinner?”

Customer loyalty
Asked what skills he has acquired since opening the shop Campbell said, “It’s been a learning experience. I did not have any retail experience coming into this. It’s been interesting to develop a product mix and figuring out what people want and give them something they can’t find elsewhere.”

He goes on the say the business has been emotionally rewarding too. “I take a lot of satisfaction in repeat customers. When someone is willing to come back to a place—not once or twice but regularly—to spend their dollars and feed their family the products they buy at our store, it gives me the satisfaction we are doing something right.”

For shoppers who have not had a chance to taste Croftburn Market’s meats, Campbell invites them to the Gnarly Hops and Barley Fest in Culpeper on April 25. “We’ll be there grilling our sausages and brats.”

The shop is located at 16178 Rogers Rd, Culpeper. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For complete information on their product line and operating hours visit:


John’s pick of the monthCroftburn wine

Gran Passione Rosso 


One of the more popular red wines at Croftburn Market is this Italian delight. It is a deeply-colored blend of Merlot and Corvina produced in the Veneto region. It is full-bodied, displaying a fine balance between silky tannins and structured acidity. On the palate, generous flavors of red and black fruit predominate.

The wine is created by drying a portion of the grapes in the sun and fermenting the raisins to release the wine’s unique flavors. It is a perfect accompaniment to the prime cuts of beef or pork that are available in the shop.   


Published in the March 19, 2015 edition of the Culpeper Times.

Categories : WINE ARTICLES