The Main Street Pizza Company Uses Local Ingredients
You may not think “pizza” when you hear the trendy term “farm-to-table,” but Elise Clair and Jamie Dove are working to change that. The owners of River Creek Farm in Limestone opened The Main Street Pizza Company in Johnson City and Kingsport, serving up gourmet pizza at both locations as well as a hearty breakfast five days a week in Johnson City.
“The term ‘farm-to-table’ has been held hostage,” Clair says.
“If you’re talking to a small farmer, they’re having a hard time,” Dove adds.
So sprang their desire to offer customers accessibility to locally produced food while highlighting the best of
what’s in season.
Each pizza starts with a hand-stretched New York-style crust along with a host of toppings to delight the locavore’s palate. Savor award-winning favorites, such as Thai Pie with coconut Sriracha sauce, chicken, jalapeños and other exotic flavors, or customize a pie to your own liking. The bountiful list of salads, sandwiches and made-from-scratch pastas range from traditional to the unexpected. Come breakfast, farm eggs and buttermilk biscuits comingle with creative dishes such as Appalachian Hash, which feature green beans and okra with cured meats and sauerkraut.
Bathed in natural light, the renovated early 20th-century spaces boast hardwood floors and exposed brick, a nod to days gone by. It’s this sort of revitalization stimulating small-town Main Streets across America these days.
Clair remembers the community already felt neighborly and alive when they incorporated the agricultural side of food three years ago, “it began snowballing,” she says.
The 5-acre River Creek Farm, which gets its name from its location at the merging of the Nolichucky River and Little Limestone Creek, soon grew with 42 more acres about 2 miles upstream. They also partnered with area nonprofits such as Build It Up East Tennessee, which teaches small-market gardeners how to monetize their crops.
The farm now joins forces each growing season with more than 25 other small farmers to fuel the restaurant’s resources and feed its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members.
“Out of necessity and camaraderie, we face the same adversarial variables and have become fast friends,” Dove says of his new network of farmers.
“It’s the only thing that keeps you sane when you’re feeling overwhelmed – when people come by and say that they appreciate what you’re doing,” Clair says.
Embracing what the couple calls a “local food lifestyle” is truly key.
“I need to stay busy. Chaos doesn’t bother me. We keep trying to do neat stuff and people seem to respond,” Dove says.
“We’re always trying to figure out having a fun time here on the farm,” Clair says, laughing.
This is one couple that loves what they do, and it shows.
If You Go...
300 E. Main St. in Johnson City
Hours: Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. themainstreetpizzacompany.com
242 E. Main St. in Kingsport
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.