Eat Fresh, Eat Local at Palmyra Real Food Emporium

Tom Maurer

The Palmyra Real Food Emporium, owned by Tom Maurer, is a store for people that understand their health and wellness begins with food. Shopping at the Emporium, a gem where the community can come to buy fresh and buy local, is an experience worth having to buy food worth eating.

The efforts of the staff focus on providing the healthiest, most nutrient-dense, minimally processed, fresh foods at a fair price. “Our goal has been, and still is, to provide the widest selection of foods that meet our high standards and are consistent with our mission,” states Maurer.

This philosophy brought the opening of the Emporium to fruition in 2010 with fresh produce, raw milk, pastured eggs, baked goods and dry foods such as beans, peas and lentils. As interest grew, choices of meat, chicken and fish were added and now include local, frozen grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs. Frozen seafood features salmon as whole fillets, portions, burgers and smoked salmon ravioli.

Community interest and sales increased through the years leading up to 2015, when the Emporium added The Local Butcher, a meat shop selling fresh, local, beef and pork, steaks, bacon, sausage and more cut to order. Brined and stuffed pork chops, specialty burgers and imported artisan cheeses are also available for purchase. Over the years, Palmyra has added a line of their own fermented foods: cabbage, cucumbers, snow peas, green beans and kimchi, all made at the Emporium.

The fresh seafood comes from a 137-year-old, family-owned company that sells mainly to high-end restaurants. The catch is delivered early Thursday mornings, with at least two fresh seafood items each week, and is sold fresh until Saturday afternoon. At the end of each week, items are vacuum sealed and frozen for customers that want to stock their own freezers. As volume increases, a larger fresh seafood selection will be available. “Customers tell us that they do not detect a difference in quality when they purchased a vacuum sealed product,” notes Maurer.

The new Red Shale Ridge Winery tasting room and retail sales area opened on February 16. The Emporium has spent six years creating a local source for high-quality foods, and added the winery to provide the best Pennsylvania wines to complement their cheeses, meats and seafood. Red Shale Ridge features seven red, 10 white and eight fruit wines, including dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet varieties.

Selecting, buying and selling fresh, local products is a way of life at the Emporium; a way to embrace the community’s choice of buying, eating and cooking fresh, local foods. According to Maurer, food is far too important for health and well-being to delegate the regulation and control of its production and processing to the government or large, multinational corporations. “We at the Palmyra Real Food Emporium want to control the quality and availability of our food. The Emporium is our answer to regaining control of our food system,” he explains. “We view the Emporium as a resource that serves our friends, neighbors and community, and we invite everyone to join us in promoting a return to fresh food consumption and a vibrant local economy.”

Healthy living and a healthy planet rest upon the same foundation the Emporium is built upon. Feel good, live simply, laugh more, shop locally and spread the word about the good things that are happening at Palmyra Real Food Emporium.

Admission is free at a grand opening for the tasting room on Apr. 7 and 8. Location: 707 E. Broad St., Palmyra. For more information, call 717-383-0028 or visit and

Gisele Rinaldi Siebold is a contributing writer to Natural Awakenings South Central edition. Connect with her at

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