Featured Image: Mel Lhuillier | Marlin Chronicle
Not quite a restaurant, but infinitely more than a bakery, Prosperity Kitchen & Pantry strives to “inspire cozy feelings and delicious memories,” as stated on their website. In addition to Roman-style pizza, savory and sweet treats and fresh bread, the store sells convenience meals (made in-store), cheese and dips, wine and beer, snacks and jams, seeds and many small business sustainable options. A customer could pick up lunch for themselves and prepare for a dinner party in one fell swoop.
Prosperity Kitchen & Pantry originally found its footing as an overflow workspace—a place where Kevin Jamison, owner of Commune restaurant(s), and head baker Ishiah White could continue producing delectable artisan breads and pastries for their expanding business. However, Prosperity quickly found its identity within the Vibe District community.
It is a place that cultivates community. In an hour, a family popped in to grab their toddler a cookie, a business woman purchased a pizza dinner for her family, a couple came in for a date and two women caught up over savory pastries and a glass of wine. The servers (and bakers) are genuinely personable.
The interior is a naturally-lit, open design relying on a smattering of plants, the smell of their food and packages of colorful snacks to decorate the space. A counter minimally separates the patrons’ seating area from the large kitchen, and serves to display rows of baked goods. The available seating, stools, aren’t the most comfortable, but there is plenty of space to spread out inside and outdoors.
Prosperity isn’t associated with a cheesy tagline, but their brand irrefutably reflects transparency. Mass production and immediacy are not on their agenda, their famous Roman-style pizza takes three days to produce. Their process, from sourcing fresh local ingredients, to baking their vegan sourdough loaves is meant to be sustainable and delicious—no corners cut. Like many small businesses in the Vibe District, Prosperity does an excellent job of supporting local farms and highlighting seasonal ingredients. This is reflected in their menu.
Jamison returned from his time abroad in Italy, with a desire to implement Roman-style pizza in Virginia Beach. The focaccia-like, rectangle slices provide the perfect vessel for classic and adventurous flavors. Thought is put into every step of the process, with a three day fermentation developing flavor in their crust before toppings are even added. With ingredients currently available, their menu of nineteen options includes Margherita (a classic tomato and mozzarella combination), bacon, pear and blue cheese, artichoke and sausage ricotta.
Regardless of what a customer might be looking for, Prosperity provides an option to satisfy any craving. Dessert truffles are a popular quick bite, while flourless chocolate cake is a decadent gluten free option. If you are looking for breakfast options, they serve sandwiches and pastries (savory and sweet). In typical bakery fashion, they also bake cupcakes, cookies and tarts with more sophisticated flavors. Traditional chocolate chip cookies can be found next to dark chocolate merlot cookies. Additionally, if patrons want to purchase one truffle, or whole cakes and bakery goods on wholesale, all options are incredibly affordable.
The store is closed on Mondays, and open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. However, Tuesday through Saturday they remain open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Although Prosperity is dog and child friendly, they most definitely cater their service to adults, serving wine, cider and beer.