RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One thing missed by many during the pandemic was the opportunity for sampling food at grocery stores. On Saturday at The Market at 25th in Richmond’s East End, vendors had the chance to set up in the store to give samples of their products again.

The Super Summer Sampling event began at 11 a.m. and lasted until 2 p.m. to celebrate the return of in-store samples. The event featured several products from local and regional vendors including Robbins Cellar, AR’s Hot Southern Honey, and Richlands Dairy.

One of the vendors, Kimberly Knight, brought her products from Gimme Pound to give shoppers a taste of fresh pound cake.

“It’s very important to see what their reaction is and how they’re enjoying it,” Knight said. “I love hearing the stories of everyone who tastes the pound cakes and how it reminds them of their grandparents or that family member who can cook.”

The experience was not lost on Ames Russell, the Founder of AR’s Hot Southern Honey.

“70% of people who taste my products, buy them,” Russell said. “So sampling is a very important part of my program. In the past year, we’ve not been able to do this. This is actually my first time doing a sampling at Market at 25th Street.”

Russell Hirshon of Maka Superfood was ecstatic to give samples of his superfood drinks again.

“Sampling is the most important aspect of it because people get to try a product that they had no idea about,” Hirshon said. “For the last year and a half, people have not had the opportunity to experience life that they thought was normal.”