Then and now
In the early 80’s, while working for a large contractor and catering part-time , Marie “Rie” Meriwether Godsey, and her husband Eddie, became convinced that they could provide what the global operators could not: personal attention, real partnership, and fabulous food. They believed that hands-on ownership, which is often found in the finest restaurants, would make a difference in contract dining. In 1985, with this ideal in mind, they launched Meriwether Godsey with two accounts in Lynchburg, Virginia: Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (Rie’s alma mater) and Virginia Episcopal School. Almost entirely by word of mouth, today we are a family of over 500 talented and dedicated “owners” — managers, chefs, and service staff — and operate throughout Virginia, DC, Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Fabulous food, exceptional people
Founded on the belief that true hospitality can exist in a “cafeteria”, we have built a family of employee owners who feel the same. In an industry plagued by high turnover rates, Meriwether Godsey has consistently had staff retention rates unheard of in food services (74% and higher). We expect greatness from our employees and give them the support and opportunities they need to achieve it. In return, they are dedicated to excellence, and to us!
Our restaurant days
Rie and Eddie’s love for food led them to open two restaurants, Meriwether’s Market (1996 – 2008) and Isabella’s Italian Trattoria (1999 – 2009). Many passionate “foodies” open their own restaurants; however, few sustain success. Both were happening, cool spots featuring seasonal menus, daily specials, local ingredients, lots of experiments, and Wine Spectator Awards of excellence every year. Isabella’s continues today under former MG restaurant leaders.
With the purchase of the farmbasket in 2007, MG stepped into another market segment. A Lynchburg icon since its humble beginnings as a farm stand in 1964, this specialty gift shop and café has opened up a whole new world of both on-site and virtual retail sales.