In an about face by the Tisbury selectmen, Elio Silva’s Vineyard Grocer is fully licensed to sell food prepared on the premises, following a quick and unanimous vote Tuesday.


The Martha’s Vineyard Commission has approved the expansion of Vineyard entrepreneur Elio Silva’s new grocery store planned for State Road.

Last year the commission approved Mr. Silva’s plans to consolidate his two businesses, Vineyard Grocer and Tisbury Farm Market, at the location that most recently housed Island Home Furnishings. There are two buildings on the property and Mr. Silva had planned to demolish and rebuild the front building, expanding the footprint of the complex from 5,800 to 7,400 square feet.



Entrepreneurship is in Elio Silva’s genes. Growing up in the landlocked, coffee-rich state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, he worked beside his father as he grew a small grocery into a major supermarket. In his 22 years on the Vineyard Mr. Silva has imported the lessons and work ethic ingrained in him during that time to the two stores he runs on State Road in Vineyard Haven: Tisbury Farm Market and Vineyard Grocer. He has also imported some delicious Brazilian coffee. Last week the Martha’s Vineyard Commission approved Mr.

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission voted without dissent on Thursday night to approve a plan for a large new grocery store on State Road in Vineyard Haven that will consolidate the two businesses owned by Elio Silva, Vineyard Grocer and Tisbury Farm Market. The commission had fast-tracked its review of Mr. Silva’s plan for the property that now houses Island Home Furnishings on State Road.

After the approval Mr. Elio thanked the commission and summarized his business philosophy.


When Elio Silva quietly opened his State Road store the Tisbury Farm Market last fall with a limited stock of coffee, yucca and a few more low-cost products, he began expanding immediately — responding to customer requests to include gourmet and organic produce and substantially undercutting Island competitors in the process.

Meanwhile, down the road in a red barn currently housing a signless, nameless Brazilian store, he has added a large basement kitchen, hired several chefs and is buying in product for a new gourmet grocery and health food store.

Elio Silva, owner of the Tisbury Farm Market in Vineyard Haven, knows his beans. He grew up on his father’s coffee farm in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Moving to the Vineyard in 1988, he purchased a roasting machine, founded the MV Coffee Company three years later, and has roasted his beans here ever since.

“A lot of times people look at coffee beans as a very simple thing, but it’s very complex,” he says.