Culinary Team

Rocky Denson was born and raised in Colonial Beach, Virginia.  He is married to his best friend, Blaire, and they have four children and three grandchildren.  Rocky attended York College of Pennsylvania and earned his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and Development from Bluefield College. His parents and grandparents owned and operated Denson’s Grocery which was established in 1912.  After many years in financial services, Rocky and Blaire reopened the family business in 2011 and rebranded the grocery with a focus on specialty items and Chesapeake Bay farm to table fare. In 2013 they introduced R&B Oyster Bar.  Rocky loves good, fresh food, and has a very distinct palate. He enjoys working with local waterman and farmers to obtain the freshest ingredients for his kitchen.  He is a self-taught chef but gives much credit to travel, and the culinary influences he has been fortunate to eat and cook with over the years.  Rocky is proud of being voted Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce business of the year in 2012, 1st place in the Maryland Chef Seafood Competition for his crab cake in 2014, Best of Virginia (Virginia Living Magazine) in 2015, Maryland Seafood Festival Chef Demonstration in 2015, the Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Challenge: Fresh Catch, Seafood and Oysters in 2016, and one of the 18 Best Seafood Restaurants in Virginia in 2017.
 

Blaire Denson is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina.  She met the love of her life, Rocky in Disney World in 2000, and relocated to Virginia in 2001. Blaire and Rocky have four children and three grandchildren.  Blaire is the director of the Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time (VPOST) and works with key partners to develop, lead, coordinate, and drive the network’s initiatives. She holds her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is a member of the inaugural class of White Riley Peterson Policy Fellows at Furman University.   Blaire moonlights at Denson’s Grocery and R&B Oyster Bar.  She manages the market, catering, and all operational aspects of the business. Blaire loves children and is often found in the courtyard holding babies while their parents enjoy Rocky’s delicious cuisine. She also loves to cook and has offered her southern flair to the menu at Denson’s Grocery and R&B Oyster Bar.
 

 Shirley Mae Shirley Setliff is a Colonial Beach native and a graduate of Colonial Beach High School.  She is married to Tommy, has three children, and seven grandchildren.  Shirley has a puppy, Charlie, a kitty, Jackie, and two birds, Sugar and Spice. Shirley is the Denson's Grocery comedian and news reporter.  She joined the Denson's team in May 2011 and is the most tenured member of the team.
 David David Taylor is a Colonial Beach native and a graduate of Colonial Beach High School. He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Radford University.  David is an avid sports enthusiast and loves to cook. He spends much of his spare time researching recipes and cooking for his family and friends. David joined the team in the Summer of 2011.
 


Briana Ruzcynski joined the Denson team in 2015. She assists Shirley on the line during the day and runs the line at night. Bree takes a lot of pride in plating the delicious food Rocky and his team prepare. Bree has a daughter, Chloe, and is engaged to Brad.

  McKenzie Conway is a Junior at James Madison University. She graduated from Colonial Beach High School. Kenzie is the granddaughter of the famed Denson's Deli Queen, Shirley Setliff. Kenzie joined the Denson's team in 2014.
  Thomas Proffitt has known Rocky and Blaire his whole life, so it was only right for his first job to be at Denson's. He is a Junior at Colonial Beach High School and plays football and baseball. He joined the Denson's team in 2015.
 wayne schultz1 Wayne Schultz is a retired software engineer, having worked for Lockheed Martin for 40 years.  He has been married to Cathy for 31 years, and they are enjoying their first grandchild. Wayne is a previous native and resident of northern Virginia.  He and Cathy bought their house in McLean that he grew up in, raising their son there, and sending him to the same schools that Wayne attended in McLean.  He and Cathy moved to Ebb Tide 7 years ago and took over his parents home where he and Cathy have retired there with their 3 dogs. Wayne started working at Denson's after he got tired of eating there all the time, thinking he would earn some of the money back that he was spending there. Wayne in his off time likes to stay busy working on 'His to do list', turning wrenches, pounding nails, gardening, driving the community tractor, bush hogging the fields, and grading the roads that he maintains for the Ebb Tide community. Wayne joined the Denson team in March 2017.
 Shelby King1
Shelby King graduated from King George High School in 2015. She is a junior at Radford University, majoring in education. Shelby loves dogs and baseball. She joined the Denson team in May 2017.
  Bridget Fay has been on the Denson's catering team since 2014 and joined the restaurant team in 2017. 
  Judy Jurutka joined the Denson's team in 2017.
  Trevor Acosta is a senior at Colonial Beach High School. He joined the Denson's team in 2017.
  Michael Camlin is a junior at Colonial Beach High School. He joined the Denson's team in 2017.
  Luke Stevens is a Junior at VCU and joined the Denson's team in 2017.
  Jaimie Viers has been on the Denson's catering team since 2015. He joined the restaurant team in 2017.
  Tyler Hicks is a senior at Colonial Beach High School. He joined the team in 2017.
  Sara Goode has been on the Denson's catering team since 2016. She joined the restaurant team in 2017.

Best of Virginia 2015

  A couple of Months ago, we asked our Facebook Followers to consider voting for us in the 4th Annual 'Best of Virginia' Survey of Virginia Living Magazine... This survey was sectioned to specific areas of our Great Commonwealth. Denson's Grocery and R&B Oyster Bar is part of Virginia's Eastern Region, which includes The Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, Hampton Roads (Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk and Williamsburg) Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and the Eastern Shore. We knew it was a 'Longshot', but we thought we would participate. We are humbled, proud and extremely excited that Denson's Grocery and R&B Oyster Bar of Colonial Beach, Virginia has been named 'Best Place to Eat Lunch' in Eastern Virginia. This is the 4th year of 'BEST OF VIRGINIA', and frankly, this has taken our breath away. Virginia Living Magazine is an Upscale Magazine featuring the Virginia Lifestyle with a readership of over 500,000 Statewide. We want to give a Heartfelt Thank You to all that voted! A Select Few of the Winners have been invited to participate in the 'BEST OF VIRGINIA' Showcase at the Altria Theater (Formerly the Landmark Theater) in Richmond on June 17th. Denson's Grocery and R&B Oyster Bar has been invited and will be highlighting our FRESH Crab Cakes. We are Soooooo Proud, and cannot thank everyone enough!

 

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Testimonials

"Denson's Catered a New England style lobster boil for us as an employee appreciation event. There was no question about the freshness of the shellfish. The meal was authentic and amazing, right down to the seaweed garnish. Blaire, Rocky and their staff were punctual, friendly and helpful. My employees and their guests were all suitably impressed and not shy about telling me. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a catered seafood event." Norman Trahos


"I love your family and Denson's! We so very much appreciate all the extra special touches you and Rocky do to provide the very best customer experience that I have ever encountered, and not to mention the delicious food! I'm so glad we discovered such a wonderful gem and met you all!"
Alyson Stoffer

"I want to take a few moments to share how wonderful Rocky and Blaire made our wedding. They took a simple idea and made it so elegant, we only dreamed it could be so great. They are without a doubt the greatest hidden secret in Colonial Beach. Jeanne and I could not even imagine this event, and the food couldn't have been anymore spectacular. We are meeting with some folks that attended last week and everyone was overwhelmed with the food and its presentation. You guys are amazing!!!! Thank you for making this event ever so wonderful. Kudos to you all and your staff!!!!"
Ruth Lovelace
"You guys are AMAZING! Thank you for catering the Amber Lemons and Josh Lemons wedding on Saturday May 30th, 2015! You and Your staff were outstanding. You all were attentive, professional, always there when anyone turned around with a hors d'oeuvre or just being there to help. 
 
Let's talk food! -- UNREAL! BACON wrapped scallops, FRESH oyster shooters, crab filled filo cups and more for 'hots d'oeuvres', all were Fantastic. From the FRESH asparagus to the Chicken Marsala, everything was perfect. Being able to serve our guest the fresh / organic food was a truly added blessing.
 
Our friends and family will be talking about this wedding for years. We received countless compliments about the food. Thank you so much for all you did. You offered us the "COMPLETE" package. My husband and I truly enjoyed ourselves at our daughter's wedding knowing you had everything handled with the cake, champagne, food, and support. You guys are #1 in our books!
Thank you."
Joeanne Reohling

"I was in your store last evening and have to share my experience.  Let me start by saying “TOTALLY PERFECT”.  I entered the store to be greeted by name by Zack, Paul, and David.  That’s important to your customers.  David made a suggestion for dinner and Zack got right to the preparation.  It was, of course, wonderful.  It was really interesting when Zack asked if I would prefer a tuna steak as that is something Rock would normally do for me, but it means your team actually pays attention with all of the activity going on around them.  This is really amazing.  I would expect such service from either of you but don’t expect your team to necessarily pay that much attention to my preferences.  This means Denson’s exceeded my expectations during my shopping experience without any leadership presence.  This is evidence of the respect you both deserve from your team and your ability to highly motivate team members."

~Tony~

 
 
"The food was excellent and truly the best I have ever had at a wedding.  We really appreciated the time you took to go over what our daughter wanted and to personalize the food and beverages for our family.  Not to mention the date we selected was very challenging, and you were still able to provide an outstanding team to support our event. It was a once in a lifetime event for our family and Denson's helped to make it just fabulous!"
~Christina~
 

"It is six months after the event, but folks are still talking about our wedding. Some liked the ceremony, others liked the band, and some talk about my dad, but everyone mentions how much they liked the food! Denson’s catering did a fantastic job.  We were late coming to the table, changed our minds about several things, were unorganized, decided a few weeks before the event that we wanted another caterer to partner with Denson's to serve barbecue as an additional menu option. Blaire took every stinking thing we threw at her and seamlessly made it golden. The food was magnificent, Rocky entertained while he shucked oysters, and the staff operated professionally in the background.  At the end of the evening when everything was cleaned and packed up, my wedding coordinator said, “Thank God everything turned out perfectly”.  I responded “Yes, but we should be thanking God for Denson’s because they did all of the work.”

~Pam~

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