Shop Small Business Saturday in Farmville – What are you Waiting FOR?!
Who says you need to drive all the way to Richmond or the big box stores to complete your holiday shopping needs?! Forget about Amazon, or driving an hour out of your way to the big cities, come to downtown Farmville and support your friends and neighbors during Small Business Saturday this weekend on November 26, 2016. There are plenty of great locally-owned shops to find what you need for everyone on your list. What are you waiting for?! Grab your cooler, your keys, and let’s head to a few of my favorites, shall we? (Trust me – you are going to want that cooler…)
12 Locally-Owned Businesses to Visit on Small Business Saturday:
- Our shopping starts in Uptown Farmville (i.e., North side of town – ever since visiting Emily in NYC two summers ago I have been calling it Uptown, it sounds so much more chic don’t you think?!). There is plenty of on-street parking as well as several public lots scattered around the area to make your shopping convenient. It’s early, so let’s start with a drink stop at Uptown Cafe. Although this is one of the newer shops in town, it has quickly become a local favorite. With great food, a comfortable interior, and a friendly staff, it is no wonder! We locals enjoy coming in with our laptops, ordering a seasonal latte and a bite to eat, then hunker down to work away in our home away from home (did I mention the free WiFi?). I love stopping by on Thursdays for Open Mic Night as well, jointly sponsored with Buffalo Creek Guitar. The gift cards will be a great gift for my daughter Logan since this is her FAVORITE restaurant in town.
- With drink in hand, let’s head to Penelope’s, a boutique right across the street in Uptown. For those on your list that collect charms and fashion jewelry – this is your shop! Beyond the jewelry, they carry some of the most comfortable outfits I have ever purchased. Their items are always unique, not like your larger stores where everyone will be wearing your new favorite item.
- Right next door, continuing Uptown, is Poplar Hall Antiques. I don’t know about you, but my husband is the ABSOLUTE most difficult person to shop for on my list (when I think I have a great gift idea, he buys it for himself before I get the chance, OR the things he likes are WAY out of my price range – like a Rolex – please!). I have had great luck the last few years finding things for him in here that he didn’t know he wanted until he unwrapped them, like the vintage cigar ashtray on a cast iron stand last year. And the prices are very reasonable and didn’t break my bank!
- Let’s cross the street now and hit J Fergeson Gallery. Sandwiched between High Bridge Plaza and Walker’s Diner, the Gallery is chock full of one-of-a-kind items. This is the perfect place to find an item for my NYC-living hipster daughter.
- On the corner, we reach the Sleeping Bee. No matter the time of year, this is my go-to stop for unique gift items, and perfect during the holidays for the person that has everything on your list. We have a tradition of buying unique ornaments for each of our children every year, and the Sleeping Bee is usually where I can find them the perfect one to fit their personality.
- On the other side of the street is Ashby Antiques, another one of my stops every time I am in downtown, and I do mean every time! This is in part due to the shop’s contents, but also
because of the shop’s owners, Ann and Barbara. Both ladies are Cumberland County residents, and these ladies know their stuff when it comes to antiques and collectibles! A stop in their store is always like walking into my Grandma Lugar’s or Uncle Ray’s attic – full to the brim with all sorts of treasures waiting to be uncovered. These ladies are constantly searching for new items to add to their endless collection, with some of my favorite finds dating back to pre-colonial US of A!!!! They also have another location on Route 60 in Cumberland County, but we will save that for another blog…
- A few more doors and we come to Mainly Clay, a local artisan that also provides classes with – you guessed it – clay as the medium. Pam’s class offerings include both wheel and hand-built options, as well as one-day and multi-session offerings. There is also a gallery for another selection of unique gift items. The classes will make a perfect gift for my oldest son!
- We will walk a little farther up to the next block to visit Herf House Cigars. Another newer addition to downtown, Uncle Mikey has a wide variety of cigars and tobacco to choose from, a perfect gift for my husband (and goes nicely with his vintage ashtray from last Christmas). One of the store’s biggest attractions for many of it’s clients is the hookah lounge, located on the back side of the store.
- Our last stop on historic Main Street is Red Door 104, another newer addition and local artisan that offers classes for all ages. Audrey, the owner, and her parrot will greet you when you enter this magical shop, and whisk you away to your inner child! A certificate for classes is perfect for both my boys and will keep the holidays alive a bit longer for them (who wouldn’t want that?!). And – for your favorite girlfriends – what about a private painting party together after the holidays are over??? Sign me up!
- By now, your stomach must be growling. Let’s head back up the street to Charley’s Waterfront Cafe to grab a late lunch (we are at #10 by the way – we must have been shopping for hours!!!!). Another local favorite nestled into an old tobacco warehouse, Charley’s will nourish your body with fine food, your soul with a nostalgic glimpse of the past, and your heart with its beautiful interior and friendly staff – all of which will bring you back over and over. The daily specials are always a good choice. Since our day is filled with shopping, I also recommend getting a quart of the Roasted Red Pepper and Crab Soup (or two) to go. Now there will be no cooking at the end of the day either – a win-win if you ask me! (PS~this is what the cooler was for…you’re welcome!)
- With our bellies full and our arms loaded with packages, let’s get back in our car and head east on Third Street to Buffalo Creek Guitar, your stop for the musically inclined on your list (don’t forget to put your soup in the cooler … again, you’re welcome! :)). With instruments, lessons, and a recording studio, Gary will help you find something for both the novice and the skilled musicians on your list, no matter your price range. And don’t forget to bring them over to Uptown Cafe on Thursday night for the Open Mic Night to show off their new skills!
- Our last stop will be B & M Greenhouse to bring home some of our own holiday cheer. Chris grows the ABSOLUTELY MOST BEAUTIFUL poinsettias you have ever seen, Now, I must tell you – I have never been a poinsettia fan, in fact I am more of an anti-poinsettia person. All I had ever seen until meeting Chris were the spindly, tall, dejected-looking things that are labeled poinsettias in the big box stores. And then, years ago a dear friend brought me one from B & M, and converted me hook, line and sinker! You HAVE NOT SEEN a poinsettia until you stop here – I promise you will not be disappointed!
With your car full and your list checked, it’s time to head on home. On your way out of town (heading North in my case), don’t forget to
stop by the High Bridge Plaza to check out the Community Christmas tree while driving out of town. With any luck, it will be dark and the tree will be lit!
While you are relaxing, enjoying your crab soup and a nice glass of Cabernet (yes – you are welcome – you can stop thanking me ;)), don’t forget to do some small business cyber-shopping with the vendors from Shopping with a Cause a few weeks ago!
Let the holidays begin!
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