16 West Marketplace in Roanoke getting 4 new businesses [The Roanoke Times, Va.]
(Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 06--Momentum at 16 West Marketplace in downtown Roanoke has been slowly growing since the center opened a couple of years ago.
Already home to a coffee shop, grocery store, pizzeria, chiropractor, art studios and gym, the Church Avenue marketplace is getting ready to welcome four more businesses, which will open in four of the five stalls along the right side of the marketplace.
They are the Noke Truck food truck, which plans to open a small kitchen; Sacred Beauty Boutique, selling jewelry, clothing and art; Compact Footprint, providing consulting and products for a sustainable lifestyle; and Fluff and Stuff Zoo, which among other services will allow children to create a stuffed animal.
Aaron Garland, who manages leasing for the property, believes the marketplace is attracting more businesses because it has established itself as a destination for downtown workers seeking coffee or lunch. The recent addition of the River Laker Cultural Center, which puts on artistic events, has drawn a night crowd frown outside downtown, Garland said.
CORE Chiropractic, the Fleda Ring art studio and RAC Xpress, a gym located on the mezzanine, were the first to open. Garland's father, John Garland, and three business partners bought and renovated the old S&W Cafeteria several years ago.
The coffee shop, now under different ownership and renamed The Little Green Hive, was next to open, followed by downtown Roanoke's first grocery store, S&W Market, about a year ago. The Learning Source, a teacher supply store, opened in a stall in December and Healing Touch Studios, which offers massage therapy, opened in March followed in April by pizzeria Cork and Crust.
By the end of the year the building will be bustling with even more activity.
Juan Urrea, who has operated the Noke Truck for the past two years, will open a kitchen in one of the stalls by the first of November, he said.
He wanted a fixed place to prepare food and said that a permanent space will also help his business through the winter, when food sales are down. It will also support business at other times when weather does not cooperate, such as earlier this summer when the region had heavy rain.
The food stand will be open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch, Urrea said. The truck will run about two days a week for lunch and once a week for dinner.
Urrea hasn't decided on a name for the food stand.
Sacred Beauty Boutique will carry handmade art, clothing and jewelry from local, national and international sources, said proprietor Gayla D'Gaia. Some of the items will be made of repurposed or reclaimed items, she said. The store will have a soft opening Saturday in time for Oktoberfest at 16 West. A grand opening is planned for November.
D'Gaia's boyfriend, Ben Bristoll, is opening Compact Footprint, which will offer solutions to downtown residents and others who live in small spaces or want to curb their carbon footprint. The store will carry foldable bicycles, mini refrigerators and other appliances and gadgets that save space and energy, D'Gaia said. Compact Footprint will also have a soft opening Saturday and a grand opening in November.
Fluff and Stuff Zoo will offer children more than 50 animals to stuff and embellish with outfits or sound chips.
Torita McCown started the business in the early 2000s when her daughter was young and she couldn't afford to take her to the Build-A-Bear store at the mall. McCown began looking online for an alternative and decided to order equipment and supplies from a vendor. The business started out primarily online. Now retired, McCown is ready to open a store. She held what she called a test run at the Salem Fair this year and said the business did quite well.
In addition to the stuffed animals, Fluff and Stuff Zoo also offers a create-a-book service which inserts a child's name into a story that is bound in hardback. McCown hopes to use her business to help youth organizations in the community, she said.
The store will be set up by Saturday.
One existing retailer at 16 West plans to close. The Learning Source, which sells teaching supplies, will close as soon as its inventory has been sold. Owner Marie Kinzie is closing the store for personal reasons, she said.
The closing will leave just one vacant stall at 16 West.
More space is available in the form of kiosks, Aaron Garland said.
Downtown Roanoke is a sweeter place to be
Two brothers who left home to pursue careers in fashion and advertising have reunited in Roanoke and opened a candy store downtown.
Lawson and Robert Jaeger recently opened The Candy Store on Campbell Avenue, in half of the space that used to house Glazed Bisque-It. The store specializes in bulk, novelty and retro candies. The Jaeger brothers also pride themselves on carrying regional candies, such as a brand found in New York and English candy bars.
The brothers -- Lawson, 44, and Robert, 46 -- left their hometown to pursue their careers. Lawson moved to Knoxville where he played music and worked in advertising for an alternative weekly publication. Robert's career in fashion took him from New York to Milan doing marketing and public relations for Max Mara, Prada and Ralph Lauren. While exhilarating, the travel and demands of the job were tiring. He moved to Connecticut and taught for eight years before moving back to Roanoke. Six months later, his brother was back in town, too, and both needed something to do.
Each had frequented candy stores when they traveled, and the idea of opening one in Roanoke that represented a post-modern take on a traditional candy shop was appealing to them, they said.
They used their own savings to finance the store and hand-picked everything, from the custom aluminum shelves mounted on the walls to the colorful polka-dot motif and, of course, the candy.
The brothers sampled nearly all of the store's 1,200 items with the exception of the 5-pound gummy bears and a few other novelty candies such as giant jawbreakers, oversized Hershey Bars and enormous gummy brains.
In addition to the classics, the store has some harder-to-find items as well.
For instance, the store has Joyva candies, made in New York, and Aero bars and Curly Wurlies , made in England. Closer to home, The Candy Store offers Chocolate Spike chocolates, which are made in Blacksburg, and Gearhearts chocolate bars, made in Charlottesville. The Jaegers are working to find a distributor that can get them more Japanese candies.
"This is not only a candy store for children, but for adults' inner child as well," Lawson said. He has noticed both short and tall nose- and fingerprints on the front windows of the store, he said.
The Roanoke area has several stores that sell chocolates, but The Candy Store is one of the only true candy stores around.
Bubblecake cupcake shop has a small candy selection inside its Crystal Spring and Cave Spring stores. Bubblecake incorporated the candy into the stores about a year ago, said Lisa Lusk, who owns the cupcake business with her husband, Robert. She described the candy as an "add-on" to the cupcake business, and said she doesn't intend for her stores to be a candy destination.
"It's that retail piece to what we do," she said.
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