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Happy Hour Guide : Events Calendar : Tastebudz News

ChesterďŹ eld LIVING March / April 2017

Cherry Blossom

Festival Spring Blooms in D.C.

ORGANICS Worth the Cost?

Back to Nature In Your Own Backyard

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St. Mary’s | Memorial Regional | Richmond Community | St. Francis Watkins Centre | Rappahannock General | Bon Secours Medical Group


10 First of All News from All Over the Area


25 Adventures in Aging


with Constance Whitney

50 Events Calendar

Health 18 5 Foods That Are Great for Your Smile


Virginia Family Dentistry

20 Are Organics Worth the Cost? Well, Yes and No 22 A Radiant Summer You Getting Your Body Beach-Ready

Flavor 39 In Search Of...

Comfort Food

44 TasteBudz

Restaurant and Brewery News

48 Happy Hour Guide

Hiro Sushi, Casa Grande, The Pub by Wegman’s, Kickback Jack’s & Kabuto

49 Beer Budz

Features 22

GAME ON! River City Sportsplex




POCOHONTAS STATE PARK A Green Space for Everyone

WHAT MAKES HALLSLEY SO SPECIAL The Latest Trends in Workout Wear

54 Home Buyers’ Desires

A Look at Today’s Trends

58 Back to Nature

Eco-friendly Landscaping and Hardscaping

Travel 62 Washington, DC’s Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

6 Chesterfield Living

For all you craft beer enthusiasts, this Beer Budz is for you.

A Celebration of Spring

WHAT’S GOING ON? Okay, so we got an early start on spring this year. Who’s complaining? However once spring actually, officially arrives, our thoughts turn to a variety of seasonal activities. Regardless of your activity of choice, I bet you can find something on to inform, direct or just plain entertain you. Use the website’s Search feature to locate articles on a variety of springtime topics, such as: FIXING UP AROUND THE HOUSE: Last March, we posted a very helpful article, which provided “Five Springtime Improvements.” To locate this article, search Five Improvements. Also, in March, 2013, we had a really cool feature that provided excellent suggestions for spicing up the kitchen. Search Spice Kitchen

GARDENING: Vicki O’Neal had an interesting piece on theme gardens, in which she provided a host of great ideas from an English or Japanese garden to a rock garden or a butterfly garden. ITo find this fascinating article, which appeared online in March, 2014, search Theme Garden

ENJOYING THE GREAT OUTDOORS: In March of last year, Tom Gresham offered a number of great outdoor fun suggestions in his article, “West End Fun” in fact if you search West End Fun, you’ll discover his delightful and informative article.

CELEBRATING THE NATIONAL PASTIME: We’re talking about baseball, of course. As the Squirrels take to the field, locally, you might enjoy a fascinating article on the history of baseball in Richmond. It appeared in March, 2014. To read “Baseball Memories and Hometown Heroes,” search Baseball.

THE DIAMOND EXPERIENCE: That same search will also reveal another story from July of the same year. I’m going to go back and reread “The Diamond Experience: Baseball, Extreme Food & Craft Beer,” It will get me ready to Go Nuts come April 6. TAKE A (SPRING) BREAK: This is a great time of year to hit the road and get to know more about your state. Virginia pretty much has it all, including the amazing Crooked Road country music heritage trail. If you’ve never been, please read Davy Jones’ column from last year, On the Crooked Road. And start packing for an adventure of a lifetime. As you could guess, just search Crooked Road (actually just “crooked” will do).

From dining to travel to home & health, go to and search. March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 7

From the Editor


on’t let the photograph fool you. I still identify as an old(er) man. However, I wanted to use this issue’s Editor’s Letter to help both you and me get better acquainted with our new managing editor, Elena Marinaccio, who comes to us via Westchester, New York. I’m always wondering how outsiders view Chesterfield County and the entire Metro area. In future issues, we’ll have an opportunity to get her take on a variety of topics of local interest. For now, however, I’m going to give Elena the rest of this space to tell us a little about herself and to provide a preview of this issue.

Angela Weight


Steve Cook, I moved here last July with my family and we’re still in the throes of exploring all the area has to offer. Current obsessions include: anything happening on the river, discovering new thrift shops and attempting to eat at every restaurant within a 50 mile radius. And now to the magazine in your hand. It’s been my pleasure to work with such a cool, welcoming and dedicated team. We all want to deliver pages with eye-catching photos, some fine storytelling, a little humor and a lot of know-how. And I’ll grab this spot right here to personally thank Steve for all his help, guidance and good restaurant recommendations. You know who’s got the best master-planned community of the year? We do. Hallsley—built right here in Chesterfield County—was recently presented the Platinum Award by the National Association of Home Builders. So, as Steve Cook puts it: what makes Hallsley so special? Spring is here and that means getting outside. Luckily for us we have over 8,000 acres of pristine woodlands right in our backyard. Tom Gresham gets back to nature and shows us all Pocahontas State Park has to offer. With over 80 miles of hiking, biking and horse trails, two fishing lakes, an aquatic center for tubing and swimming, campsites and more, Tom’s story is chock full of helpful facts and gorgeous photos. Constance Whitney’s Adventures in Aging column touches on the awkwardness of end of life conversations. And, sadly, Constance recently learned from personal experience, it’s the talk you should to have sooner rather than later. (see Editor’s Note below) Branching out further north, Zach Brown reports on the beloved and much-anticipated Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. While closer to home, we explore the latest trends in sustainable landscape and hardscape design, and Jordan Langely provides some interesting insights into what today’s homebuyers are looking for both inside the home and out. Enjoy!

Elena Marinaccio,

In Our Next Issue: Don’t go anywhere until you read our special annual DESTINATION METRO RICHMOND Issue coming in May. We’ll offers great ideas for “stay and play” vacations around (Chesterfield/ Hanover/The West End) and the entire Richmond area. PLUS: 5 Great Beaches You May Not Know About; 5 Cool Virginia Getaways; A Day at Dutch Gap Look for the next issue of Chesterfield Living coming in early May.

Editor’s Note: Shortly after completing her recent column, “Have You Had the

Right Talk,” (page 25) Constance Whitney informed me that her mother, Neva Juanita Elias, had passed away, on January 30, after a short illness. “She was my rock,” Constance said. “She was a huge influence in my life and I will miss her for the rest of my life.” Constance added: Thank you for publishing this article. May it inspire at least one person to have the right conversation and alleviate at least one person from having to go through the agonizing decisions that have ruled my life for the last five weeks.” All of us here at Chesterfield Living Magazine extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to Constance and her family. 8 Chesterfield Living

Angela is a native of Georgia’s Middle-of-Nowhere Region who followed her husband (and his job) to Richmond in 2014. An insatiably curious freelance writer, she has covered everything from monster truck racing to the latest embalming techniques (though not in the same article). When Angela isn’t clicking away on her laptop, she can usually be found at a baseball field cheering for one of her sons.

Jordan Langley

Jordan Langley’s insightful essays about parenting and grief have appeared in Richmond Family Magazine, Brain, Child and Hello Grief, a website affiliated with Comfort Zone Camp. She is polishing up her debut novel. Jordan is a writer, literacy advocate and sports mom living in Moseley with her husband and two sons. Follow her on Twitter @jordan_langley.

Susan Higgins

Susan Higgins is a Richmond writer whose work appears locally in print and online. After studying painting and printmaking at VCU, she spent her 40-year career in business development and marketing. Now she writes for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, blogging, creating social media content, developing marketing communications and producing promotional video. Her freelance work is published in magazines in the metro Richmond area.

Zach Brown

Zach first moved to Richmond to attend VCU, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing in 2010. Serving as a poster child for obsessive behavior, Zach has never been able to casually enjoy anything as subjects that interest him hit ‘allconsuming’ levels in a matter of days. The greatest example of this defect being his love of writing. When he wraps up his daily word quota, you’ll find him playing drums with his band, reading, or enjoying a craft beer from one of his many favorite local brewers.



april 2 1- 4 pm



OPERATIONS MANAGER Whitney Kiatsuranon


ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES Jack Smith, Cary Webb DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Jimmy Davis PHOTOGRAPHERS Camille Robinson, Luke Witt CONTRIBUTORS Zach Brown, Susie Galvez, Thomas Gresham, Susan Higgins, Jordan Langley, Melanie Rasnic, Angela Weight, Constance Whitney


Peak Experiences


Arts • Enrichment • Sports day & overnight camps DETAILS AT:

ADVERTISING Chesterfield Living magazine is published bimonthly by Advertising Concepts, Inc., 6301 Harbourside Drive, Suite 100 Midlothian, VA 23112 P: 804-639-9994 E: ONLINE / SOCIAL All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.




This beautiful exterior photograph was provided by Joe Hill of Bel Arbor Builders, one of the fine builders in the Hallsley development. Hallsley is our featured community in the March/April issue of Chesterfield Living Magazine and recently was awarded the Best in American Living platinum award by the National Association of Home Builders. Also in this issue, writer Angela Weight looks into whether organic foods are worth the cost.

March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 9


Lauren Serpa

A Woman of Considerable Talents


by Steve Cook

an District resident Lauren Serpa is a woman of many talents and they all tend to center around her love of music and entertaining. Lauren was the photographer who captured the images for a story we did on Reggie Pace, a member of the popular No BS Brass Band in our January/February issue of Chesterfield Living Magazine. I met up with Lauren in a Fan-area restaurant one evening to talk about her photography. That’s when I discovered that there was virtually no end to this young woman’s talents. She loves photographing concerts, but her love for music goes way beyond that. Lauren also teaches music at Spring Run Elementary School in Midlothian. The native of North Dakota, who describes herself as a “military brat,” said that she developed a love for music when she began playing the flute in the school band at the age of 10. About 10 years ago, her mother gave her a “point and shoot” camera. Combining her love of music and her new-found love for photography, she began capturing images of local bands. But wait, there’s more. Lauren is also into improvisational comedy. How did that come about? About five years ago, Lauren explained, after enjoying some of the performances by the Richmond Comedy Coalition, she was tempted by the idea of giving improv a try. “It looked terrifying but also really fun,” she said. “I decided to take a class, thinking

10 Chesterfield Living

if this is terrifying and I hate it, I won’t come back again.” As it so happened, she didn’t hate it. “Every lesson involved hysterical laughter,” she said. After completing the one-year class, Lauren auditioned and became a regular in the Coalition’s house team, where she now appears every other Saturday. That was four years ago. She also performs in the Coalition’s “Improvised Musical,” where the performers take a suggestion from the audience and then immediately create a 45-minute musical that ends with the entire troupe doing a rousing closing number. Speaking of rousing numbers, Lauren has also recorded with several local musicians, playing the flute. She can be heard on Natalie Prass’ self-titled debut album, and she sang on Matthew E. White’s “Big Inner” album. Lauren is the oldest of four children and although her family is scattered along the east coast of the United States, they remain close. “My mom was the glue that held the family together,” she said. “After she passed away about five years ago (from cancer), we each found our own ways to stay close.” I asked her which of her careers she likes best. “I really love all the things I do, but photography is my biggest therapy.” To assist her in that therapy, we’ve asked Lauren to be one of the regular photographers for this magazine. Now, if she can just find the time.

FIRST OF ALL South Indian classical dancers from Apsaras Arts Dance Group out of Richmond performing “Rhythms.”

Best Foot Forward Virginia Dance Festival Displays Global Influences


he Virginia Dance Festival returns March 25 with a repertoire full of globally inspired dance and movement performances at the James River High School. “It’s turned into more of a cultural event, with so many styles of dance represented that you just wouldn’t see all at one time,” said Jessica Morgan, who founded the festival 18 years ago. “Now you can see all these different styles of dance in one place.” She’s not kidding when it comes to culture. Since its inaugural show, the festival has nearly quadrupled in size and thoroughly expanded its scope. Encompassed in one day of dance, featuring 400 dancers from

12 Chesterfield Living

by Elena Marinaccio cal ballet and Chinese folk dance to aerial arts and musical theater. Inspiration for the fest, which benefits the Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF), came from Morgan’s days running her own studio. Her students were always involved in community outreach, and it was a performance at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU that prompted her to do more. “I thought there should be a way all of these kids who are so healthy and blessed with dance talent can give back to these children, some of Dancers Arianna Moore, Andris Murray and Jonathan Brown from Apwhom might not be able to get out of pomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts & Technology move a wheelchair,” said Morgan. to “Greyscale” by Annielille Gavino-Kollman The event, emceed every year by Mix 98.1’s Kat Simons, features two professional dance organizations from all over show times (2 p.m. and 7 p.m.) with a mix Virginia, you can see everything from classi43

All photos: Mike Hatcher, Heather House Photography

Left, top to bottom: Legacy School of Dance performing “Fix You;” EMBREZ dance group does the Can-Can; Yu Dance Arts perform “The Girls from Celestial Mountain”. Above: City Dance Group reaches for the sky.

of dancers and performances at each show. The afternoon presentation will also feature a silent auction, with prizes like gift cards to area restaurants, trinkets from local specialty stores, fine art and vacations. “The event is a wonderful celebration of a variety of dance styles and different cultures while making a difference in the lives of thousands of children in Central Virginia,” said Stephanie Allan, vice president for community development at CHF. Funds raised through Children’s Hospital Foundation help to provide financial support for the people and the

programs at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. The hospital serves 60,000 children each year and is the region’s only full-service children’s hospital. The hospital serves nearly 60,000 patients each year and is the region’s only full-service children’s hospital. The Virginia Dance Festival has raised over $214,000 for CHF so far. To become a dance festival sponsor or make a tax-deductible donation, call 804-363-9680. For more information or to buy tickets, visit


Saturday March 25 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. WHERE:

James River High School 3700 James River Road Midlothian, VA 23113


Adult $18 | $30.50, both shows Child (ages 3-11) $15 | $21.50, both shows West End Academy of Dance leap to “Ferris Wheel.” Chesterfield Living 13


Breaking the Bank

The concept, the likes of which have been quietly sprouting up on the West Coast over the past decade, is a new one to Richmond. Call Federal is the first credit union in the area to embrace the trend. But besides the living-room vibes and free coffee, what exactly is a retail-style bank? Well, first off, there are no tellers. There are associates available to help with your banking needs, but they’ve come out from behind those foreboding tall counters. And the new layout is meant for members to take a slower, more thoughtful and conversational approach to their banking. This is Call Federal’s second foray into establishing a more casual, friendly banking environment. Their branch in Brandermill’s Hancock Village, also designed by Davis and his team at Baskervill, follows this same style. Opened in the fall of 2015, the branch now functions as a venue for everything from book clubs to mom groups, and hosts workshops on building credit and saving for retirement. “Baskervill has helped us evolve,” said Call Federal’s CEO Roger Ball, who’s worked on several projects with the local design firm. Ball says any other branches they open will follow this new format, “They’ve put our vision into reality.” Photo: Elena Marinaccio

Call Federal Credit Union’s newest branch looks more like a hip coffee shop than a bank. “I believe that spaces tell us how to behave. They inform us,” said Allan Davis, who led the design team on Call Federal Credit Union’s newest retail-style branch at 10712 Iron Bridge Road in Chester. “It’s immediately a comfortable atmosphere. They’re very forward thinking.” Forget gold riveted leather and slick mahogany. This place is downright comfy. “The lighting is my favorite part,” Davis said during the branch’s February ribbon cutting ceremony. Natural light streams in through floor-to-ceiling windows, supplemented by modern hoop chandeliers— the geometric designs add visual interest as well as work to define the various spaces throughout the building. The space closer to the ground includes a “conversation pit,” complete with a set of modular gray sofas and thin white side tables. Up front there’s a walkup bar offering free coffee and sparkling water. The open concept design offers an indoor ATM kiosk and toward the back of the building—encased in glass walls and a muted palette— offices that manage to offer privacy without appearing too closed off or intimidating.

by Elena Marinaccio

Second Hand News

by Elena Marinaccio

“Consignment shops each have their own flavor,” said Jan DeBaugh, owner of Design Consign in Richmond. “We like to keep our brand unique.” The store recently moved to a new location, but die-hard fans of Design Consign’s new-to-you fares may have barely noticed. Still at 11001 Midlothian Turnpike, they’ve relocated right next door, to a smaller space in the former home of Isidro’s Mexican Restaurant. “It’s a more intimate setting,” said DeBaugh, who’s owned and managed the store for nearly three years. “The goal of the move is to keep fresh inventory in the store at all times.” The new location also boasts expanded shopping hours (Mon.-Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), and is now open seven days a week, which she calls “an added benefit to our guests.” Her daily posts on social media let followers looking for a deal know just what they can expect to see at her store. From decorative accents to furniture (items have to be new, like new or in excellent condition to be considered for consigning), DeBaugh says the shop sells well in Asian-inspired design, glass-accent furniture and anything shabby chic. On top of the 400-plus consignors with whom she works one-on-one, DeBaugh has forged connections with other retailers in her continuing goal to refine the shop’s aesthetic. “We have a relationship with the nation’s largest online retailer of furniture, so we frequently get brand new pieces from them to consign in our store,” said DeBaugh, who spent over 35 years in Human Resources and recruiting. “[It’s] something interesting that I don’t think you can find anywhere else…and people absolutely love it.” 14 Chesterfield Living

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Chesterfield Living 17



That Are


Great For Your

Smile! by Louis N. Formica, DDS, MS

March is National Nutrition Month. As we hit the stride of the New Year, here are a few foods to help you smile a little brighter and healthier.

traditional over-the-counter homecare products for turmeric toothpaste, there is certainly a place for this golden spice as an additive to prepared dishes or even in healthy smoothies.



Often when people think of carrots and health they jump straight to the idea that carrots help your eyesight. Although not as widely known, carrots also help your “eye teeth.” The carrot has crunch and texture, which acts as nature’s toothbrush wiping away plaque that sticks to our teeth and gums. Crunchy vegetables like carrots also help produce significant amounts of saliva which bring in healthy enzymes and minerals to help protect our teeth.

Cheese Researchers have recently shown that among dairy products, cheese may be the best for your choppers. In a study comparing it with milk and yogurt in a control test group, cheese came through as the winner in effectively lowering pH in the mouth after consumption at various time intervals. A lower pH means lower acid content which can be protective of our tooth enamel.

Turmeric While more of a spice than a food, turmeric has been shown to combat dental plaque, gum inflammation and microbial colonies. Several studies have also linked turmeric to reductions in oral cancer cells. While I would not jump to trading in your

If you don’t live in a sunny area, most adults are deficient in vitamin D. Fatty fish, like salmon, contain high amounts of vitamin D without the negative side effects of the sun’s rays. Vitamin D is critical for helping your body absorb calcium from your diet. Vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand to contribute to healthy mineralization of your teeth.

Green tea Want fresh breath — try green tea. Polyphenols found in green tea have been shown to kill bacteria and suppress their byproducts leading to improved breath freshness. One study has shown that green tea had a better effect on breath freshness than mints or gum. Green tea also contains a host of other antioxidants which help reduce inflammation and promote healthy gums. Use fluoridated water to steep your next green tea for an added healthy tooth bonus! Virginia Family Dentistry is a group practice of more than 50 doctors specializing in Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Dental Implants, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Endodontics, Cosmetic and General Dentistry. With 12 convenient locations in the Richmond Metro Area, we can assist you in creating your youthful smile. For a location near you, visit

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Dr. Louis Formica earned his Doctoral Degree in Dental Surgery from Virginia Commonwealth University. Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Formica completed his undergraduate education at NYU and attended Columbia University to earn a Master’s degree in Nutrition with honors. Our oral and general wellness is largely mediated by nutrition, and Dr. Formica’s background provides a unique lens to assist his patients identify and improve both their oral and systemic health. Dr. Formica has been recognized for his research bridging the fields of nutrition and dentistry by the prestigious Pierre Fauchard Academy and American Dental Association. Dr. Formica is a general dentist at Virginia Family Dentistry’s Tri-Cities location.

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18 Chesterfield Living

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Organics Are Organic Foods Worth the Cost? Well, Yes and No By Angela Weight


t’s my ritual Sunday evening adventure — grocery shopping for the week. Not exactly a James Bond movie plot, but someone’s gotta do it. Like most parents, I walk a fine line between buying the healthiest foods (that my kids will eat) and staying within our budget. As I meander through Kroger’s produce department, masses of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables compete for my attention and checkbook. Just ahead sits the “high end” section. Organics! Costing an average of 35 cents more per item, you’d expect these big-ticket fruits and veggies to look the part — larger, more perfectly shaped, with no blotches and an extended shelf-life. But they’re not. In fact, compared to their conventionally grown, preservative injected, wax polished counterparts, organics often look like the runts of the produce litter. Organically grown meats and dairy products are equally unassuming.

According to the Organic Trade Association, organic food sales have shown steady growth over the past decade, jumping 11 percent in 2014 alone! So, if it isn’t aesthetics or better taste, then what is it that compels people to shell out extra cash for these gardenvariety eats? To answer this question, I surveyed RVA residents, grocers and farmers. But first, a little background info. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines organic food as: produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ion-




IN 2014 ALONE!

20 Chesterfield Living

izing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too. Wow! Those are quite some organic hoops to jump through! Now back to my survey results. Organics shoppers place high priority on the assurance that they’re eating food grown naturally with as few additives as possible. They recognize the dangers of having a strange brew of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs and other unpleasant chemicals churning around in our bodies. Pesticides alone have been linked to many types of cancers such as prostate and bladder, leukemia and lymphoma, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders, hormonal imbalances, infertility, depression, chronic allergies, skin conditions and immune disorders, to name a few. Cows and chickens treated with


growth hormones have long been speculated to cause early puberty in children. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce says that some food items are more prone to contamination from chemicals than others. Apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries and potatoes are referred to as the “Dirty Dozen” because they’re most affected by their growing environment. The EWG estimates that people can reduce their risk of pesticide exposure by a whopping 80 percent if they eat organic versions of these foods. Opposite the Dirty Dozen are the “Clean 15,” avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, cabbage, sweet peas (frozen), onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, eggplant, honeydew, grapefruit, cantaloupe and cauliflower. These fruits and vegetables have a thick, protective skin, rind or husk which pesticides can’t penetrate well. Therefore, it’s not as important that they’re organically grown. But please, organic or not, always wash all produce before cooking and eating it. For many organics buyers, it’s not necessarily about food safety, but more humane farming practices. Ashley Hall, a mother of two, buys only organic chicken that’s labeled “free range,” as well as cage-free eggs, meaning that they were raised with more room


to move around than the average laying hen that doesn’t have enough space to flap her wings. “I can’t in good conscience eat eggs and chicken raised in deplorable conditions,’’ she says. “So, yes, I’m willing to pay more.” Still, though, organics make up a small percentage of U.S. food sales. Most shoppers have the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality and, therefore, aren’t willing to spend the extra money. “I haven’t seen enough convincing evidence that organic produce is any better or safer than what I buy at Kroger. Plus, organics go bad sooner than nonorganic produce,” says Katie White of Midlothian.





Certified Organic vs. Locally Grown “A lot of farmers are moving away from organic certification,” says Mark Lilly, founder and owner of Richmond-based Farm to Family aka the Farm Bus — a popular mobile

“From a product standpoint, local is gaining a lot of traction, more so than organics. An apple, for instance, may be certified organic, but might be shipped all the way from Washington State,” Taylor said. “Think of the carbon footprint.” farmers market operating out of a converted school bus. “Getting certified by the USDA is too costly for many of the smaller farms that are already growing foods naturally and organically.” Lilly goes on to say that his customers are more inclined to buy foods that are grown locally by farmers they’re familiar with than large chain supermarket items that were likely shipped hundreds of miles or even internationally from corporate farming operations. “From a product standpoint, local is gaining a lot of traction, more so than March / April 2017

organics. An apple, for instance, may be certified organic, but might be shipped all the way from Washington State. Think of the carbon footprint,’’ says David Taylor, co-owner of Libbie Market. “Our customers would rather buy apples here that come from an orchard in, say, Charlottesville. That orchard might not have the money to go through the certification process, but their apples are still grown safely and naturally. Richmond is a tight-knit, well educated community. Buying local is important to us. We support our own.” As for my own grocery shopping, I’ll be switching to organic versions of the Dirty Dozen for sure. And I’ll make a point to visit more local farmers markets and find out where my family’s foods are coming from, how they’re grown and what additives are included. Because, as the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.”

the Dirty Dozen Fruits and vegetables most affected by their growing environment.

apples • celery bell peppers • peaches strawberries • nectarines grapes • spinach • lettuce cucumbers • blueberries potatoes

the Clean 15 Fruits and vegetables with a thick, protective skin, rind or husk which pesticides can’t penetrate well.

avocados • sweet corn pineapple • cabbage sweet peas (frozen) • onions asparagus • mangoes papayas • kiwi • eggplant honeydew • grapefruit cantaloupe • cauliflower

Chesterfield Living 21



Beauty insider Susie Galvez’ tips for getting beach ready


elieve it or not, summer is around the corner. This might be a wakeup call for those of us who aren’t even close to being ready to bare arms…legs…or more. The good news? We still have time to embrace the challenge and get beach ready. Bathing Suit. (Pause for effect.) Yes, the BS season has arrived in stores in all colors, materials, sizes, and various hidden armor techniques to help flatten, lift, lessen, smooth and basically smoke and mirror all of our wobbly bits, as the Brits say. From padding for the bust, to control panels to hold in tummy and smooth bums, most fabrics contain lycra or spandex to keep the suit’s shape while providing all over body toning. Even the fabric patterns are designed to create the most flattering fit. To find your perfect fit, make an appointment with a bathing suit fit specialist. This service is usually complimentary, but will require an appointment. Plan about an hour. The fit specialist will take measurements, ask about your lifestyle and personal approach to fashion, offer tips for a beautiful fit and show you designs that work best for your body. and offer great resources to find out more about fit and styles. Okay the hard part is over. 22 Chesterfield Living

Now it’s time to jazz up your soon-to-be more exposed parts. Your skin has been under wraps for months, challenged with arid indoor environments and wet, windy and cold outside air. It’s finally time to renew, refresh, and rehydrate your skin. Here’s how to get your glow on:

EXFOLIATE. EXFOLIATE. EXFOLIATE. By removing the old, dry skin cells, your skin, both face and body, is instantly revived. But using the proper exfoliating product is a must. Always make sure you’re using a product designed specifically for your face—that skin is much more sensitive than the rest of your body. Once or twice weekly, depending on the product, will keep your facial skin at its beautiful best, your makeup application easy and your look flawless. The body exfoliant, or scrub as it is often called, is designed to remove dead skin, increasing circulation and providing a smooth, softer, surface. There are many different types of exfoliating products on the market, from sugar and salt to loofas, brushes and exfoliating pads.

Always read the product’s directions before applying. When in doubt, always opt for the gentler option for your skin type to lessen irritation. After your exfoliating treatment, be sure to apply a moisturizer. Now that the dead skin has been removed, re-hydrating the skin is essential to replenish moisture levels and keep that fresh glow.

BODY CONTOURING PRODUCTS Beauty companies have finally created products that really help smooth dimpled, loose skin and help lessen the appearance of cellulite that typically forms on the arms, upper thighs, buttocks and abdomen. While there is no lotion on the market that will obliterate unsightly cellulite or cratered skin for good, body contouring creams are being praised for dramatically reducing the appearance of dimpled skin for up to 24 hours and even longer when used daily. Many contouring products contain natural ingredients such as caffeine, seaweed, herbs, spices and bioflavonoids designed to break down or dehydrate fat cells, making skin appear smoother.

YOU TANNING No sun required or desired! Instead opt for a safe tan. Spray tanning is the perfect way to get some glow without the damage imparted from sun or bed tanning. Of course, you could try this at home, but why would you—if you knew how easy, longer lasting, and fully covering a professional spray tan can be. Tammy Booker, owner of Studio Bronze in Ashland, VA, shared that not all spray tans are created equal. Studio Bronze uses a natural organic vegetable product to tint the skin. She adds that her exclusive formula contains antiaging peptides and vitamins that also nourish the skin, “And the end result is not only a tan that perfectly matches your skin tone, you will look as though you just walked off the beach.” While this article is “itsy, bitsy” like the teeny, yellow bikini song, hopefully it is long enough to make you want to dip your toe in the summer time water. And it will get you thinking and planning for your 2017 summertime beauty regime that is sure to have you smooth, bronze and fabulous! Beach Baby Beach!

Susie Galvez

is an international image consultant, speaker, author, beauty industry expert For more, visit

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Chesterfield Living 23

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Have you had the right talk? W

by Constance Whitney

e’ve all heard about the importance of having “The Talk” — not the birds and the bees one, the other one. The one where we honestly and succinctly let our loved one know what our wishes are in the event of a catastrophic event. My friends and my family and I have had these discussions numerous times. I can tell you exactly what each one of them wants — whether they want the ‘plug pulled’ or whether they want heroic measures to be taken to keep them alive — and they know in no uncertain terms what my wishes are if it ever happens to me. We had The Talk. We just didn’t have the Right Talk. In early January, my mom broke her hip. She tripped, and fell, and broke. The break in itself was actually not that bad. The sepsis and infection and a host of other complications were bad…really bad. While a gaggle of doctors and flocks of nurses and therapists worked tirelessly to stop her deterioration and get her on the road of recovery, there was a period where hospice and end-of-life planning were on the board. The only problem: mom and I had never had the right talk. What were her wishes in the event of a devastating, but potentially survivable event, where her quality of life might be, but also might not be, severely diminished? I knew exactly to the letter what her wishes were if she ended up on life support — pull the plug. But what if there was no plug? We never ever talked about that! Deb Campbell, RN, is perhaps one of the kindest women in the world. She is a hospice nurse. Her mission is to help families and patients through this stage of life, and she does it very well. While the medical teams kept working with my mom, she talked to me. Answered my questions. Dawn Saveley, my mom’s CNA, was as close to an angel as I’ve ever witnessed. Everything she did for my mom was truly filled with caring and love. The gentle nature of both these wom-

en empowered me to make the decisions that I needed to make. But what would have really empowered me, what was really needed, in that moment was to have had the right conversation when conversation was still an option. As soon as this crisis was over, I began investigating what exactly needed to be covered in the right conversation. The Conversation Project ( is a fabulous website dedicated to helping people initiate the right conversations. Statistics show that while 90 percent of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important, only 27 percent actually do it. And while 80 percent of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk about their wishes for medical treatment toward the end of life, less than 7 percent of people have actually had that conversation! Trust me, one conversation can make all the difference! The Conversation Project’s website features some great ‘starter kits’ to help you prepare for and have these conversations, including some thought-generating questions that will make you think about your true wishes. For instance, if you are seriously ill, do you want to know all the details about your condition and treatment, or would you prefer to know only the basics? Do you want your doctors making decisions or do you want to have a say in every decision? Do you want to continue receiving medical care indefinitely, no matter how uncomfortable treatments are or is your quality of life more important than your quantity? The website includes several starter kits addressing various scenarios and all are designed to get your wishes organized before you sit down to have the conversation — so you can have the right conversation! Don’t delay. Please. Give your loved ones the gift of knowing your wishes.

March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 25

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River City Sportsplex - A Great Investment for Chesterfield by Allie Gibson, Chesterfield County Department of Communications and Media and as a great option for our local teams here in Chesterfield County.” Several groups have pursued multi-year contracts with Chesterfield County to bring sports tournaments to River City Sportsplex as far out as 2020. This means more than just tons of great lacrosse, field hockey and soccer in our backyard — it means tourism dollars, with hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout the county last year alone. The central location of the Sportsplex, just off Route 288, with easy access to interstates 64 and 95, makes it an ideal location for nationwide tournaments. Scouts recruiting for colleges nationwide come during tournaments to vet talented lacrosse, field hockey and soccer players. The US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, Eastern Zones championships, NFHCA Field Hockey Tournament and Shooting Star Field Hockey Tournament were all added to the lineup in 2016. Photo: Chesterfield County

he recent acquisition of the River City Sportsplex by Chesterfield County is a boon for residents — whether they want to play a little ball on a lit field or just like to see millions of tourism dollars spent in the region and the county. When the Board of Supervisors purchased the property last fall for $5.5 million, they saw a way to meet the county’s need for more facilities for residents and for the national sports tournaments that earn Chesterfield the nickname “Tournament Mecca, USA.” “This property is a good investment,” said Dr. Joe Casey, Chesterfield County administrator. “Sports tourism is big business in Chesterfield County, and growing bigger each year. Not only does it play a significant role in the local economy, it also helps put the county on the map, both regionally and across the country. We are glad the county can now offer the Sportsplex as an attractive tournament location

Photo: Chesterfield County

Photo: Chesterfield County

The River City Sportsplex, with it’s 12 synthetic fields, offers a significant advantage in attracting national tournament play to Chesterfield County, already known as “Tournament Mecca, USA.” Several organizations have signed multi-year contracts, some as far out as 2020. In 2016, the economic impact for Chesterfield County was $37.7 million with tax revenues from sports tourism accounting for $1.4 million.

The economic impact in Chesterfield County from all those games, hotel stays and restaurant trips was $37.7 million — regionally, that number expands to $76.7 million. The 2016 total tax revenue in the county from sports tourism was $1.4 million. And announcements like the ones made about contracts to use River City Sportsplex — meaning that thousands of parents, players and fans will be in the region for weekends at a time, staying in hotels and eating at local restaurants — are enhanced by the fact that Chesterfield County now owns the facility. But central to the purchasing decision was a commitment to make sure it is made available for county residents to use. The county already was in the sixth year of a 20-year, Monday-throughThursday lease of eight of the Sportsplex’s lighted, all-weather synthetic fields, as part of a $4.3 million commitment made in 2010 to develop the facility. Now, the Sportsplex is managed by Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation and fits in among its other parks. Residents now have seven-day access to the facility, which means even more opportunities for a pickup game. “The River City Sportsplex is a jewel in our region and provides a unique opportunity for the residents of Chesterfield County…to use its 12 synthetic turf fields.” said Dr. James Worsley, director of Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation. “ The county could accommodate about 5,600 teams on the eight fields it had been renting Monday through Thursday. The use of the rest of the Sportsplex’s fields will mean the county can reach 1,760 more teams on those days. The facility was paid for using hotel tax dollars specifically designed for tourism, parks cash proffers and reallocation of other park funds set aside to develop another park. Those funds will be replenished, as Chesterfield County is dedicated to providing quality parks for resi-

Photo: Chesterfield County

dents and visitors. Revenues from rental fees and tournament charges will be used to pay operating costs at the complex. The undeveloped portions of the property will allow for the expansion of sports fields to meet future growth in the county. “The River City Sportsplex gives us room to grow, to continue to meet residents’ needs and expand our facility for high-caliber tournaments,” Worsley said.


March / April 2017

12 synthetic fields Nine sports played in 2016 51 sports tourism events 189,000 visitors $37.7 million economic impact in the county (Fiscal Year 2016) To inquire about reserving a field for use, call 804-751-4199.

Chesterfield Living 29

by Steve Cook

What Makes

hallsley So Special? The master-planned community, located in Midlothian near the intersection of Routes 60 and 288, has definitely proven popular with area homebuyers. In fact, Hallsley led all other Richmond-area communities in home sales (137) from Sept. 30, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016.* And in 2015, the Home Builders Association of Richmond named Hallsley the “Best Community in Richmond.” Since 2014, Hallsley has been selected by multiple media outlets as Richmond’s best community.

30 Chesterfield Living

But when the National Association of Home Builders awarded members of East West Communities, the developers of Hallsley, the Best in American Living platinum award, I decided it was time to find out just what these folks at East West Communities are doing that has captured the attention of both area homebuyers as well as builders throughout the entire continent. After all, this award, given at the International Builders Show in Orlando, in January, designated Hallsley as “Best Community in America.” I asked Connie Pollard, Senior Vice President of Marketing for East West Communities, what makes Hallsley so special. “We have researched Hallsley residents over the last three years and asked why did you decide to make Hallsley your home,” Pollard said. “What we found is that the architecture was number one, with amenities a close second.” Daniel Jones, senior vice president of Development at East West, added that the community has a resident architect who is responsible for ensuring that the architectural development of all homes in Hallsley fit into a pattern book that is consistent with what Jones terms, “critical regionalism.” He elaborated, “You may have a home style such as Arts and Crafts, Victorian or Colonial. But the overarching category is based on the fact that each region, such as Richmond, Roanoke, Pittsburgh or wherever has its own unique take on that specific style.” In other words, a Richmond-area Victorianstyle home would be different from a similar style that had been built in any other locale. It’s that “very Richmond” feel to the homes being built in Hallsley that is attracting local buyers. Pollard said that 80 percent of their home

“We asked residents ‘Why did you decide to make Hallsley your home?’ What we found is that the architecture was number one. The reason buyers are coming from all over Richmond, the reason we’re winning national awards, is that Hallsley is so authentic to the history of Richmond.” — Connie Pollard

buyers come from within the Metro Richmond area and many of these are coming from the Fan, the Hermitage Road area, and other city neighborhoods that are well known for their distinctive architecture. “The reason buyers are coming from all over Richmond, the reason we’re winning national awards for the best master planned community, is that Hallsley is so authentic to the history of Richmond.” Jones said that buyers want the feel of such Richmond neighborhoods as Windsor Farms, Church Hill and Ginter Park, but with the amenities that only a suburban community can offer. “You can only find that in Hallsley,’’ he added. As soon as a buyer drives into Hallsley for the first time, they know this is where they want to live.” And even though Hallsley is “out in the county,” with its proximity to Route 288 and the Powhite Parkway, you’re still only 15 to 20 minutes (or less) to Short Pump, Stony Point and Downtown Richmond. While the amenities may come in as the second most important factor that is driving buyers to Hallsley, there is certainly nothing second-rate about those amenities, which include a country-club style clubhouse and a waterpark-style pool that offers a mushroom fountain, outdoor seating, a fire pit, perfect for roasting marshmallows, and an outdoor grill. Hallsley also has one of the most amazing playhouse villages for kids that one could imagine. “You can’t come in and not be enamored with the playhouse village and the babbling brook set in trees adjacent to the club house,” Pollard told me. That village includes playhouses, a fireman’s pole, a pirate’s bridge, a tree house and a zipline.

*According to Integra Realty Resource – Richmond, a real estate advisory firm in Henrico County.

March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 31

And if you still can’t find enough to do, Hallsley even has its own Director of Fun, who plans a variety of year-round events, many for the kids and families, but plenty of activities for the active adult as well. My guess is that if you live in Hallsley, you’re probably never going to want to leave the community, with its fantastic array of amenities. But just in case, residents also have access to the Hallsley Hopper, a chauffeured limousinestyle bus that’s available for group outings. The hopper holds up to 14 people and can be used by residents for a night on the town or a visit to a local brewery or winery. “Recently a group of mothers and daughters used it to go to Disney on Ice,” Pollard said. While on another evening, the van took some sports fans to a Virginia Tech versus University of Virginia basketball game in Charlottesville.” Just as there are a variety of amenities to suit your lifestyle, Hallsley also offers several unique neighborhoods, including low maintenance homes in The Parks that are especially designed for (though not limited to) retirees

32 Chesterfield Living

or those who are approaching that time in life when they are ready to enjoy life to the fullest. One of the other very important factors that attracts families with kids is the Chesterfield Public School system, which has been recognized as being one of the best in the nation. And the public schools near Hallsley — Watkins Elementary, Midlothian Middle and Midlothian High — are all rated among the best in the county.

With unsurpassed architecture, amazing amenities, an excellent school system and a convenient location, is there anything more that the folks at Hallsley can do? Why, yes there is. They’re making it possible to select your style and builder more easily than ever before with their first-ever Model Court, which has its grand opening on April 22 and 23. Previously, model homes have been scattered throughout the community, but the Model Court offers eight furnished designer models that represent the unique styles of eight different custom home builders. “It’s somewhat like a mini-Homearama,” said Pollard. “It’s the first time one street in Hallsley has showcased this many custom homes.” Some of the models are already open. Now is the very best time to visit this truly unique community and find out for yourself just what makes Hallsley so special. For more information, visit or call 804-794-9119.

Builder Spotlight Property Brothers At Lancaster Custom Builder, two brothers are building on family tradition. “He’s 19 months older than me, so we’re pretty close,” said Robert Lancaster. His brother, Thomas, who built custom homes with their father Leitch Lancaster for 14 years, works on the construction end, while Robert handles the business side. Leitch is co-founder of Parker Lancaster, one of the Richmond area’s biggest home builders of the 1980s. He later left that company to work exclusively on custom homes. Now with dad in retirement, the boys are carrying the torch with a focus on collaborative style and personal touch. Founded in 2015, Lancaster Custom Builder has made a name for itself quickly. In addition to its homes in The Woodlands at Hallsley, the brothers are working their way into more neighborhoods through the region, including Greywalls

in Powhatan and Tuckahoe Creek in Goochland. Lancaster said they’ve sold two specs in the past year, with a third currently going up. “We’ve also put a new focus on additions and renovations, which keeps us busy,” he said, with most of that work coming from the city. “Our reputation has been built on uncompromising quality,” Lancaster said. “And we believe that our standards are higher than everyone else’s, including our clients.” The brothers work with a small, dedicated team, which includes design firm, Gates Interiors. “It’s always a collaborative process,” said Lancaster, emphasizing the personal touch a small company with big dreams can bring. “We like to think that we build long-lasting relationships,’’ he added. “We’re on the job. We’re not sending other people out. Our clients get us when they call.”

Southern Charm Bryan Smith of Creative Home Concepts will be the first to tell you that he’s big on building to his customer’s needs, wants and desires. While some people live in a “builder’s home,” he prefers to build a “customer’s home,” Smith says. “They want to take their pets, children, parents and grandchildren into consideration,” and that’s just what he strives to do. Creative Homes Concepts built the 2014 Southern Living Custom Builder Program Showcase home right in Hallsley. One of the top 12 best-selling Southern Living house plans, Elberton Way (a 4,700-square-foot English-style cottage) was sold shortly after construction was completed in June of 2014 and was later featured in Southern Living magazine. “We still get calls about that one,” says Smith. “It was a very inspirational project.” Smith and his business partner and sister, Shannon Horan, have been building across the Richmond market for over 20 years. Their homes can be found throughout Hallsley (including Saville Park, Hallsley’s maintenance-provided neighborhood) as well as in five other planned communities. They’ve created everything, from brick mansions at St. Mary’s in Powhatan to hip suburban homes at Raleigh Manor in Henrico’s West End. “From starter homes to big mansions,” says Smith, “every time, the enjoyment is in working with the customer.”

March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 33

Builder Spotlight Make Your Home Uniquely Yours “Today’s prospective homebuyers are pretty informed, pretty savvy,” says Joe Hill, president of Bell Arbor Builders. Thanks to the internet, Hill says that those who contact Bell Arbor Builders, “often know more about us than we know about them.” However, that disadvantage is short-lived. With virtually a lifetime in the business, Hill has learned how important it is to thoroughly know the home buyer. From the initial contact, his staff seeks to understand exactly what each prospective customer desires. “We listen to what they need; what they want,” he says. And then we custom design a home for each specific family.” In his twenty years as head of Bell Arbor, Hill says he’s never built the same home twice. Perhaps, it’s that determination to build unique, custom-designed homes that makes Bell Arbor a perfect fit for Hallsley. “One of the things that makes Hallsley so great is that they so strictly uphold their architectural standards,” he says. “They don’t want cookie-cutter homes.” While each home is truly unique, there are three distinct types of neighborhoods, in which Bell Arbor specializes. The company is responsible for some of the most beautiful estate homes found in Hallsley, as well as in other upscale communities throughout the Richmond area, including Raleigh, Sleepy Hollow and Kimloch in the West End. Hill says he’ll also be building in a new neighborhood, Tuckahoe Creek, which is located near Kimloch. In addition to estate homes, Bell Arbor offers villa-style homes designed primarily for empty nesters and baby boomers. Many of these homes are built in maintenance-provided neighborhoods. The Parks at Hallsley features Bell Arbor’s villa-style homes and, says Hill, he’ll be building 26 villastyle homes in a new section of Hallsley, known as Ascot Park. Such homes are also popular in Brickshire, in New Kent, where 65 Bell Arbor homes are being built around the golf course. And in the West End, pre-sales have begun for villa-style single family homes in Burleigh at Manor House, a new age-restricted community Recently, Bell Arbor has added a new category to its repertoire —

a series of more affordable family homes, with prices starting in the mid-600s, which are being built for Hallsley. Hill says that there are specific things that today’s homebuyer wants. While budget and home size necessitate some constraints, buyers seek larger, more open spaces as well as luxurious master bedroom/bathroom suites. It seems, however, that buyers are opting for luxurious over large. “Size is coming down,” he says. Sitting rooms in the master suite are out as homeowners are finding they rarely use that space. And as for the master bath, he notes that buyers want them to be smaller, but more spa-like. While sitting rooms are out, outdoor living rooms are in. “Outdoor living is huge, says Hill. “We do a lot of covered terraces, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces. Big kitchens, with plenty of space for seating and for entertaining guests, continue to be very popular, he says. Regardless of what you desire in your new home, Bell Arbor offers the services of professional designers who can build exactly what you seek. In fact, the firm offers its customers complimentary interior design services, whether they’re building a 3,500-square foot estate home, a villa-style home, or anything in between. Just as each Bell Arbor home is unique, so is each buyer. Hill says some come with iPad in hand, saying, “I don’t know what that is, but it’s what I want.” He says his team can design a home based on their ideas. “Others have their own plans. “We can accommodate them, as well.” And still others have no idea what they want, he says. Chances are good that Bell Arbor can design your home. They’re one of the few who are building true European-style homes. Or perhaps you seek the urban farmhouse look. “That’s a hot button right now,” he says, describing the style as offering simplified exteriors and big front porches. Regardless of the style, Arts and Craft, Traditional, virtually whatever you might desire, Bell Arbor can work with you and your family in designing a home that’s uniquely yours. Joe Hill sums up the keys to Bell Arbors’ success: “It’s our attention to detail and the personalization of the building process that we give each customer.”

Bell Arbor Builders – 804-751-9050;

34 Chesterfield Living

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Comfort Food Photo: Camille Robinson

Capital Ale House

13831 Village Place Dr. Midlothian; 804-780-2537; The amazing selection of exceptional beers is what brings folks to Capital Ale House, but the friendly service and delicious food bring them back. There’s a lot of comfort on the menu, from appetizing small plates and shareables to tasty burgers, steaks and seafood. One of our favorites is the Chicken, Shrimp & Andouille Pasta, served with a creamy Creole alfredo, fresh baby spinach and cavatappi pasta.

Photo: Howlett’s Restaurant & Tavern

Howlett’s Restaurant & Tavern 3530 Festival Park Plaza, Chester; 804-930-1034;

Howlett’s has earned its well-deserved reputation for offering great food in a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Local favorites are prime rib, crabcakes, fresh seafood and great steaks. Howlett’s also has an extensive lunch menu and made-from-scratch desserts. With its full bar and great staff, this is a truly special place to dine. If you want a little kick with your comfort, try the Fried Deviled Eggs, which are made inhouse, breaded in panko breadcrumbs, deep fried and served with a spicy jalapeño ranch.

March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 39

Comfort Food Photo: Camille Robinson

Azzurro Restaurant

6221 River Road (River Road Shopping Center); 804-282-1509; Whether seated on their softly-lit patio or inside near the crackling fireplace, there’s something very comforting about dining at Azzurro. This award-winning restaurant embodies an elegant, yet warm, intimate ambience. The extensive menu offers a wide selection of tasty antipasti dishes, fresh salads, delicious Italian entrees and pastas. The brick oven pizzas are a special delight. The Brick Oven Toasted Pepperoni Pizza is topped with goat cheese and roasted red pepper.

Photo: Camille Robinson

Legend Brewing Co. 321 W. 7th St.; 804-232-3446;

What began as a small tasting room and pub back in 1994, has grown into a full size 180-seat restaurant with a 200-seat deck and small beer garden. The warm, friendly pub atmosphere is still the same. Come enjoy one of Legend’s “throwback entrees,” their legendary Mac & Cheese, featuring creamy alfredo, red onion, cheddar jack cheese, bowtie pasta, finished in the oven and topped with grilled or fried chicken.

40 Chesterfield Living

Join Us For

L UNCH Downtown 1411 E. Cary Street, in Historic Shockoe Slip • 804-643-2333 Midlothian 11400 W. Huguenot Road, in The Shoppes at Bellgrade • 804-464-1476

tastebudz with Steve Cook and Elena Marinaccio

First, I want to welcome a brand new Taste Bud, our new Managing

Editor, here at Chesterfield Living, Elena Marinaccio. Elena probably didn’t know when she signed up for the job that she’d be required

Photo: Steve Cook

look at what’s new on the local food and beverage scene.

Photo: Camille Robinson

to eat her way around the county. But she’s a trooper. So, let’s take a

A MARRIAGE MADE WITH LEAVEN: Do you remember when Ukrop’s sold their stores to Martin’s about seven years ago and everyone was crying the blues? As you know, the Ukrops didn’t go away. They simply turned their endeavors to prepared foods, such as chicken salad, pimento cheese and a host of other items. But the things that I missed the most were the bakery goods. I’m talking about Rainbow and Buttertop cookies and their fantastic devil’s food cake with white icing. I’d been enjoying those items since I was a child. So, February 15 was a special day for me. That’s when the official announcement was made that Kroger grocery stores will now be carrying about 200 Ukrop food items, including a lot of bakery goods. The announcement was made at the beautiful, recently renovated Kroger store at 14101 Midlothian Turnpike. Bobby Ukrop, President and CEO of Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods, said he’d been hearing from local residents for years, asking, “When can we get Ukrop’s foods at Kroger’s?” Well the answer is NOW. Barbara Buck, deli merchandiser for Kroger Mid-Atlantic said during the joint announcement between the two companies, “We’re taking this partnership very seriously at every level in the store. We’re thrilled to be offering more Ukrop’s products than any other retailer, and we’ll work to make sure our customers’ expectations are exceeded.” (SC) 42 Chesterfield Living

Jenatha Robinson, owner over at Latitude Seafood Company, tells us they’ve revamped their happy hour to include ½ price on all beer, as well as ½ price on all wines by the glass and house spirits. The $6 happy hour menu (which runs 3–6:30 p.m. M-F, 12–4 p.m. Sat. and 1–8 p.m. Sun.) offers up salmon dip, half dozen oysters, hellfire shrimp, calamari and chicken lettuce wraps. Their menu is revamped for spring, and now includes lighter fare for lunch, with new salads, entrees and appetizers—Jenatha says she’s most excited about their new lobster Rangoon. The patio is always a popular option at the Westchester Commons location once the weather warms up, and they plan to start up live music Friday and Saturday nights starting in May.

tastebudz Which of Chesterfield County’s restaurants have you enjoyed? Recommend them to us! Know any exciting restaurant news? Don’t keep it a secret! Send us the scoop at

All this talk of food is making me hungry. So, it’s back to the streets and to the eats. Hey, before we go, here’s some big news. Listen for TasteBudz Minutes with Whitney Kiatsuranon and me every Wednesday through Friday on radio stations Hank 93.1, The Wolf 98.9 and BBT 107.3 If you have restaurant news to share or if you just want to tell us about a great dining experience at a local restaurant, email us at (SC)

Photo: Elena Marinaccio

I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: One of the year’s most anticipated events is the Virginia Wine Expo presented by Kroger, which will be held at the Richmond Convention Center March 8 through 12. This is the Expo’s 10th anniversary and it keeps getting better. One of the two new events is Thursday night’s (March 9) A Noodle & Dumpling Affair, to be held in the Hofheimer Building in Scott’s Addition. Feast on a cornucopia of noodles and dumplings from around the world. Of course, there will also be plenty of exceptional wine and sake as well as some of Scott’s Addition’s best craft beer. The main event is the Walk-Around Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll be able to taste not only some excellent Virginia wines, but the wines of the 2017 International Guest Region, Spain and Portgual, and the National Guest Region, Sonoma County, Calif. The tasting will be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. At this all-inclusive event, more than 650 bottles of wine will be available to taste. For tickets and additional information, visit the website: (SC)

YEAH, WE GOT THAT: We checked in with Joe Driebe, of Joe’s Inn, Joe’s Out, and as of last October, Bon Air Provisions. “People come in for everything,” Joe says of his new retail operation. “We sell a lot of seafood—we have shellfish from Chesapeake Bay, and if you wanted a particular type of oyster we can get it for you.” Located just two doors down from his namesake restaurant in the Buford Road Shopping Center (2624 Buford Rd.), Bon Air Provisions is a full-service butcher and fish monger, with 24 beer taps for growler fills and 75 labels of wine. The layout is hip and minimal: stainless steel counters, chalkboard beer wall, and that prime spot on the corner of the plaza fills the space with tons of natural light from the big windows. Sure you’re just running in to grab some grass-fed steaks and a growler of local brew—it’s still a cool atmosphere for the short amount of time you’re there. Right now dry goods are kept to a minimum but word is they’ll start stocking things like specialty cooking oils and some fine canned goods soon. (EM)

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Chesterfield Living 43

Raise the Bar 804-780-ALES

Smoked and Brewed for You.

Carry-out • catering • patio • private room 1110 Alverser Drive, Midlothian (Next to Ovation Cinema)

379-8727 •

44 Chesterfield Living

r e e B udz B Beer Budz is our brand new feature where we’ll be highlighting some of Richmond’s most anticipated beer releases from the region’s 30-plus breweries. With five new brewpubs slated to open in 2017 alone, our beer scene is growing like mad and we’ll be there to cover it.

Legend Brewery 321 W. 7th St.; Utebier Ale – 5.8% ABV Medium body, golden-orange color Available now through April “Utepils” literally means “outside beer” and in Norway it’s the beer you have when it’s finally nice enough to sit outside for a drink. Celebrate spring—and Richmond’s oldest standing brewery—at Legend’s annual anniversary party on April 15. “A medium bodied ale balanced with honey malts and Amarillo hops for a tropical aroma and a very crisp mouthfeel. The perfect first beer to have on a sunny day.” — Jason Valez, hospitality manager

Extra Billy’s Smokehouse and Brewery

Strangeways Brewing

1110 Alverser Dr., Midlothian; Vinny the Chin Vienna lager – 5% ABV

2277 Dabney Rd.;

Medium-light to medium body, light reddish to copper color

O.T.I.S. Cucumber Melon Sour – 5% ABV

Available starting late March or early April

Available April 15, with Gin and Tequila Variants out April 22

Back by popular demand, Vinny the Chin is making its second round at the brewery since its original release last spring. Jason Harr, co-owner at the longstanding BBQ restaurant, says the lager pairs best with smoked sausage. “There’s an aroma of German malt and light toasted malt, with a clean lager character and low noble hop aroma. There’s a subtle sweetness balanced with hops for a fairly dry finish.” — Dylan Brooks, brewmaster

Named for the Beer Den’s honorary bulldog mascot, this wild sour ale represents a truly collaborative effort in experimentation between brewers and local beer enthusiasts. Brewer Mike Hiller says both variants give the beer “a bit of a cocktail edge.” “We wanted to create a light, tart beer with some unique combination of flavors, and we settled on honeydew melons and cucumbers which combine for an ethereal taste.” — Mike Hiller, head brewer

Post your own tasting notes for these releases on Facebook with the hashtag #RVABeerBudz for a chance to win prizes, such as dining certificates, Flying Squirrel tickets and more. March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 45

Ristorante Italiano & Pizzeria

Authentic Italian Cuisine • Delicious Seasonal Dishes

FIND US ONLINE Calendar of Events | Contests Magazine Archives | Business Directory

11400 W. Huguenot Rd., Midlothian (Shoppes at Belgrade)





Specializing in Full Tree Service, Mulching and Stump Removal • Landscaping

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4024-C Cox Rd, Glen Allen • 804-747-8294 14221 Hull Street Rd, Chesterfield • 804-223-8182

Chesterfield’s best kept secret...

Fresh, Healthy, and Deliciously Different V for Sisit Us u Brun nday ch!



Ask about our Banquet Room: Able to accommodate up to 50 people our banquet facility is perfect for Rehearsal Dinners, Birthdays and Anniversaries, Business and Retirement dinners, Holiday Parties, Breakfast Meetings and large Lunch or Dinner parties. HOURS: Mon–Thurs, 11am-10pm • Fri–Sat, 11am-11pm • Sun: 10am-2pm SUNDAY BRUNCH: 10 am-2 pm • HAPPY HOUR: Monday-Friday, 3-6 pm

Not valid with any other offers. Expires 04/28/17

March / April 2017

804-930-1034 • 3530 Festival Park Plaza, Chester, VA 23831

Chesterfield Living 47

Happy Hour Guide Hiro Sushi

804-323-8108; 9958 Midlothian Turnpike; Midlothian’s intimate yet casual sushi spot is sure to have something on the menu for everyone from vegetarians to gluten free dining. BEER, WINE, SAKE Domestic Beer................................................................................................ $2 Select Beers.................................................................................................... $3 Select white and red wines by the glass........................................... $3.50 Hot sake......................................................................small, $3 and large, $5 FOOD Edamame......................................................................................................... $2 Gyoza or vegetarian gyoza................................................................... $3.50 Vegetable spring roll..................................................................................... $3 Fried calamari................................................................................................. $4 Crab meat cheese wonton.................................................................... $3.50 Kani salad.................................................................................................. $3.50 Seaweed salad......................................................................................... $3.50 California roll............................................................................................. $3.50 Spicy crunchy tuna roll................................................................................. $4 Spicy crunchy salmon roll............................................................................ $4 Sweet potato roll............................................................................................ $3 Spicy crabmeat roll........................................................................................ $4 ONE MORE THING: Check out their daily lunch specials. 48 Chesterfield Living

Kickback Jack’s

11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily; 10330 Midlothian Turnpike; 804-272-6234; Foodies, families and fanatics (of the sports variety) all love Kickback Jack’s. MONDAY Yuengling pints – $2.75

Carolina Blue Shooter – $3.75

TUESDAY Vista Point wines – Half-priced

All pints – $3

Jim Beam Apple – $4 WEDNESDAY White peach sangria – $5 THURSDAY Beer, 12 oz. cans – $2

Pickleback shots – $4 Beer, 16 oz. cans – $3

Autumn Sunset cocktail – $5 FRIDAY Michelob Ultra pints – $3.25

Scooby Snack cocktail – $4

SATURDAY Shock Top pints – $3.50

Island Bomb – $4.00

SUNDAY Shock Top pints – $3.50

Large Bud light in a stadium cup – $4

Cruzan buckets – $6.50

Kicked up bloody Mary – $5

ONE MORE THING: There are additional daily drink specials during Happy Hour

Casa Grande

Monday–Thursday, 4-7:30 p.m.; 10921 Midlothian Turnpike; 804-378-8177; Family owned and operated authentic Mexican restaurant offers daily lunch specials for only $3.99. COCKTAILS & BEER Mojitos........................................................................................................ $5.99 Margaritas.................................................................................................. $3.50 Beer – 24-oz................................................................................................... $3 Sangria....................................................................................................... $5.99 ONE MORE THING: Taco Mondays all day for $1 and enchiladas on Wednesdays are just $1. On Thursdays, all appetizers are only $3.

The Pub by Wegmans

Sunday–Thursday, 4-6 p.m. 12501 Stone Village Way; 804-419-9960; Looking for a quick bite before or after you shop for groceries, you’ll find a wide variety of tasty morsels and libations in the Pub, right inside Wegmans. COCKTAILS, WINE, BEER Sour apple martini......................................................................................... $5 Chocolate martini.......................................................................................... $5 Sangria............................................................................................................. $4 Pinot Grigio..................................................................................................... $4 Tempranillo...................................................................................................... $4 Draft Beer........................................................................................................ $3 APPETIZERS – $5 Warm Bavarian pretzel | Hand breaded calamari | PEI mussels Cheese & charcuterie | Mini burger | Mini mac & cheese ONE MORE THING: The Pub serves Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kabuto Japanese House of Steak and Sushi



Monday–Friday, 4-6:30 p.m.; 13158 Midlothian Turnpike; 804-379-7979;

presented by title sponsor

Traditional Japanese fare prepared with flare. COCKTAILS, BEER, WINE Rails $30% off


Beers by the glass $30% off Wine by the glass $30% off ONE MORE THING: Their talented and entertaining chefs can tailor a show to fit any group, including families, couples or business groups.

• 2-course lunch $10/$15 • 3-course dinner $20/$25/$30


$1 from each lunch and $2 from each dinner will be donated to the Coal Pit Learning Center

If you are a restaurant or beverage manager, please send your Happy Hour specials to Our Happy Hour Guide is provided as a service to our readers. This is not an advertisement, nor is any compensation involved. HenricoRestaurantWeek

Vi e w p a r t i c i p a t i n g r e s t a u r a n t s o n l i n e a t

All happy hour listings are subject to change. Please drink responsibly. March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 49

Events Calendar by Chesterfield Living staff



Ten people are stranded in an isolated English country house during a raging thunderstorm — the perfect scenario for an Agatha Christie whodunit, right? But in this musical spoof of the genre, the characters are disposed of one by one in fiendishly clever and comic ways: poison darts, maneating flower pots, and exploding staircases to name just a few! How will it end? Come and see for yourself!

Is all of your waste ending up where it should? Give your trash a second thought while appealing to your competitive streak. Try your skills at some trashy trials and see if you and your family can ease the conflict between convenience and the survival of natural areas.

Something’s Afoot

8–10 p.m. / $41.25-$59.15 / All Ages / Swift Creek Mill Theatre, 17401 Jefferson Davis Hwy., South Chesterfield /


The Harlem Globetrotters

A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages.

Waste Wars

10 a.m.–11 a.m. / Pocahontas State Park Nature Center, 10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield /


Chesterfield Chamber Night Out Join the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce  at  Uptown Alley  for their  March Chamber Night Out. Enjoy bowling, billiards, arcade games, networking, food and drinks. 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. / members, free; $10, prospective & non-members / Uptown Alley, 6101 Brad McNeer Pkwy., Midlothian

7 p.m. / For ticket info visit / Richmond Coliseum, 601 E. Leigh St.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Out of This World Farewell Tour After 146 years, the tents come down. But for one more time, moms and dads and kids of all ages will be on the edge of their seats as they enjoy heart- pounding spectacles of gravity-defying feats, magnificent animals, and unforgettable thrills. For show times and ticket info visit Richmond / Richmond Coliseum, 601 E. Leigh St.


An Evening With Delbert McClinton Multi-Grammy Award winner Delbert McClinton appears on stage at the historic Beacon Theatre. Doors open 6:30 p.m. / $35–$105 / The Beacon Theatre, 401 N. Main St., Hopewell /

50 Chesterfield Living

MARCH 23- 26


MAY 6–21

Hotel California faithfully and accurately reproduces the sound of the Eagles’ studio recordings while recreating a classic sound which undeniably transcends the boundaries of Rock, R&B, and Country while delivering a modern, action-packed performance that brings this timeless music into the new millennium.

The Home Building Association of Richmond presents Richmond’s Homearama 2017, New Market Estates at RoundTrey. This exciting show will feature 10 new homes. Each home is furnished, decorated and filled with the latest building and design trends.

Hotel California

Richmond’s Homearama 2017

New Market Estates, 2307 Farham Lane, Midlothian / For more info visit,

6:30 p.m. / $20 - $75 / The Beacon Theatre, 401 N. Main St., Hopewell /


RVA Brews & Blues Fest Steam Bell Beer Works’ first annual RVA Brews & Blues. The brewery will be releasing a small batch beer, Old Salt Gose, and will have Intergalactic Tacos  and Eastern Star food trucks out all day. Bands include: Albert Castiglia Band; Anthony Rosano and The Conqueroos; Andrew Alli and The Mainline; Band of Brothers; Mike Lucci Band. 1 p.m. until ? / Steam Bell Beer Works, 1717 Oak Lane Blvd. West, Midlothian /


Flying Squirrels Baseball Opening Night Celebration & Dueling Fireworks presented by Chick-fil-A, Fas Mart and Virginia Putative Father Registry. The Diamond, 3001 N. Boulevard, Richmond / For schedule and info on ticket prices and special promotions, visit

MAY 13


Richmond Roughriders Arena Football

The Jimmy Dean Music Fest With Special Guest Star Loretta Lynn

Arena Football returns as the Richmond Roughriders open the season at home in the Coliseum against the Birmingham Outlawz.

7 p.m. / Tickets & schedules, visit / Richmond Coliseum, 601 E. Leigh St.


Dining on Dirt Onions have layers, ogres have layers, cakes have layers, and so does our soil. Stop by the nature center to learn how we decode the different layers of soils, while getting a little dirty and satisfying our sweet tooth at the same time. 3–4 p.m. / Pocahontas State Park Nature Center / 10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield / dcr.virginia. gov/state-parks/pocahontas

March / April 2017

Country music legend Loretta Lynn will headline Jimmy Dean Music Festival to be held at the Beacon Theatre in Hopewell. The stars of the Old Dominion Barn Dance — Donna Meade, Tony Jackson, Lynne Carnes, Lee Blasingame, the Peanut City Cloggers and Danny Menzies and the Barn Burners — will also perform in the show. Door, 6 p.m. / $70–$155 / Beacon Theatre, 401 N. Main St., Hopewell /

Chesterfield Living 51



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Home Buyers’ Desires HOME

A LOOK AT TODAY’S TRENDS by Jordan Langley


he American dream, to some, includes home ownership — a place of one’s own, or at least the bank’s for a while, then completely our own. Home ownership gives us more reasons to decorate the way we wish, to raise our kids, form relationships with neighbors or live free-range on acreage, break bread with friends and family around our table and make memories. The suburbs of Richmond are no exception to the dream.

54 Chesterfield Living

Stalling out after the turbulent 2008, the real estate market struggled to rebuild itself and, today, enjoys steadily increasing sales. Today, real estate agents and builders are swamped. Future homebuyers are enthusiastic and discerning, armed with their own research. What are the current home trends in the Richmond suburban markets as far as location, exterior style and interior options? I spoke with Kevin Currie, principal, and Jessica Coaker, real estate agent of Kevin Currie Group ( They offer a full-service agency to aid new or moving

“Buyers are looking for move-in

ready. Older homes are competing against new construction. Buyers want updated. No one has time for D.I.Y.” – Jessica Coaker, Realtor, Kevin Currie Group

homebuyers in finding their forever home. Tapping into their combined years of experience and resources, the pair give insight into Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover housing trends. “Buyers are looking for move-in ready across all areas,” Coaker tells me. “Older homes are competing against new construction. Buyers want updated. No one has time for D.I.Y.” Currie adds, “Buyers want to ride bikes with their kids, not paint cabinets.” The inventory availability is equal in Chesterfield and Henrico, the counties with the highest sales in the Richmond market. Homebuyers are watching how many days a house sits on the market to determine a final sale price, Currie says. Location is ever important

The farmhouse look, with its vertical siding and dormers, is trending. Maintenance free yards and exteriors and access to a community pool are also now on many homebuyers’ short lists.

in the home-buying process. Some may even cross county lines to get more house for their money. In Henrico and Chesterfield, Currie says, “Most are looking for front-yard living, a community pool and association, maintenancefree and curb appeal, nice landscaping, regardless of trees or not.” However, Hanover buyers want more acreage “to live off the land with chickens and horses,’’ he says. Buyers are also looking for easy access to highways and good schools, Coaker says, adding “They ask for lots of light, character, an open floor plan but also want a closed off home office or living/playroom space on the first floor; loft space on the second floor, also.” Perhaps due to the influx of Northern transplants in Richmond, Currie says, basements

are on the rise because they are used more than a finished third-floor space. The appeal of building your own home involves picking the best area, neighborhood and lot for your family’s needs. The interior and exterior design selection, crafting a home to your personal specifications, is a favorite step in the process. Janet Hart, Design Studio Manager at Richmond-based Main Street Homes (GoMSH. com) scouts design and retail shows and conducts research to provide the latest home offerings to her clients. Custom building a home requires choosing a dizzying array of products and finishes with attention to space and lay-

“They ask for lots of light,

character, an open floor plan but also want a closed off home office or living/playroom space on the first floor and loft space on the second floor.” – Jessica Coaker, Realtor, Kevin Currie Group

out. “Craftsman style is going to a farmhouse look, less shake, more vertical siding with metal roofs accented with dormers and shutters, Hart says, adding that windows have darker window panes and frames, not white. For interiors, “the first-floor master is still popular with everyone,’’ Hart explains. “Buyers are planning for somewhere they can stay long-term. The master suite is a haven.” “Open-concept is still popular with even

“A black faucet on a quartz island

with outdoor-style lantern pendants looks clean and sleek. “Islands are getting bigger,’’ she adds. “They are a gathering place.”

Mud rooms have joined the “must have” list for active families with multiple children and pets. The rooms, with their shelves, cabinets and durable floors, provide a place to drop bags, sports equipment, muddy shoes, gardening tools and more, helping the rest of the house remain clutter-free.

– Janet Hart, Design Studio Manager, Main Street Homes

a decline in formal dining spaces,” Hart says. White kitchen cabinets with white subway tile, gray or navy island colors are big. Granite and quartz countertops, which are less porous and more hygienic, and stainless steel, black or slate-colored kitchen appliances, are sought after. A black faucet on a quartz island with outdoor-style lantern pendants looks clean and sleek. “Islands are getting bigger,’’ she adds. “They are a gathering place.” Hardwood floors remain a staple in the modern home. Hart shows me a sample of a newly engineered wide-plank hardwood that is made of compressed vinyl. One might raise an eyebrow and think of ‘70s mustard-yellow kitchen tiles, but in touching the sample, it has the feel, look and durability of real hardwood. The technology of quality home goods is ever-evolving. The most popular hardwood floor finishes are, she says, “any color from rustic hickory to a light blonde. Buyers are getting away from cherry or dark red tones.” The updated master bathroom, a luxurious retreat after a long day, can showcase granite countertops over a gray vanity fitted with stainWell-appointed bathrooms contribute to improved resale values while providing homeowners with a luxurious relaxing retreat less steel faucets and a framed from the pressures of the workaday world. mirror. “Bathroom floors and 56 Chesterfield Living

shower stalls are being fitted with 12-inch by 24-inch elongated tiles. In showers, there is more simplicity, less mosaic,” Hart says. Like kitchens, bathrooms are a recommended area to spend a good portion of the budget for resale. Often overlooked is the mud room, but active families require a place to drop bags, sports equipment and shoes so as not to clutter up the rest of the house. Custom cabinetry, benches and easily-cleaned flooring for this room is a must. To complement a sidewalk community, buyers want outdoor spaces to kick their feet up, entertain guests or commune with neighbors. “Outdoor kitchens or living spaces, big decks, a concrete patio with fire pit or big front porches are desirable,” says Coaker. “Homebuyers are waiting until they’re older to buy, so the budget can be, say $350,000, where it would have been less before,” Currie adds. If your budget doesn’t stretch as far as you’d like, real estate experts and builders will work within your means to find the perfect abode. While a homeowner may have to compromise on a few items from their dream list in the beginning, knowing what is essential now can keep options open for the future. Highend finishes, additions and improvements can always be added later. In all, potential homebuyers in the Richmond area have many possibilities to choose from, whether it be to purchase an existing home with history and mature landscaping or to dive into a new build. Location is a personal preference, and one can’t go wrong with the hustle and bustle of Henrico, the traditions of Chesterfield or the sprawling country of Hanover. Wherever you choose to live, make that house your home.

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Back to Nature In Your Own Backyard Native plants are key to a low-maintenance, environmentally friendly landscape. Succulents provide a way to insert color and texture into your surroundings. Fruits and vegetable planting are an under-utilized way to bring color to your yard while also providing delicious additions to your dining table.


by Susan Higgins

Photo: EP Henry

esidential are relatively self-sufficient — ­ they are often trees into ornamental beds landscaping drought tolerant as well as insect and disease where they are both decorais returning resistant. And natives help support local wildtive and delicious, we give to its roots. life and beneficial insects by providing food new meaning to the term locaHomeowners are no longer and habitat. vore. And, we’re feeding our famimanicuring our backyards into Homeowners are also cultivating a suburlies with the home-grown produce of submission. Instead, we are relinquishban version of farm to table. By introducing our own back yards. ing our responsibilities and acknowledging edibles like vegetables, herbs and even fruit Even hardscaping is part of the trend. Sean with some relief that nature is a betLarkin, natural stone and hardscapter gardener than we are. She can ing manager for Pete Rose, Inc., sees take care of herself – if we let her. more and more customers building The trend is called sustainable patios, walkways and driveways landscaping and it is characterized out of permeable pavers, which are by low-maintenance garden deinstalled with porous joints and a signs that have minimal environgravel underlay. “Rainwater seeps mental impact. It plays out when through the joints into a collecwe choose to plant native species, tion system below, where it slowly when we trade turf grass for “greenpermeates the earth” he explains. er” surfaces or when we replace In addition to reducing rainwater decks with patios constructed of runoff, the systems trap suspended permeable pavers. solids and help to filter pollutants. Plant species which have adapt“Permeable pavers are so effective As you can see from the three yardscape photos accompanying this ed to local soil and climate conwhen used consistently,” Larkin article, permeable pavers come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes ditions are called native plants. adds. “Municipalities in the waand styles, making them design-friendly and essential to environBecause they adapt in response to tershed are beginning to require mentally responsible outdoor living spaces. regional influences, native plants them.” 58 Chesterfield Living

Photo: EP Henry

Raingardens are a more elaborate application of the same principle. Rainwater from a downspout, driveway or sump pump is collected in a shallow depression that has been planted with deep rooted, native species, where it is filtered, absorbed by the plants or diverted into the water table. Capturing runoff before it reaches the sewer system prevents local flooding, protects the watershed and recharges local groundwater systems. Raingardens

also help control mosquito populations by minimizing the standing water where the pests breed. Gardeners are enjoying the fruits of their newfound freedom on paved courtyards that open onto several rooms of the house. These are permanent living spaces that function as extensions of our indoor space. Furnished with outdoor fabrics for yearround comfort, they often feature fully furnished kitch-

ens, fireplaces or fire pits and water features, all illuminated with specialized lighting. Want to get in on the trend? Beautiful RVA, a coalition of public and private agencies dedicated to urban greening in and around Richmond, provides a list of 122 native or naturalized plant species on its website, The site also offers four simple, environmentally friendly residential landscape designs for incorporating raingardens, permeable pavers and native plants into your own backyard.

Spring Is Here... Once you’ve completed

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Chesterfield Living 59


POCAHONTAS S............... TATE PARK Photos: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

A Green Space for Everyone

by Tom Gresham

Water Activities

ith approximately 8,000 acres, Chesterfield’s Pocahontas State Park is the largest and most-visited state park in Virginia. Developed during the Depression, the park was the first recreational park established in the Richmond region. Its popularity can be traced not only to the variation of activities, but to the quality of them. Expansive trails, pleasant lakes, abundant wildlife – the park provides a tranquil refuge and a hub for outdoor activities. “We’re the biggest green spot in Chesterfield County, and we’re right in the middle of the county,” said Bryce Wilk, assistant park manager. “This park gives people a really great way to get out and get lost in nature.” Wilk said even regulars to Chesterfield’s Pocahontas State Park can always find a new activity to try or a new corner of the park to explore. “Every day is a little bit different here,” Wilk said. “There are so many things to do no matter what you’re interested in.” 60 Chesterfield Living

The park features three bodies of water and two of them — Swift Creek Lake and Beaver Lake — form a centerpiece to the Pocahontas experience. Each has productive fishing spots (crappie, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, warmouth bass, bluegill and catfish) and Swift Creek also entices boating enthusiasts. Gas-powered boats are prohibited, but rentals of a variety of vessels are available. Meanwhile, the aquatic center includes two two-story water slides, a circular pool, a wet deck, an activity pool, a large water playground and a baby pool. Unsurprisingly, Wilk said the pool complex draws large crowds throughout the summer, especially on hot weekends.

Mountain Biking Mountain bikers flock to the park’s multiple trail systems, which accommodate riders of all skill levels and include 23 miles of singletrack trails. Pocahontas, in fact, has the largest all-volunteer-maintained trail system in the region. “It’s quite an experience for mountain bikers,” Wilk said.

Wilk added that the most popular biking trail, Blueberry Hill, is also accessible for hand-cyclists, thanks to a collaboration with the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Hiking Hikers revel in the park’s network of trails, including five miles of trails surrounding Beaver Creek and miles more that wind through the park’s woodlands. Wilk said a new hike called Big Poplar has attracted walkers who stop and take pictures of a tulip poplar that is the largest tree in the park. Wilk said it takes three adults to reach all the way around the tree.

Volunteers are critical to the upkeep of the trails, said Wilk, who estimated that they handle 90 percent of trail maintenance. “We rely on them a lot,” he added. In addition, the park has 13 miles of bridle trails for horseback riding.


For overnight guests, Pocahontas has 129 campsites, six cabins and four new yurts that opened in November. Wilk said the campsites are a big draw and are essentially full every weekend from late April through Novem-

Nature Center and Civilian Conservation Corps Museum The Nature Center has environmental education activities that illuminate the park’s natural world. Live animals on site include turtles, snakes and insects, while the nature hikes that originate at the center help visitors learn more about the park’s creatures and plants and often focus on a topic, such as birding or nature journaling. Pocahontas also hosts frequent geocaching events and crafting activities. The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum pays tribute to the Depression-era federal public work relief program that developed Pocahontas State Park, among other projects across the country.

ber. The camping component ensures that the park’s population often features a mix of locals and out-of-towners. Those staying in the facilities hail from all over, often including international travelers. “I recognize some of the same families from year to year,” Wilk said.

Special Events

Pocahontas hosts special events and activities throughout the year. This spring, highlights included two popular races — a marathon trail race held in March

and a trail relay in April when teams of four to eight runners complete a 130-mile course in about 24 hours. Other annual events that tend to draw a crowd include Earth Day, which always involves a large-scale volunteer project focusing on the park, and a Kids to Park Day, which emphasizes food and special activities for children. There’s also a concert series, Pocahontas Premieres, which launches in late April/early May. In addition, shelters and picnic areas present spaces for group outings.

For more information about Pocahontas State Park, including a regularly updated schedule of events and activities, visit dcr.

March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 61



Cherry Blossom

Festival An Enduring Celebration of Transient Beauty by Zach Brown

eginning on March 20 and running through April 16, the 2017 Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival will herald the return of spring in the nation’s capital. For more than 100 years, Washington D.C. has been home to a grove of Japanese cherry trees that is the catalyst for a grand, four-week festival that includes food, entertainment and art, which expands across the culture of America and Japan. The history of the celebration of the cherry blossoms, however, extends beyond the Capital or even the founding of America. Since the 8th century, the cherry blossom has encapsulated an allure and appreciation of life that has echoed in the millennia since. There exists a feudal Japanese proverb that states “among blossoms, the cherry blossom; among men, the warrior.” At the time of the proverb’s origin, Japan was controlled by the revered samurai. As such, the cherry blossoms’ beauty was considered unmatched in the same way a samurai’s abilities, authority and honor were unrivaled. Throughout the country’s history woodblock prints, haiku and currency would often laud the beauty of the cherry blossom.

It is not simply the blossom’s appearance that gives the tree such weight through the history of Japan, but rather the symbolic nature the trees carry with them. The Japanese concept of mono no aware or the “pathos of things” — a Japanese  term for the awareness of impermanence — takes root in the symbolism of the cherry blossom through its graceful, but wholly volatile, beauty. To this end, mono no aware, and by extension the cherry tree, serve as reminders of the beauty and fragility of life even beyond our own. It was with this concept that Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki gifted Washington D.C. 3,000 cherry trees in 1912. It wasn’t until 1927 that the first “proper” Cherry Blossom Festival took place on our nation’s capital when a group of school children reenacted the initial planting that had taken place 15 years prior. Since that time, the festival has continued to grow. A century later, the spirit of Ozaki’s initial gesture of friendship and empathy holds true. What once was a single day of watching the blossoms has become a four-week celebration of culture, art and unity. A near month of events, parades and celebration surround the symbolism of the cherry blossom as visitors from across the globe migrate to

“In the cherry blossom’s shade, there is no such thing as a stranger.” — Kobayashi Issa

62 Chesterfield Living

Photo: Ron Engle

Photo: Ron Engle

our nation’s capitol. “Each year, we welcome more than 1.5 million atas the area around the cherry blossoms is filled with events, performtendees to Washington, D.C. and 2017 marks the 90th anniversary since ers and art pieces celebrating the end of winter and the return of spring. the first Festival,” says Nora Strumpf, a spokesperson with the National One such event, the Blossom Kite Festival, will take place on the grounds Cherry Blossom Festival. One of last year’s most popular events was the of the Washington Monument on April 1. Starting at 10 a.m., kite makSakura Matsuri, a Japanese Street Festival, which will return this year on ers and fliers from across the globe will gather for competitions such as Saturday, April 8. In 2016, some 25,000 took advantage of the opportuthe Hot Tricks Showdown as well as non-competitive flying exhibitions. nity to explore Japanese-inspired cuisine, vendors and Both professional and amateur kite fliers are welcome to To the Japanese, artists, and Strumpf suggests that this year will be no difthe Blossom Kite Festival, as a make-your-own-kite staferent. “We’re excited for the return of the Sakura Matsuri, tion will be featured for children and budding kite artists. the cherry tree which will be produced by the Japan-American Society of On April 8, the National Cherry Blossom Parade roars and it’s blossoms Washington, D.C., as it is one of our premiere events.” to life along Constitution Avenue. The parade will begin Another highlight of the festival is the Pink Tie Party on have traditionally at 10 a.m. at the National Archives, and then proceed 10 March 16. This precursor to the blossoms includes food, blocks towards the Washington Monument. The mobile drinks and a silent auction to benefit the non-profit Na- served as symbolic festivities are sure to delight, as parade goers are wowed tional Cherry Blossom, Inc. General admission is $200, by lively music from marching bands, grand helium balreminders of the with those “budding” attendees, age 21 to 30, getting in loons, beautifully crafted floats, and both foreign and dobeauty and fragil- mestic celebrities. for less than half the price. If the Pink Tie Party is not your scene, don’t worry. The Finally, on April 16, the Festival’s finale weekend will ity of life. very next weekend, on March 25, will see the Cherry Blospresent the Southwest Waterfront Firework Festival, which som Festival’s Opening Ceremony descend on the Warner Theatre. The ceris sure to dazzle, delight and ring in spring in extraordinary fashion. emony will offer both traditional and contemporary performance pieces Beyond the festivities and fun of the festival, the bloom of the cherry from American and Japanese performers alike. In addition to the Opening blossoms is rooted in a universal understanding. Kobayashi Issa, the Ceremony, the Festival Directors are introducing a new event — the SAAM famed 19th century poet, once wrote: “In the cherry blossom’s shade, Cherry Blossom Celebration, produced by the Smithsonian American Art there is no such thing as a stranger.” And in these trees that have fasciMuseum. Though details are still forthcoming, the celebration promises to nated people for over a millennium and inspired art, poetry, songs and entertain. philosophy, maybe we too can find a gentle appreciation of life in this Following the Opening Ceremony, the Festival goes into full bloom timeless celebration.

March / April 2017

Chesterfield Living 63


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