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NRV’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

New River Valley November/December 2020

nrvmagazine.com

Happy Holidays


Search. See. Love.

Find a place to hang your heart. Explore all homes today and leverage the insight of our agent network. Find your agent at LongandFoster.com

Darin Greear REALTOR®

540.320.5859 Darin@RinerVa.com www.RinerVa.com

Priscilla Morris REALTOR® 540.320.3586 Priscilla@PriscillaMorris.com www.PriscillaMorris.com

Brenda Woody REALTOR®

540.257.0281

Brenda.Woody@LongandFoster.com www.longandfoster.com/BrendaWoody

‘Helping You With All Your Housing Needs”

Anne Hite REALTOR® 540.320.9922 anne.hite@lnf.com

www.longandfoster.com/AnneHite

Wendy Swanson REALTOR®

540.797.9497

swansonwm@gmail.com www.wendymswanson.com

Visit www.longandfoster.com or download our mobile app today! 3601 Holiday Ln. Blacksburg, VA 24060 | 540.552.1010

of Long & Foster Real Estate

Mike Weber REALTOR®

540.250.6727

MikesYourRealtor@gmail.com www.longandfoster.com/MikeWeber

Long & Foster was named “America’s Most Trusted Residential Real Estate Brokerage” by Lifestory Research.

Trust. Family. Excellence. 2

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Calendar of Events

When it comes to celebrating the holidays, there’s always room at

2020

GRAND THANKSGIVING TAKE-OUT

Thursday, November 26 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal from Preston's in the comfort of your own home with this take-out option including turkey and multiple sides. Leave the meal planning and cooking to us while you enjoy this special time with family and friends. Pre-orders required by November 19. Please call 540.231.0120 to order and select your pick-up time. Payment due at time of order.

FASHIONS FOR EVERGREENS

Trees on Display November 26-January 1 Our foyer's creatively designed trees present awe-inspiring decorating ideas in an extraordinary display. After you take in all of the dazzling trees, be sure to cast a vote for your favorite.

SUNDAY BRUNCH

Sunday, December 6, 13, 20 | 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Enjoy brunch in Preston's as your family enjoys the holiday season. Join us each Sunday for a plated brunch. Reservations required. Please call Preston's at 540.231.0120 for reservations.

CHRISTMAS EVE FEAST

Thursday, December 24 | 5-9 p.m. Enjoy this festive night with a special plated meal at Preston's. Reservations required. Please call Preston's at 540.231.0120 for reservations.

CHRISTMAS DAY BRUNCH

Friday, December 25 | 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Brunch at Preston's is always special, but the holiday season holds a unique charm. Come enjoy the sights and sounds of the season and our genuine wishes for a joyous holiday. Reservations required. Please call Preston's at 540.231.0120 for reservations.

NEW YEAR’S EVE AT PRESTON’S

Thursday, December 31 | 5-9 p.m. Close out 2020 "Inn"-style with live entertainment, a plated dinner, and a champagne toast. Reservations required. Please call Preston's at 540.231.0120 for reservations.

901 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061 | 540.231.8000 | InnatVirginiaTech.com NRVMAGAZINE.com

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1,000 REASONS TO CHOOSE CARILION. If you have severe aortic stenosis, a life-threatening heart valve condition, the advanced TAVR procedure gives you a minimally invasive option that gets you back to your life faster—without open heart surgery. And at Carilion, where we match our technical expertise with the comprehensive follow-up care you deserve, our experts have completed 1,000 TAVR procedures—by far the most in our region. We congratulate the physicians and clinical staff whose teamwork and dedication made this milestone possible, and who continue to position Carilion as the region’s leader in heart care. Most importantly, we thank our patients for trusting us with your care.

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CONTENTS November/December

2020

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Pa sture Ta l k

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S mal l Bi z @ C hr i st m a s 1 0

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' Decor Af i c i ona do s 1 4 C hr i stmas Fai r y l a nd 1 8 Mi c key G o es to Tow n 22 Deha r t Ti l e 24

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S mal l & Bo l d 26 10 NRV H i kes 28 Ri des: Mo del T 32

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Bi z Dur i ng a Pa ndem i c 3 6 The Peop l e's Pharma c i st 40

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Lo cal G i ft Gui de 42 Fo o d Fa re 4 4

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CASH BACK

*

2% CHECKING

*2% cash back on debit card purchases up to $500 with monthly Direct Deposit of at least $1,000 and up to $1,000 with monthly Direct Deposit of at least $5,000. Maintain a monthly Direct Deposit of at least $1,000 to avoid a $9 fee and enroll in eStatements to avoid a $2 paper statement fee. Fees could reduce earnings on the account. Rate may change after account opening. With monthly Direct Deposit of at least $1,000 up to 2 nationwide out-of-network ATM fees will be refunded, and with monthly Direct Deposit of at least $5,000 up to 4 nationwide out-of-network ATM fees will be refunded. Surcharge-free ATMs are a part of the CULIANCE ATM network and can be identified by the presence of a CULIANCE, MoneyPass or Allpoint logo. More details available at www.freedomfirst.com/checking.

56 Years of Proudly Serving the New River Valley! Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Carpet Hardwood Luxury Vinyl Stacked Stone Window Treatments 1140 Radford St - (540)-382-3271 Christiansburg, VA 24073 8

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NEW RIVER VALLEY M

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P. O. Box 11816 Blacksburg, VA 24062 o: 540-961-2015 nrvmagazine@msn.com www.nrvmagazine.com

PUBLISHER Country Media, Inc. Phillip Vaught MANAGING EDITOR Joanne Anderson ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Sabrina Sexton ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Kim Walsh

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DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Dennis Shelor WRITERS Joanne Anderson Karl Kazaks Krisha Chachra Emily Alberts Jennifer Cooper Becky Hepler Nancy Moseley Kameron Bryant

PHOTOGRAPHERS Kristie Lea Photography Kevin Riley Always and Forever Photography Tom Wallace Billy Bowling Photography Nathan Cooke Photography © 2020 Country Media, Inc. Country Media, Inc. will not knowingly publish any advertisement that is illegal or misleading to its readers. Neither the advertiser nor Country Media, Inc. will be responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints, or typographical errors. The publisher assumes no financial liability for copy omissions by Country Media, Inc. other than the cost of the space occupied by the error. Corrections or cancellations to be made by an advertiser shall be received no later than 5 p.m. the 20th of each publishing month. No claim shall be allowed for errors not affecting the value of the advertisement. Paid advertising does not represent an endorsement by this publication. Content cannot be reproduced without written consent from Country Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Real Estate advertised in this publication is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.

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Pasture Talk

A friend of mine told me recently about having a blowout on the highway in a new car. No one was hurt, thankfully, and I casually asked how new, thinking that perhaps the tires had not been scuffed sufficiently. It was brand new, which may have been a contributing factor. She was not familiar with tire scuffing and perhaps there are others unaware, so here’s the lowdown. Car tires have a lubricant coating to prevent them from sticking to the molds after curing. Residue on brand new tires can be slippery, not providing the best traction. Additionally, the layers of rubber, fabric and steel need to begin compressing and working well together. The general rule of thumb for any car is easy driving the first 500 miles on new tires with gentle accelerating, braking and cornering. And, avoid scuffing the tires with a rotary sander as competitive NASCAR racing teams might do. It invalidates your warranty and is unnecessary for normal drivers. Warmer temperatures help break in tires faster than cold, and new motorcycle tires need the same easy treatment, at least for the first 100 miles. If you or someone you know loves the beach, tropical settings, Jimmy Buffett music, surf, sand and salt air, check out www.FinsLife.com – coming soon! Look for Fins Life Magazine on Facebook. Here you’ll N o v - D e c 2 0 2 0

find our new venture into publishing on the national stage, print and digital versions of Fins Life Magazine. Think of it as a gift for yourself and Christmas present for everyone else you know who craves beach life, even if from afar, like SW Virginia or Vermont or Idaho.. No advertising. 64 pages of brilliant content, recipes, parrothead and pirate profiles, boating adventures and stunning beach photography. Not on newsstands. Subscription only. That’s the sales pitch. It is predicted to be a smashing success! Food Lion is our largest distribution outlet, and you can find New River Valley Magazine in print at Electrical Supply, Blacksburg Feed and Seed, Inn at Virginia Tech (inside first of double doors in the front) and Blacksburg True Value Hardware Store, Macado's and many places. And, always, online at nrvmagazine. com. Thanks for finding it, reading it, enjoying it. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to all the people in the New River Valley and beyond. Remember our advertisers. Shop small. Buy local. Please. It is not a mantra, but a genuine way of life to revitalize and protect the economic health and well-being of our communities.

Joanne Anderson ManagingEditor jmawriter@aol.com

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Fe at ure

Small Business

at

Christmas Time

Text by Joanne M. Anderson Photos by Tom Wallace The staff at Al’s on First broke away from its food side, prepping, cooking, serving, clearing, to embrace its decorative side right after Thanksgiving last year. “We made little groups of staff members who could decorate trees however they wanted to with what we had on hand,” states general manager Amanda Ferguson, who brought in several trees from her collection. “The trees were numbered, and we asked customers to vote on their favorites.” They all look beautiful in the photographs, so it could 10

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have been a major tie. Ferguson and the whole team put on their thinking caps when receiving this marching order from the boss and owner, Al Shelor: “I’d like an ice skating rink outside. Figure it out.” Typically, a crafted skating rink has a mirror surface with people in skates on it. That somehow didn’t seem too practical, so the idea evolved into a pond, and tulle was the perfect winter pond surface. Tulle is a fine mesh, somewhat stiff fabric made with natural and synthetic

fibers. It’s very popular for young ballerina tutus and wedding veils. Tulle is named for Tulle, France, where it was first manufactured and may have rocketed to popularity when it was designed into Queen Victoria’s wedding gown in 1840. At Al’s on First, it created an attractive winter pond replete with a wood raft for a few large birds. More Christmas trees, a standing reindeer, charming wood wagon with its own tree and large, wrapped gifts and a couple big hanging stars add to the outdoor holiday atmosphere. And it

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appears that holiday statements are simply not complete these days without the ubiquitous red pick-up truck. In addition to all the trees inside, an assortment of Christmas garland, ribbons, lights, wrapped packages and a stand-up bear enhanced the festive aura. The restaurant has been open for five years, with Ferguson managing it for four years. The interior exudes a lodge quality and feel that blends rustic country with southern charm and delivers a menu which rivals big city fare. The decorations may not be as extravagant this year, but they intend to decorate. “We are operating with only half

“We again plan to offer holiday drinks and special seasonal craft beers. In place of the grand holiday buffet, everything will be ordered from the menu so people do not have to leave their tables.”

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the staff and reduced capacity [under the coronavirus rules], so we don’t have as many people to contribute to the work it takes,” Ferguson states. “We again plan to offer holiday drinks and special seasonal craft beers. In place of the grand holiday buffet, everything will be ordered from the menu so people do not have to leave their tables.” For a fun, little excursion supporting small business, head down to Al’s on First for pan-seared scallops, cedar plank salmon, bleu cheese crusted filet mignon, or comfort food stand-bys like homestyle chicken and dumplings or chicken pot pie inside a flaky crust. French onion soup and lobster bisque are always on the menu, along with Al’s signature sandwiches. Sunday brunch features a pumpkin walnut waffle, smoked turkey, open faced pot roast and other delicious entrees. While you’re at it, maybe spend the night close to home at Jackson Park Inn. You don’t have to walk outside from the restaurant to the front desk where Wendy Akers is the hotel manager. Buy a gift certificate and do all you can to help this and other small businesses which have been required to reduce their revenue stream through no fault of their own. Oh, and don’t forget to smell the roses, or this time of year, admire the holiday decorations.

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You can’t fix a tooth with a lug wrench. In your business, you need certain tools to help you do your best work. And if the tools aren’t right, the outcomes won’t be either. That’s why at Skyline National Bank, we craft our business banking tools to fit your operation, and to help you grow and be successful. Giving you the right support is how we do our best work.

SkylineNationalBank.com

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This Little Light of Mine local holiday décor aficionados amp up the average lighting display

Text by Nancy S. Moseley When it comes to holiday decorations, “less is more” just doesn’t cut it. Nothing illustrates this better than when Charlie Brown tried to put a lone red ball on his paltry tree. Immediate failure. It wasn’t until the tree was bedazzled with bling did it magically come to life. The ante ups every year regarding how much bling is required to stay relevant. Holiday preparation has become so much more than decking the halls with boughs of sharp greenery. Just swing by Hobby Lobby. The use of light in celebration of Christmas began well before the invention of electricity. To honor Jesus as the “light of world”, candles were attached to evergreen trees. An elder would light them, the entire family would oooh and ahhhh for a few 14

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seconds, then they were extinguished. In 1882, Edward Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison, proposed replacing the risky candle tradition with a string of electric bulbs. President Glover Cleveland further popularized the idea by using lights on the White House tree in 1895. Due mostly to cost and accessibility, it would take until the mid-1950s for the average household to adopt the use of electric lights in holiday decor. Fast forward to the mid-2000s when Carson Williams, an electrical engineer from Ohio, upped the bling ante even more by affixing an intricate maze of flashing holiday lights to his home, then synchronizing them to music. He became an Internet sensation when a viral video of the light show was featured on NBC’s The Today Show.

Thanks to Williams, it’s difficult to hear the Trans-Siberian Orchestra without imagining a bonanza of dancing lights. In 2010, David Allen Kinder of Dublin, a lifelong lover of Christmas adornment, saw Williams’s famous show. A self-proclaimed “technology guy” he decided such an endeavor was right up his alley. Kinder found a company online that sold everything he needed to launch his own programmed light show. For the music, he purchased a radio transmitter that allowed him to broadcast within a few hundred feet of his house without a license. Spectators could stay in their cars, tune into a certain frequency and be dazzled by the entertainment. Kinder’s holiday spectacular was locally one-of-a-kind, making the sensation contagious. In 2012, Kinder

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told The Roanoke Times that sometimes he couldn’t even get to his driveway so he would drive around town until the onlookers cleared out. It wasn’t long before “DAK Lights” outgrew the neighborhood and needed a new stage. In 2018, the choreographed show moved to Randolph Park in Pulaski, where it lives today. The upgraded show features 20,000 LED lights on a full-sized house façade. As always, it’s free to the public, and an anonymous donor helped offset the cost of the show’s required 100 amps of power – roughly $10,000 worth. Is such a lavish yuletide display reserved for the likes of electrical engineers? Does it take the specific intelligence of a technology junkie to orchestrate such a spectacular display? Jeff Gandee, PGA Director of Golf at Auburn Hills Golf Club, says … probably. “We run the software on a laptop inside our home to the controllers on the outside. The technology has made it easier, but I feel the average person would struggle with getting everything in sync with the lights.” Gandee’s first display around 2006 was simply a few lights around the garage and across the bushes. A small unit played music out loud in front of their Christiansburg house. An eventual noise complaint signaled it was time to change things up. With inspiration from everyone’s favorite misfits, the Griswolds, and a desire to stand out from the rest, he got to work. Today the Gandee production consists of three controllers with 16 outlets each allowing 48 different strands of lights to move at one time. Everything is numbered and 16

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each strand needs to be plugged into the correct slot or the lights won’t flow with the music. Gandee uses 125 extension cords and he, too, acquired a radio transmitter to configure an unused station for the corresponding tunes. “I am glad my wonderful wife has the patience to configure all the software. If it wasn’t for her, this show would not be happening. I'm the Chevy Chase who hangs up all the lights and I want to keep it that way,” Gandee laughs. Even though there are numerous online tutorials and DIY support groups to help the layman produce an imaginative, mind-blowing light show, true to the plight of Hollywood’s Clark Griswold, the biggest challenge is still making sure all the lights actually work. “I get messages, emails and pictures all the time from folks sharing the look of awe from their kids as they're watching the show. I think holiday lights bring joy in many ways, if nothing more than to just suspend reality and immerse yourself in wonder for a few minutes,” Kinder concludes. That’s what the essence of the holiday season is all about. The joy doesn’t haven’t to be reserved for inside around the Christmas tree. When the spirit of giving seeps out of doors, windows and rooftops for all to enjoy, it truly is magical spectacle. Even “less is more” Charlie Brown would agree. Nancy S. Moseley is a writer from Blacksburg whose favorite holiday activity as a child was “Christmas Lighting…” driving around neighborhoods seeking out the coolest displays.

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Meet the Artist

Gallery Open House December 19-20 Saturday 11-4 pm, Sunday 12-3 pm

Love Brings You Home

216 S. Main Street, Kent Square Blacksburg, VA 24060 (540) 552-6446 blacksburggallery@pbuckleymoss.com

www.pbuckleymoss.com

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NRV Holidays

A Christmas Fairyland

Text by Joanne M. Anderson Photos by Kristie Lea Photography The small mountain town of Seiffen, Germany, captivated Jamie Worley like no place she had ever been. “It was like a fairyland,” she remembers. Now a popular international destination for its enchanting setting, lively musicians and highly skilled craftsmen, no one was there when the Worleys visited in 2000. It was in East Germany, and until the Berlin Wall came down in 1991, many of these hamlets and craftsmen were virtually unknown. She and her husband, Tim, were stationed in West Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany, for nine of Tim’s 28 years in the 18

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U.S. Army. “We’d go through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin for shopping. I never knew what I might find and I did not know places like Seiffen existed.” Jamie saw a small article about the little town in the American military newspaper “Stars and Stripes,” and they decided to go there in 2000. Their story, however, begins back in the Midwest. They met in 1970 at a roommate’s wedding, then held their own wedding two years later in Jamie’s hometown of Romeo, Mich. Tim was working in Indiana as a pharmacist when he decided to go to dental school.

He joined the U.S. Army just before graduating. Their first child was born in Berlin, next one in San Antonio, Texas, and a third one in Newport News, Va. “Tim was afraid to move again because we had a child after every move,” Jamie recalls. Their first Christmas in Blacksburg in 2010 presented the opportunity for Jamie to unpack and set up thousands of Christmas ornaments, and not all from across the ocean. “I discovered Merely Mud (aka Julie Thompson) in Virginia Beach and bought a couple of her pieces. Then, like many

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of the small German-crafted musicians and nativity scenes, a couple wasn’t quite sufficient.” Wendt & Kühn workshops have been crafting angel musicians since 1915, and Jamie is awestruck every season as she delicately unwraps and assembles her “eleven dot angels” big band orchestra. The trees along one living room window remind her of time with her father. “We thought he was going to die, so I went and lived with him in a small apartment for four months. As Christmas approached, I bought a few trees at Kroger. We assembled them and put on lights and ornaments. Now I have incorporated them into my holiday decorations with cherished memories of being with my dad.” The Worleys moved to Blacksburg because of their treasured 20

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friendship with John and Christy Buyer. Dr. Buyer owns and operates New River Periodontics and Dental Implant Center with offices in Blacksburg and Roanoke. The couples met in 1983 when the Worleys served as Army sponsors for the Buyers when they moved to Newport News. Sponsors assist newly assigned service members find their way around and get adjusted in a new setting. Dr. Buyer opened his business here in 2009. A year later, due to growth of the practice, he asked Dr. Worley to come and help manage the office. Dr. Worley no longer wanted to practice dentistry, and Dr. Buyer only want to treat patients and not get side-tracked with administrative work. It has worked out well for the pair for a decade. Jamie jokes that the house they bought was in the reject pile. With five

bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, 3,800 square feet and a basement theatre, the house has an incredibly small, closed-in kitchen. “But we love the location, the yard and the first of many knock-your-socks-off sunsets,” she says. And yet it’s barely large enough for the Christmas collections she has amassed across the years. “I do it for me,” Jamie casually comments. “I love unwrapping each one, finding places for everything, enjoying it throughout the Christmas season, then just as lovingly wrapping each one again for their 10 months in storage.” With abundant, colorful decorations, dishes and linens gracing the main living spaces and all these phenomenal, small, hand-crafted people from the mountain town of Seiffen, the Worley home at Christmas time resembles a fairyland of its own.

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Mickey Mouse Goes to Town

‘Twas about three weeks before Christmas, and Michael* (nickname Mickey) and Minerva* (nickname Minnie) Vole* sought an adventure away from home. But alas, packages might be delivered. What to do? Ah, those pesky, jolly, amusing neighbors, the Pranksters*. They could be tapped to guard against package burglars and keep an eye on Mickey and Minnie Mouse’s first year on the front porch. Little did Michael and Minerva dream that these frolicsome friends filled with holiday humor might cart Mickey Mouse all over town. 22

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He sat to watch holiday singers at the farmer’s market. Mickey enthusiastically approached, then peered longingly into, Lane Stadium. They tried teaching him to drive, but his air-filled feet could not reach the pedals. He attempted to call Minnie from an emergency phone that he first thought was a candy dispenser. Twice disappointed, no candy and no Minnie, Mickey went to drown his sorrow in liquid solace. When he finally made it back home, Minnie was so happy that she tromped on one of the neighbors right

there on the porch, so the whimsicallyminded Prankster* teenager could not get up and take her beloved Mickey on any more Christmas excursions. The Voles now know there are holiday adventures to be enjoyed right here in the New River Valley, and they plan to guard their own packages this year. Whether the Voles and the Mouses will make a double date and go to town remains to be seen. *Names changed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent

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Dehart Tile

Floors for Every Space

Text by Jennifer Poff Cooper Photos by Tom Wallace

“It’s challenging but I love every minute of it,” says Joe Cole, owner and president of Dehart Tile in Christiansburg. The flooring firm began when brothers Ed DeHart and Bill DeHart were doing floor installations in the early 1960s. Bill decided the market was ripe for more business, so he bought out his brother and opened a flooring store in 1964 on Roanoke Street. It moved to its present location at 1140 Radford Street 14 years later. Bill DeHart’s stepson, Jerry Childs, eventually ran the business, and when retirement rolled around in 2016, Cole was looking for a local business to buy. He strives to maintain the family atmosphere while keeping up with market trends, and 24

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under him the business – both walk-in traffic and contractors sending their customers – grew every year. With COVID-19, store traffic, which had been phenomenal prior to April tapered off for a while, then picked up again. Communication never stopped, and technology bridged the gap. Now people are looking at changing spaces in their homes, and Cole has seen an uptick in re-decorating, with people renewing spaces or adding new ones like a fitness room. Technology is an asset as Dehart can offer virtual room scenes to folks at home or use apps in the store and email results to customers. This entrepreneur isn’t cowed

by larger competitors. “Big box stores have their place,” he says, “but there is still a strong market for an independent flooring and tile company.” Dehart Tile has the largest flooring showroom in Virginia west of Lynchburg with 11,000 square feet of showroom space. The big boxes only devote 4,000 to 5,000 square feet to floor samples and information. Additionally, Dehart carries high quality Hunter Douglas blinds and shades. While the family name has the capital H in DeHart, Cole simplified that with DEHART or Dehart. The business offers distinctive advantages, starting with its staff. Interior Designer Jessica Hall has a degree from Virginia Tech and local roots. Other

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core staff members include Bruce Jenrette with 40 years at Dehart Tile, Randy Barnett with 20 years and others. Each one is knowledgeable in project design and knows how to guide a customer through each step of the flooring process. Dehart’s installation crews have remained the same for decades, and their experience leads to high performance installations. Staying in the forefront of design also helps keep Dehart Tile going strong. Cole says that by being independent, the firm can deal with importers from all over the world. He works with leading manufacturers to bring in stylish products at affordable prices. As a result, he is able to offer unique products, and the company stocks old style tile that is hard to find elsewhere. “We have a higher end selection and stay competitive,” says Cole. Keeping up with changing times is a challenge in terms of knowing what materials to buy. In normal years, Cole goes to national trade shows to view products and determine which ones will be most interesting to his New River Valley and beyond customer base. Then there is the dilemma of what to keep in stock for instant gratification versus what needs to be ordered. “Managing expectations and timing for installation can be challenging, but receiving flooring materials from the manufacturers and scheduling the best installation crew for the job can build positively on the anticipation. New floors are exciting,” Cole explains. Cole enjoys discussing flooring trends. “People said carpet was dead, but there has been a resurgence in carpet this year as manufacturers have garnered new technology to make it more versatile. Tile continues to grow in popularity.” Cole seems most excited about a new luxury vinyl flooring that looks like tile or wood and has myriad advantages. It’s waterproof and offers a great variety of colors and patterns. And it is realistic; the wood-look version has knots and grain that mimic real wood. Cole’s son, John Cole, helps handle the marketing, especially social media, and the company connects with potential customers through Realtors, the Chamber of Commerce, advertising in New River Valley Magazine and interviews such as this. Of critical importance is word of mouth. “Reputation is everything,” he states. Cole, 57, is so conversant in flooring lingo that it is hard to believe that he worked in the corporate world for 30 years. For more than half that time, he was involved in branch banking construction so he is familiar with construction and renovation projects. And he always wanted to follow his parents’ footsteps in being a local business owner. Looking into the future, Cole says Dehart Tile wants to stay relevant to the community. The business will stay on the forefront of technology and the flooring industry in order to be a valuable resource. Dehart Tile may move into other product lines as well. Regarding his appreciation for this relatively new endeavor, Cole says: “There is nothing like seeing a face light up when a project comes together.”

1140 Radford Street Christiansburg 540-382-3271 www.deharttile.com NRVMAGAZINE.com

Mon-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Closed Sundays

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NRV Small ‘n Bold

small businesses with bold entrepreneurs

Electrical Supply, Cambria everything electrical plus showroom

lighting

Ideal Cabinets, Christiansburg one family business making other families and businesses happy

This is the one-stop supply shop for wire, breaker boxes, electrical stuff, light bulbs of all kinds and light fixtures. The lighting showroom is packed with sconces, chandeliers, outdoor and indoor light fixtures, and catalogs with thousands more. Charles Ashworth founded this small business right here in 1972, and today his son, Doug, and Doug’s wife, Lisa, keep everything going smoothly.

Family owned and operated since 1970, Ideal Cabinets has evolved into a regional firm and design studio with its original showroom in Christiansburg and showrooms in Roanoke and Charlottesville. Fine custom cabinetry is always cherished, and the entire team here works smart, diligently and creatively to deliver exceptional quality and service.

Northpoint Insurance Advisors, Blacksburg independent agents to guide your insurance choices

Celco Community Credit Union, Giles County helping members with sound money management

Founded in 1979, the independent agents here assist homeowners, individuals, families and business owners on the best ways to have the best insurance to meet their needs and protect their assets. Excellent service, knowledgeable staff and competitive pricing are hallmarks of conducting business at Northpoint.

In 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act authorizing some 41,000 miles of interstate highways. The same year a small band of Celanese employees applied for a charter to operate a credit union for workers at the plant. The non-profit organization is owned and managed by and for its members, who are residents of or work in Giles County or family members.

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Sugar Magnolia, Blacksburg serving up comfort in myriad ways Things that deliver comfort like ice cream, fine chocolates, greeting cards, journals and thoughtful gifts are artfully arranged among contemporary puzzles and sophisticated little books. There’s a hot chocolate bar this time of year and popcorn and candy. Tables and chairs inside can handle a family or pod, and the staff is as enthusiastic to have you there as you will be to be there. Everything at Sugar Magnolia is beautiful, classy and affordable.

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10 Colorful Hikes in the New River Valley

Can you feel the change in the air? The trails beckon with technicolored foliage against bright blue skies of autumn in the New River Valley. Are you in need of hike ideas? Read on for the top 10 hiking recommendations (in no specific order) from the Visit NRV team and then hit the trail! # 1 The New River Trail Hike or bike from the Dora Trail in the Town of Pulaski to The Draper Village along the New River Trail where 32 miles of trail parallels the New River, which is actually INCREDIBLY old! Look for the Ghost Train Art along the way! Stop at The Village Coffee Shoppe, located within The Draper Village, to find infused smoothies and coffees, or shop The Marketplace for local beer and wine. 28

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#2 Gatewood Park is 400 acres of forest; a nature lover’s paradise with miles of wooded hiking and biking trails around a lake shoreline. Camping, paddleboards, kayaking and some great fishing awaits. A short trip down the mountain leads to the Town of Pulaski where you will find Jackson Park Inn, a repurposed warehouse transformed into a stately boutique hotel. Enjoy signature dishes and refreshing beverages at Al's On First located inside Jackson Park Inn. #3 Bisset Park, a 52-acre park bordering the New River (again, one of the oldest rivers in the world) offers stunning sights and sounds. Several multi-purpose trails connect the City of Radford, Radford University and the river. Free parking,

shelters, restrooms, playgrounds and boat launches make this a must-do while in Radford. Stop by Sharkey’s Wing & Rib Joint on Main Street for a cold draft or a hearty rack of ribs. For a lighter option, Rise & Shine Botanicals is nearby and has delicious smoothies and other wellness goodies. #4 Wildwood Park, a city greenway for recreation and nature study, is in the heart of Radford. A paved trail safely connects Bisset Park to Wildwood Park by travel under Main Street and into a 50-acre wooded valley with a stream, Connelly’s Run, woodland habitat, marshy areas, meadows and limestone cliffs with tufa formations. After the hike, head to Radford Coffee Company for coffee and snacks. Sit in a new pocket park directly across the

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street where outside tables and outdoor gear are welcome. Nearby Brick House Pizza is a favorite evening watering hole for locals. #5 Rocky Knob/Rock Castle Gorge Trail starts at the entrance to Rocky Knob campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The strenuous and rugged nature of the trail reveals part of the reason this pathway was given National Recreational Trail status. A few small historic structures are visible along the trail, including a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Pull off at Tuggle’s Gap Restaurant at milepost 165 for favorite local fare. #6 Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve encircles Buffalo Mountain, a knob within the Smith Mountains whose shape resembles the head of a buffalo. A steep but moderately graded one-mile trail leads explorers to a peak of 3,971 feet. Do not judge the trail by its length of one mere mile. The climb will raise your heart rate, and the view is spectacular! Head back into town for diverse and tasty dining options sprinkled throughout the Town of Floyd.

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#7 The Huckleberry Trail is a popular multipurpose trail that runs from Blacksburg to Christiansburg passing through neighborhoods, farmland and forests. Numerous side trails along the route connect to parks and other trail systems, including the Coal Mining Heritage Park, Jefferson National Forest, and the campus of Virginia Tech. No matter which end of the trail you are on, there are food and beverage options galore. Treat yourself to a gourmet shake at Sugar Magnolia in downtown Blacksburg and later a brew and smoked BBQ brisket at Bull and Bones Brewpub in Uptown Christiansburg. #8 Pandapas Pond and the Poverty Creek Trail sit on the eastern continental divide and are part of the Jefferson National Forest. Immerse yourself in nature as this is a spectacular spot for leisure hiking, picnicking and fishing. Afterwards, head 10 minutes down the road to Blacksburg. Look for Hollow Moon Brewing Company, Blacksburg’s newest brewery which is part of a revitalization project in a former elementary school. If you would rather be on the farm, head out to Rising Silo Brewery which uses fresh ingredients from Glade Road Growing, a farm adjacent to the Tap Barn. Di

#9 Angel’s Rest Overlook rewards hikers with a breathtaking view of the New River (which is as you guessed it, not new!) as it winds its way through the valley below. This stretch of the Appalachian Trail climbs Pearis Mountain to a rocky overlook of the expansive valley. Be forewarned, this hike is a bit of a steep one, but so worth it! Stop in at the Palisades Restaurant in Eggleston for contemporary cuisine and cold beverages and wine served up in a unique atmosphere created from the former Pyne’s General Store. And last, but not least, the NRV’s own “Niagara Falls” … # 10 The Cascades in Giles County is a popular scenic destination in the George Washington National Forest. A loop trail follows the creek through a forested valley, leading to an overlook with spectacular views of the 70-foot high Cascades waterfall. Stop by Tangent Outdoors and Cascade Café in Pembroke to say “howdy, I’d like one of those cat head biscuits with eggs and gravy please!” If you have a taste for BBQ, DO NOT miss Bluegrass BBQ also in Pembroke.

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and

HAVE A HEALTHY HAPPY WINTER!

R REMEMBE UR TO GET YO FLU SHOT!

Wear your mask.

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Model T ~ the original off-road utility vehicle ~

Text by Karl H. Kazaks Photos by Christy Wallace One recent autumn morning Jim Newman was washing his 1922 Model T Roadster pickup in front of his Radford home. “Looks pretty good for almost 100 years old, doesn’t it?” he asked. The car has been in Newman’s family for more than 50 years and was fully restored three years ago. “You’re never finished, though,” says Newman, a professor at Radford University and chair of its Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism. “I’ve got a battery drain issue to track down.” Newman’s father Jimmy bought the car in the mid-1960s in Arkansas where Newman was raised and Jimmy spent his lifelong career as a barber. When Jimmy brought the car home, he took it apart, sandblasted it, and completely disassembled it down to the frame. From there, he worked on it intermittently over the years. “When I was a kid, the wheels

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were on the walls of our shop,” Newman recalls. “The attic was full of body panels.” The Model T Jimmy bought was a Touring model with four seats – two in the front and two in the rear. Partway through the restoration, Jimmy decided to convert it to a 2-seater Roadster. Some Roadsters have a trunk in the rear, but this one is now a pickup with a wooden bed. “Back when these cars were new, people would put homemade beds on them to make them pickup trucks; some folks made beds out of shipping crates.” Newman’s father did most of the restoration work himself. To convert it to a Roadster, he built the rear upright behind the front seat; to accommodate the pickup bed, he put in supports. The one thing Jimmy did not do was the engine restoration. The engine is a rebuilt 1926. “It probably doesn’t have 100 miles on it,” Newman reflects. Because cars back then didn’t

have Vehicle Identification Numbers or VINs, they are identified by their engine block number. Thus, the car is titled as a 1926, even though aside from the engine, it’s a 1922. The car has original wood spoke artillery wheels, which means the spokes can be individually removed and replaced. Under the seat is the 10-gallon gas tank. Along the running board of the passenger side is a toolbox for repairs which might be needed while out with the Model T. When you get a flat tire, the whole rim comes off. If you get stuck, there’s a shovel strapped to the side. “A Model T wasn’t just a car,” explains the owner. “It was the first offroad utility vehicle, designed to go just about anywhere. Back then the only paved roads were in towns. The vehicle is designed with high clearance, and the leaf springs run transverse across the

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car. Both of those parts of the design help it maneuver over rutted roads or across fields.” When Model Ts were new, people used them to power other implements. You could take off a wheel, attach a pulley and belt, and run a sawmill or grain thresher. Some people even turned them into tractors. The width of the wheels was measured to match railroad tracks, so the cars could be fitted with steel wheels to work the rails. Some Model Ts were even made with the wheels closer together, to fit on narrow gauge railroad tracks. Some users – including the U.S. Postal Service – used converted Model Ts as snowmobiles, with skis in the front in place of wheels, a second axle in the rear, and tracks wound around the two rear sets of wheels. While most of the work on this Model T is complete, there is still plenty of upkeep. Newman greases zerks on the axles and fills oil reservoirs with an 34

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oil-fashioned oil tin. Over his life, he has owned and worked on a number of old vehicles, including a 1965 International Scout, a 1968 Chevy pickup, and a 1973 VW Squareback. “This is the oldest one, though. It is a challenge to work with because even though it’s simple, it’s different than any other car.” The primary braking system, for example, is run through the transmission. The throttle is on the steering column, not the floor. What’s more, there’s also manual control of the spark advance. “You have to adjust when the cylinder fires.” When you’re going full-speed, with the throttle all the way open and the spark advance at maximum, the two controls on the column are pulled back toward the driver. “They say a Model T is like a mule. When it’s going all out, both controls on the column – like the ears of a mule – are all the way back.” “Operating a Model T properly,”

Newman continues, “takes a lot of hand-eye coordination.” Because the operating controls are so much different than your typical modern-day car, “you have to unlearn how to drive to be able to learn how to drive a Model T. But it’s fun. When I take this out, I’m always waving to people.” In addition to teaching at Radford, Newman is a Major in the Virginia Defense Force. In 10 years he has participated in 16 emergency activations, most recently 2020’s COVID pandemic. Someday, Newman may like to a get a Model T Speedster, a sport version of this classic car. When operating and maintaining a Model T, getting used to its old-fashioned engineering can be a challenge akin to thinking in a foreign language. But that’s a challenge Newman is up to. “I always like having something to learn.”

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Small, But Mighty the plight of new and existing small businesses during a global pandemic

Text by Nancy S. Moseley The struggle is real, folks. It’s safe to say no business has been left unaffected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. From big box brick and mortar to mom-n-pop shops, everyone has had to rethink operations and refocus priorities. Thus far, 2020 has proven that not necessarily ‘only the strong will survive,’ but more like ‘the resilient’, ‘the creative’, and maybe even ‘the crazy.’ In the early months of lockdown, everyone turned their attention to small business. Often considered the backbone of our economy, we worried about our hometown restaurants, our main street stores and our neighborhood services. But while the stock on plexiglass rose, local businesses were busy hitting the pavement. Restaurants quickly streamlined takeout processes and boasted contactless delivery. Retailers scrambled to ramp up websites for 36

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online ordering and curbside pick-up. Establishments dialed back on open hours, maybe even choosing to close temporarily. Cleaning procedures were made public. Communication from local shops on social media became more heartfelt to endear themselves to customers. “We’re all in this together” became the isolation battle cry. After a weathered spring, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s July survey of 500 small business owners across the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii found that 86% reported being fully or partially open. Good news. However, Yelp also keeps up on the statistics. In September, they reported 60% of businesses that closed as a result of the pandemic won’t be reopening. The numbers feel at once optimistic and disappointing. The dichotomy is telltale of a year spent longing to put our money, literally and metaphorically,

on something promising. All this economic wavering certainly puts a hitch in the entrepreneur’s get-along. Sure, keeping the doors open on an existing business continues to prove challenging. But what about businesses with ribboncutting plans during the early half of 2020? Tracy Watson of Off the Wall, a custom frame shop in Christiansburg, planned for months to open at the beginning of the year. By March 24 her doors were locked, not knowing when she would be able to reopen. “It was a frustrating and sad decision. Business was picking up, people were finding me, I was finding my rhythm and having fun. But I felt a responsibly to not be the reason someone got sick,” Watson states. She applied for the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) through the Small

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Business Administration, but they wanted 12 months of records, which she didn’t have as a weeks-old business. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) also didn’t apply because Watson doesn’t have any employees. “I had been building this shop in my head, on paper, and eventually in reality for too long to give up easily. Personally and business-wise, I have shifted my focus from a year of amazing growth to a year of steady survival.” Jay Balser, owner of CoachClean of Christiansburg, launched his new green cleaning business in July. Opening during a pandemic, he relates, made him work harder to make sure he did everything right. His growth has been non-stop, which he attributes entirely to the local network. “We are so blessed that the community has been so supportive. I know we are making a difference for people. We are providing a service that not only keeps things clean but we are also helping people stay safe,” Balser offers. Kim Lovern of Pembroke’s Salon 38

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Lou opened her business because of the pandemic. A hair stylist for 25 years, Lovern spent her time in quarantine reevaluating her current situation. She wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of returning to a busy atmosphere and, having owned a salon many years prior, she had an understanding of what it would take to do so again. When a fully renovated space in Pembroke crossed her path, the opportunity was too destined to pass up. “It really wasn't about just my mental health or my safety being around a large number of people throughout my day and week. It was about my clients and how they were feeling coming back into a salon atmosphere with other stylists and clients around. It was so important to me to provide them with a clean, safe and comfortable environment,” Lovern adds. Like all of us, Lovern hopes the end of the pandemic happens sooner than later, but until then: “My plan moving forward is to keep doing what I am doing and continue to stay on top of cleaning and sanitizing my space after

each client and not get relaxed in doing so.” Those pesky numbers tell us the future remains uncertain. Sixty-five percent of small businesses continue to worry they will not be around by the end of 2020, especially when whisperings of a second wave haunt the airwaves. Maybe the key to sanity is in staying hyper-focused on our own backyards. Goodness knows we’ve spent enough time in them this year. “I am here for the community as much as they are here for me,” Balser concludes. Keeping tabs on the national scene is overwhelming, but if we continue to put energy into the people and businesses of our towns and neighborhoods, we will make a positive difference. If our hopes stay high, the future may actually be so bright we’ll need to pick up a new pair of shades from the local five-and-ten. Nancy S. Moseley is a writer from Blacksburg and believes that there is no better time than now to “Shop Local.”

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We’re here for you your business, and our community Tommy Loflin

2950 Market Street Christiansburg, VA 24073

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The People’s Pharmacist

Text by Becky Hepler Photos by Kristie Lea Photography You won’t find cosmetics, magazines or greeting cards when you go into Senthil Marimuthu’s pharmacies in Blacksburg and Christiansburg. What you will find, in addition to any medication you need, is an attention to detail and a commitment to service that could be considered conciergeworthy. If Terry and Joe Greadon hadn’t already co-opted the title, Sen, as he likes to be known, could be the People’s Pharmacist. As it is, he thinks he’s just doing his job by carefully looking after his customers. Sen’s path to the New River Valley is relatively straightforward. After finishing his undergraduate degree in India, he came to the University of Rhode Island for his postgraduate pharmacy degree in 2002. At the completion of that he found an internship at the Rite Aid Pharmacy [since closed] in 40

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Blacksburg and came here in in 2003. Like many who come to the New River Valley find out, it is a hard place to leave, though it took Sen a little longer to come to that realization. When he finally took time to check out the area, he was delighted. “I really didn’t have a big plan, and this was the first opportunity,” he says. “Once I explored, I found Blacksburg has everything you need, but on small scale. I’m here for good.” There was a shortage of pharmacists so the internship turned into a real job quickly and by 2004, he was the assistant manager. He spent weekends helping out at other Rite Aids in this district, from Pulaski to Galax and west into Princeton and Bluefield. It gave him extra money, more experience and a community of colleagues he could call on later in his career when he left the

chain. Burned out on his work schedule and not finding the right motivation from Rite Aid, Sen decided to strike out on his own. He opened Blacksburg Pharmacy on North Main Street down the sidewalk from Food Lion in 2014. It was a scary time. “If no one shows up in that first 30 to 45 minutes, you’re freaking out,” he relates. “You’re sure you’re going to go under, you’re always nervous, you want to be right.” But after two hectic years of on-the-job training, learning from his mistakes and honing his business and work philosophy, Sen felt like he had made the right decision. Sen saw many customers making the effort to come from Christiansburg to the Blacksburg Pharmacy location. He correctly anticipated growth in that market, so two continued on page 46

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Come Holiday Shop in Floyd!

Can't come out for a visit?

Small town friendliness & comfort Hand-crafted gifts at over 20 Galleries & Shops Christmas tree farms – pick your own!

ps Sho + 0 6 sts Ar ti s Farmrants au Rest More and

Shop Online at: ShopFloydVA.com Get great discounts on your purchase!

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GiftGuide

2020 Buy Local

Allure Spa & Skin Health Boutique

Rejuvenating & Skin Clearing Facials Body Treatments Massage Therapy Waxing Gift Certificates 200 Country Club Drive SW Suite B4 | Blacksburg

allurespaskinhealth.com

540-553-0510

pearis Mercantile

Are you looking for a treasure for yourself or maybe for someone special? Then Pearis Mercantile is the place to be! Located in Downtown Pearisburg, you will find unique shopping with 35 Artisan Consigners, speciality gifts and ideas. Shop the holiday ornaments & home dĂŠcor for inside or outdoor. You will find so many wonderful items it may be hard to make a decision. The friendly sales staff can help with your selection. Open daily with special Sunday Hours that start before Thanksgiving until Christmas. 200 N. Main St. 540-921-2260

Hethwood Market

CHOCOLATE SPIKE

With the holidays steadily approaching, enjoy the Seasonal truffles: Peppermint, comfort of our services. Gingerbread, Snog Nog and We offer home or business deliveries and decorating Marzipan. Chocolate for all ages. New The Chocolate packages. Choose from our inventory of local fir or pine Delight Membership Box, trees, custom made wreaths, great for a gift. mantel swags, and much www.chocolatespike.com. more. Inquire about our special holiday menu and gift 820 Heather Dr., Blacksburg baskets! 540-641-1168 820 Heather Dr. Blacksburg 540-951-0990 42

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Buy Local Gift Guide

CORNER MARKET An Old Fashioned Country Store. We carry a variety of fresh produce, hams, candy, dried beans, and local honey. Open Daily until 9pm Located just off Rt. 460 and Rt.219 in Rich Creek. 540-726-7880

Bonomo’s CLOTHIER

Enjoy lovely, affordable styles for casual, work & dressy occasions. Clothing that fits up to size 3X. Shop exquisite jewelry & accessories to complete any style. University City Blvd., Blacksburg 540-951-8102

Matrix Gallery

A great little gallery full of quality American Crafts by local, regional and national artists. Pottery, Glass, Jewelry, Wood, Leather, and more. Beautiful holiday gifts that are functional, decorative, and fun! Located at 115 N. Main St. in Downtown Blacksburg 540.951.3566

Stop in and visit our new Info & Welcome Center

See our selection of T-shirts, Souvenirs, information and maps! 701A W. Main Street NRVMAGAZINE.com

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NR V F o o d F a re

Real Whipped Cream Compiled by Joanne M. Anderson

When we were kids, my brother (age 11) and I (age 9) attended a very fancy (by our standards) summer cookout where we were introduced to two stunning concepts. (1) You could have Jell-o with fruit in it and call it salad. (2) Whipped cream came in a can. Of course, we now know that what we enjoyed in our humble home was the real thing ~ heavy cream from a creamery whipped by our mother by hand with an egg beater. If you have somehow settled for canned whipped cream – or heaven forbid, the frozen stuff - this holiday season is the perfect time to savor the real thing. One cup of heavy or whipping cream yields 2 cups of whipped cream, so choose a deep bowl. Confectioners (or powdered) sugar contains corn starch which stabilizes the final result and contributes to the ultra-smooth texture. • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled • 2-4 Tbl. confectioners sugar • 1 tsp. vanilla extract Start on low with electric mixer to reduce spatters, then ramp up speed until it forms soft peaks. Stop and sprinkle the sugar and add vanilla. Whip a little more to stiffer peaks, but not too much. Always add sugar and flavorings at the soft peak stage. You can add: 1 Tbl. bourbon or liqueur (replace vanilla, adult version) 2 tsp. espresso or instant coffee granules (might be crunchy) 1 tsp. orange or lemon zest (tropical) ½ tsp. ground cinnamon (autumn’s finest spice) 3 Tbl. maple syrup (replace vanilla and most of the sugar) Coconut extract (replace vanilla)

Pumpkin Pie Add-ons

The basic and one of the best pumpkin pie recipes still comes on the Libby’s pumpkin can label. But you can do oh so many other things to ramp up this season’s most popular dessert -- under it, in it and over it. On top of the pie crust, before pouring in the pumpkin part, consider a layer of melted chocolate, crushed gingersnaps, freshly chopped cranberries or pecan pieces. Or use a gingersnap crust. Inside the pumpkin filling, add a cream cheese swirl for a complementary taste and marbled appearance. On top of pumpkin pie, add: Toasted nuts drizzled with real maple syrup or caramel sauce Happy face with little marshmallows Meringue Streusel topping of nuts, brown sugar and butter Crushed peanut brittle Chocolate shavings Real whipped cream, of course!

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years ago, he opened Christiansburg Pharmacy on Franklin Street. While Sen spends most of his time in Blacksburg, he stops in at the Christiansburg location every day. He is confident that the staff there provides the same level of service because they have all worked with him at the Blacksburg site and know his values. In addition, Sen is looking into opening a third location in Shawsville. His philosophy at every store is one of consummate service to the customer. Sen offers vaccinations and flu shots, as well as the usual array of over-the-counter medicines, supplements and therapy items. Deliveries are free in the area, and there is a drive-through window. He sells pet medicines and does compounding which involves reformulating medicines, e.g., turning tablets into liquids for easier ingesting or changing the strength of a commercially available product. He can use an active ingredient within a commercially available item to customize a medication for a patient, or make a concoction of something not commercially available but which the doctor thinks could help a patient. Where Sen and his staff excel is in helping customers navigate insurance issues and find the prescriptions that best fit both their medical and financial needs. He does this by being part of the doctor-patient team. Dr. Matthew McCarthy explains: “They have been fantastic about patient advocacy. The pharmacy works very hard to find alternatives and ways to save money. That goes a long way for my patients. As physicians, we’re sort of systemically blinded to what some of these medications cost.” McCarthy also appreciates the free deliveries. “I do a lot of house calls for elderly shut-ins in Blacksburg who cannot get out. So let’s say, I’ll be there at 11 a.m., we’ll talk through the medicines and then the pharmacy will come by at 3 p.m. to drop them off,” he states. “People are blown away by that level of care.” Sen sees it this way. “Across the board, people are coming in with certain expectations and they’re not looking for quick answers, they’re looking for solutions. I think that solutions are more important than answers.” For providing information and good results, Sen has earned the loyalty and support of his customers for which he marvels. “ It’s the people. You make a huge difference, and you don’t expect gratitude for it but the gratitude from people humbles you.” www.blacksburgpharmacy.com 46

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Profile for New River Valley Magazine

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