use the money to more than double their production from about 130 gallons to about 300 gallons per week, and they’re negotiating with retailers in North Carolina and the Washington, D.C., region. The secret to their success? “Quite honestly, the Floyd community sticks together,” says Cassie Pierce. “We support each other and lift one another up. That made it so easy” when it came to the Kickstarter campaign. Buffalo Mountain Kombucha is one of many small independent businesses based in Floyd. Of the 15,528 people who live in the county, according to the U.S. Census, about 1,200 are self-employed. That’s more than double the state rate, says Lydeana Martin, Floyd County’s community and economic development director. That figure doesn’t include part-time enterprises, whether it’s trading products grown on a homestead, repairing musical instruments or providing child care. Floyd County is chock full of farms, some of which sell commercially and others which operate solely within the region’s burgeoning barter system. Others run multiple businesses. Jack Wall and Kamala Bauers run three businesses employing about 90 people. Their first business is still the biggest. Wall Residences employs 72 people to fill the gap left by the closure of state mental institutions, supporting more than 400 individuals with significant disabilities at sites across the state. Another 12 work at Hotel Floyd, a cornerstone of the county’s tourism economy. Wall and Bauers’ newest venture is the Floyd EcoVillage, which includes a seven-unit, off-the-grid lodge, a conference center and two acres of gardens. Another of the county’s momand-pop businesses, the Floyd Country Store, has become iconic over more than 100 years of operation. It was built in 1909 and opened as a farm supply store. Over the decades it developed a reputation as a community center and became fa-
The Floyd Country Store has been in operation for more than 100 years.
mous for its Friday Night Jamboree, which attracts string musicians and flatfoot dancers. In 2005, Woody and Jackie Crenshaw bought the building, renovated it and expanded its calendar of events. Last fall, the Crenshaws sold
the store to husband-and-wife team Dylan Locke and Heather Krantz, artistic director at Roanoke’s Jefferson Center and former facility administrator at Floyd’s June Bug Center, respectively. Krantz had worked at the store for several years
Hotel Floyd is just one of the three businesses run by Jack Wall and Kamala Bauers. They opened the hotel in 2007. The latest addition to the hotel opened in June of 2014.
Published on May 27, 2015