Brides-to-be, wouldn't it be nice to have a shop you could walk into and find perfect shoes, the tiara you've been searching for, and complete the wedding planning all in one? Elations has you covered. Owner and New York transplant Pauline Stephens (her resume boasts wedding planning and certified floral designing) has fulfilled her dream of providing a place where the bride-to-be can take care of all her needs in one stop. One of the reasons Stephens decided to open Elations was to give customers who don't hire a wedding planner easy access to unusual, hard-to-find items. These gems include shoes by Liz Couture and Benjamin Adams, toasting glasses, ring pillows, etc. Ordering or having custom items created is also an option. 3313 W. Cary, 249-7800 . —Maree Morris
A Day of Saving
On April 19, more than 250 retailers across the city will be partnering with Donate Life Virginia to encourage Richmonders to sign up to be organ donors. "I'm very excited about it," says Lisa McSherry, owner of LEX'S of Carytown and an event committee co-chair for the region's Retail Merchants Association. "We've had such a great response from city retailers." During "Retailers for Life," representatives from the United Network for Organ Sharing will be at participating shops, many in Carytown. Stores will offer discounts that will be valid regardless of a customer's commitment to sign up to donate, and those who do wish to donate will be able to so confidentially online or through the mail. When else can you get a stellar price on a new dress and sign up to save lives? For more information, including a list of participating retailers, visit retailmerchants.com.
Prepare your sweet tooth. Williams Bakery, a Richmond family-
owned business since 1911, is bringing fresh doughnuts, pies and wedding cakes to Carytown by the end of the month.
"For years my customers have been begging for me to come that way," says bakery president Ronnie Williams.
Specializing in fresh, nonpreservative baking, Williams Bakery sells 100 dozen donuts per day among their four locations in the Richmond region. The most popular item is the chocolate éclair, but the 14 varieties of pies, including lemon chess and coconut custard, are also acclaimed by regulars.
Williams Bakery is expected to open on April 22, and will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 3544 W. Cary St., 746.8370 or thewilliamsbakery.com . —Bethany Emerson
Legends' New Gems
A little black dress is just that without a dazzling piece of jewelry. When you're ready to go from blah to knockout, Blue Butterfly — the new jewelry shop in Legends Salon in Carytown Square — has just the right piece. What started as a few cabinets two years ago is now a full-fledged store attached to the salon. Owner Bucky Jones says inspiration for the store stemmed from selling a few pieces designed by a friend. This rapidly grew into an obsession after he began attending jewelry shows, where most of the pieces are selected. A mecca for sterling-silver lovers, the store carries pieces from Albuquerque and Israel, most handmade and enhanced with semi-precious stones. Custom packages are available for hair, spa services and jewelry. 3148 W. Cary St., 359-5512. —Maree Morris
The Name Game
Fans of Ellwood Thompson's Local Market will have a new spot to sip coffee or tea and grab a healthy meal this summer. But first, it needs a name.
"Ellwood Thompson's was actually named by the daughter of an employee at the time — it changed its name from City Market to Ellwood Thompson [in 1994]," says Lesley Johnson, marketing director of the nearly 20-year-old natural-foods store. "We want to continue that involvement with employees, family, friends and the entire Richmond community."
Add your two cents by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org . "The person whose idea is selected will receive a month's worth of coffee or tea drinks," she adds.
Currently undergoing renovations with plans to open mid-summer on the corner of Thompson and West Cary (the former location of both Blue Fox Café and High's Ice Cream), the café will offer counter service during breakfast and lunch, and table service in the evenings when they will also serve wine. The hot bar and salad bar will still be available at the grocer. —Bethany Emerson
Robert Kaplan knows nightlife — and how to dress for it. So it's only natural that the 36-year-old, who owns Shockoe Bottom's Lucky Buddha Lounge, is now a Carytown shop owner. Shirtfresh is a men's boutique/art gallery, "catering toward people that go out," he says.
The store, which opened March 14, is located near the corner of Belmont and West Cary streets. Kaplan says that the shop's clothing and accessories can be described as "rock star casual" — comfortable yet edgy screen-printed T-shirts and signature button-downs. The shop will carry mainly men's apparel from the likes of English Laundry, French Connection and 7 Diamonds for the time being, but Kaplan says that a female line may be in the future.
Kaplan has enlisted the talents of local designers Eric Adams, John Demari and Matt Greer, to name a few, to produce the shop's custom T-shirts, and will feature "classic lowbrow" art exhibitions by Richmond artists, to complement the apparel.
In early April, a Doug Wilder T-shirt series will hit shelves. The Wilder shirts, which will feature the mayor's face in the center of various-colored tees, is the first of many Richmond "favorite" limited editions at Shirtfresh. Wilder will also be used as an embroidered graphic for a line of golf shirts being released around the same time.
Following the golf collection, Kaplan plans to spotlight the faces of Richmond's favorite bartenders. Shop Shirtfresh Tuesday through Sunday. 3037 W. Cary St. —Sheri Trice
Thetans Among Us?
Anyone who has driven through Carytown in recent months has most likely noticed the large blue-and-white sign carrying the name of Cary Street's newest spiritual space: Church of Scientology, Mission of Richmond, at the South Nansemond Street intersection. The sign is on the building at 3506 W. Cary St., but at press time it posts no information on worship services, and the door is locked. Some business owners surrounding the building said they have seen few people coming in and out of the space (although there have been no TomKat sightings).
Susan Taylor, president of the Church of the Scientology in Washington D.C., said there is no date set for the celebrity-friendly church — founded by the late L. Ron Hubbard — to begin meeting.
"You might say it's a little premature," she says of the decision to rent the space and put up a sign. The Richmond church is hiring a staff and starting a bookstore, as well as tending to other administrative tasks, Taylor says, but she had no phone number or local contact for the new house of worship. —Bethany Emerson
When Victor Srikusalanukul, owner of Sumo San restaurant, opened Moshi Moshi in early December, he wanted to make sure that the new location did not simply duplicate the menu from his Shockoe Bottom sushi bar.
Instead, Srikusalanukul created 11 original sushi rolls that will only be served at Moshi Moshi. Favorites include the Samurai (pictured left), a spicy salmon roll that tastefully combines salmon, cream cheese and cucumber, is tempura fried and then baked with mango sauce, and the Lion Asia, a spicy-tuna roll with cream cheese and asparagus topped with a cilantro-cream sauce. Regular menu features include dishes such as stuffed chicken (see cover inset) and lobster in garlic sauce. You'll also find vegan-friendly foods, 16 types of sake and a selection of 10 Asian beers.
"We are a Japanese-hibachi style [restaurant]. We also serve sushi," says Joey McCullough, assistant manager of Moshi Moshi. "We have a taste for everybody." Moshi Moshi is open daily for lunch and dinner. 3321 W. Cary St., 359-1151. —Bethany Emerson
The Spice is Right
Forget about using the excuse that you can't find sumac in town to avoid preparing Persian kebobs. Penzeys Spices is on its way, offering a wide selection of fine herbs and spices for chefs, as well as self-proclaimed foodies. Opening at 3400 W. Cary St. on April 11, the Wisconsin-based company is a purveyor of all things spice, whether they be individually packaged or in bulk. Specialty spices include charnuska (the tiny, black, smoky seeds on Jewish rye bread), mahlab (ground black-cherry pits used in breads, cookies and biscuits) and galangal (similar to but more flowery and intense than ginger). For more information, check out penzeys.com . —Sheri Trice
Treasure at Eurotrash
The trendy, environmentally friendly Eurotrash boutique is now the exclusive retail carrier of local jewelry line Luce della Terra. The line boasts natural gemstones in all shapes and sizes — from dainty danglers to statement rings. According to designer Karen Wright, each piece "is designed to bring out the inner light of the gemstones through unique combinations of color, texture, and movement." The designer draws inspiration from color combinations found in nature, Gothic stained glass, and Byzantine mosaics. Prices range from $15 to $200. Visit shopeurotrash.com or lucedellaterrajewelry.com for more info. —Maree Morris