The new Carytown Place development includes Panera Bread Café, Petco and The Fresh Market Photo by Isaac Harrell
A Fresh Start
Parking spaces were in short supply on the afternoon of The Fresh Market's grand opening.
"This community is very excited that we're here, and we just want to give back to them," says store manager Matt Scheid. The company's eighth store in Virginia and its third in the Richmond area opened on Sept. 19 in the new Carytown Place development.
"We've had very good feedback with the first two locations" Scheid says of the Parham Road and Midlothian stores.
The Greensboro, N.C.-based grocery chain has more than 120 stores in 24 states, but each store aims to emphasize the local community that surrounds it.
A lot of the produce at the Carytown Fresh Market comes from farms within 300 miles of the store, and the grocer hired almost 90 employees within the Richmond metropolitan area, Scheid says.
The Carytown Place Development at 10 N. Nansemond St. also includes a new Panera Bread café and a Petco store.
For more information, visit carytownplace.com . —Anne Dreyfuss
The Perfect Fit
Though they stock bra sizes AAA to N, those aren't the only cups Fiamour can fill. Shoppers can treat themselves to a complimentary cup of coffee at the lingerie store, a welcoming touch that co-owner Danyelle Evans says helps customers feel more at ease.
Located at the intersection of Belmont Avenue and Cary Street in the former space of The Compleat Gourmet, Fiamour (3030 W. Cary St.) caters to a demographic that isn't as young or petite as other lingerie stores.
"We are trying to fill a niche that's completely missing in our area for women's lingerie," says Evans, who co-owns the shop with business partner Sheri Harabedian. "We wanted an entirely different shopping experience."
Fiamour offers private fittings, and Evans and Harabedian are currently receiving training to fit prostheses for women who have undergone mastectomies. The Fiamour ladies hope to have their own mastectomy line next year in addition to their current fashion offerings, which include maternity bras and loungewear. They also categorize their merchendise by body type. Evans says their store is going for a European feel, stocking lines from America, Canada and Europe.
Fiamour also hosts private events, including catered bridal showers and upscale lingerie parties. For more information, call 445-2435 or visit fiamour.com . —Rich Griset
Pass the 'Shrooms
Joining the half-dozen pizzerias in Carytown next year is Atlanta-based Mellow Mushroom, a chain with locations across the country, including Virginia sites in Charlottesville and Bristol.
"Each one is really unique," says Annica Kreider, vice president of brand development for franchisor Home-Grown Industries of Georgia. "We typically engage local artists to create an environment in the store."
Established in 1974 by three Georgia college students, the chain carries at least 24 craft beers at each location, and it stakes its reputation on the fact that it uses all-natural foods and special toppings like artichoke hearts, pesto and Portobello mushrooms. Though many locations offer delivery or carry-out options, Kreider says the company tries to focus on the in-store experience.
Every location has an open kitchen, so patrons can watch pizza bakers practice their craft. Mellow Mushroom also tries to bring in local beer and food offerings. If pizza's not your thing, the restaurant also has hoagies, salads and calzones, as well as a full bar. The Carytown location will take over the former spot of record store Plan 9 Music at 3012 W. Cary St., with the goal of opening sometime next year. For more information, call (404) 505-2801 or visit mellowmushroom.com . —RG
Since Ellwood Thompson's Local Market debuted its community room earlier this year, the place has taken on a life of its own. Everything from wine and cheese tastings to yoga and jazzercise classes are offered in the room, often free of charge.
To aid with its expanding mission as a space for the community to learn and share, the local organic food market has tapped speaker, trainer and minister Denise Dolan as its wellness and relationship coach. Dolan has served dozens of corporations and nonprofits in the past, and she's presenting a wide range of programs and events at the community room. Offerings include classes on meditation, relationships and community dialogues.
"I'd like to see the community room at Ellwood Thompson's flourish," says Dolan, adding that she sees the space as an all-inclusive and intergenerational social hub. "I think it's the ideal place to draw in people." For more information, call 359-7525 or visit ellwoodthompsons.com . —RG
With eclectic furnishings and decorating services, Urban Interiors tries to provide a one-stop shop for inspired home décor. Opening in June at 3422 W. Cary St., the store specializes in vintage wares and items made with reclaimed wood.
"It seems to appeal to men as well as women," says owner Paula Rhoads, who completed coursework in interior design at Virginia Commonwealth University before earning a certification at the University of Richmond. Rhoads says the store stocks furnishings that embrace decorating trends like industrial chic, urban rustic, vintage and modern.
Located on two floors of a former townhouse, Urban Interiors has everything from furniture to rustic silverware. Rhoads says items are reasonably priced and decorating services are offered at a reduced rate if furnishings are pulled from the store. For more information, call 353-1509 or visit urbaninteriorsdecorating.com . —RG
What do Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Pam Grier and The Real Housewives of Atlanta have in common? They've all worn jewelry custom-made by Carytown's Jay Sharpe.
Since 1990, the VCU graduate has commercially produced jewelry, including his costume Henleava Collection and his self-titled line of bridal jewelry. In November, the Henleava Collection will be featured in an episode of the Bravo show The Real Housewives of Atlanta. "I just had to make sure I stayed away from any drama," Sharpe jokes.
Sharpe will also serve as a panelist for cast member and supermodel Cynthia Bailey's Miss Renaissance Pageant, and he is making the event's crowns. For more information, call 353-4733 or visit jaysharpe.com . —RG