Only the Best

Richmond’s catalog showroom retailer enjoyed playing with the ordinary retail box

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Best Cafe at VMFA

I'm curious to know the story behind the Best Cafe at VMFA. The museum displays a (VSBA-designed?) ceramic panel from a Best store above the main entrance on the interior. I imagine Best had several firms design its buildings in different states; was this panel just more appealing or available than a panel from a local store?

Best Cafe 15 days ago

Best Cafe

That's the logo I remember being used in the central North Carolina market the entire time I was aware of the company (early 80s until their demise). Was that logo/panel not used in the Richmond market at the time?

Christopher Muller 10 days ago

Trailer Art

Anyone else remember the company's fleet of trucks in the '80s? The vast majority of the trailers had huge, mural-like artwork on the sides. My Dad was a store co-manager with Best Products in the '80s and early '90s. Sadly none of the SITE stores were in our area of Greensboro, NC.

Christopher Muller 16 days ago

Peeling page building

The peeling page building was not across from Cloverleaf Mall, it was east on Midlothian pike ,past German School Road and WWBT.I don't think the store across from Cloverleaf Mall had any special design.

Al Jeffers 16 days ago

From the author

Harry replies, "Best had a warehouse center pat German School Road and near WWBT, but the peeling building was in Beaufont Mall across from Cloverleaf. I don’t think the warehouse had any special treatment, unlike the catalog center in Ashland."

mandy (richmondmagazine.com) 16 days ago

Peeling page, continued

Al is right. Open up Google Maps and go to the intersection of Midlothian Turnpike & Agency Ave. Find the Daily Pawn building on the northwest corner. Look at it and then look at the picture of the peeling facade building in the article. Same building. The center entrance, the small steel door at the very right hand edge, the curved curb are all still there. You can see two seams in the brick where the peeling facade elements were removed and replaced with flat brick. That's the one.

I don't know which building in Beaufont held the Best store--I'm guessing the one on the far right?--but none of them look anything like the article photo.

Christopher Muller 15 days ago

We stand corrected!

“Flashback” Erred: In the column by Harry Kollatz Jr. pertaining to the design of the BEST Products showrooms and those remaining in the Richmond region, the “Peeling Building” was incorrectly located across from what was then Cloverleaf Mall in Beaufont Mall, at Midlothian Turnpike near the Chippenham Parkway. While Best did use a building there, it didn’t receive the SITE architectural firm treatment: The Peeling building was indeed further down at 5400 Midlothian Turnpike.

mandy (richmondmagazine.com) 12 days ago

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