Businesses see development

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Representatives from Green Front Furniture and Sandy River Outdoor Adventure spoke about the recent developments taking place at their businesses during the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce meeting held Monday.

Den Cralle, representative of Green Front Furniture, said renovations to the main store, called Store One on 316 North Main St. have included renovations to the store and store offices.

For the courtyard area between stores Eight and Nine, located on Mill Street by Charley’s Waterfront Cafe, Cralle said James River Nurseries, based in Richmond, have provided bluestone to place outdoor furniture on and added additional flowers and foliage to the courtyard.

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Cralle, who is a third generation representative of the store, said he was looking forward to potentially partnering with Hotel Weyanoke. Representatives from Green Front and Weyanoke made a two-minute video on Facebook detailing the hotel prior to its grand opening.

He said they are working to use the store to bring visitors and buyers to Farmville, offering gas cards and tote bags to people in Richmond.

“That’s been working out great,” Cralle said. “Everything from Outdoor Adventure Store with Mark and Candice (Smith) to Third Street Brewing to the (Virginia) Wine Cellar, we’re putting together these kind of packages of coupons to add a little bit more to the drive.”

“We’re staying busy,” Cralle said.

Sandy River Outdoor Adventure, located in Rice with a retail store, looks to continue offering new experiences year-round, Sandy River Owner Candice Smith said.

Smith noted new developments to the outdoor venue, which originally began as cabins to accommodate Hampden-Sydney College students, have grown to a venue with a high ropes course, farm animals and other outdoor activities.

Developments include three 30-foot tall and 28-foot in diameter teepees that act as camping areas that have enough amenities to accomodate families and young kids.

“That allows moms like me with four young kids who don’t want to mess with setting up a tent the benefit of just rolling up, parking your car, coming into a teepee that has a bathroom and a kitchenette, air conditioning, and radiating heat floor,” Smith said. “All of the things that you need when you’re trying to go away with kids.”

She said the teepees act as “glamping” sites, a term that combines “glamorous” or “camping.” Smith said Mark Smith, her husband, had custom-made the teepees, using pine logs from Prospect and white oak from Prince Edward County.

Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Coordinator Alanna Rivera asked about the teepees and potentials for additional family activities at the site.

“Do you see yourselves opening up more opportunities for family excursions,” Rivera said.

Smith said there will be six total anticipated teepees with three already built and three more in the process of being built. Family activities Smith said may be underway include guided boat tours on the Appomattox River.

Cralle and Smith both noted the potential for the businesses to attract visitors and tourists to the area.

“We’re kind of like a visitor’s center,” Smith said about the Outdoor Adventure retail store located on 318 North Main St. in Farmville. “People come by and (say), ‘where do we go for lunch?’ ‘What do we do next?’ We have that one- on-one sort of opportunity to help market everybody here in our town.”