Director’s Notes: Welcome Home!

Back a hundred years ago, I was a student in a college town not too far from my hometown. Though I considered myself “away at school”, I actually spent more time at school than at home. For the better part of four years, I had moved to a new home that set the course for the direction my life would take.

As we welcome to Farmville new and returning Longwood and Hampden-Sydney students for the academic year, we have an opportunity to introduce into their lives a whole new direction that leads them to Farmville. These students bring with them new energy, fresh eyes, and exciting ideas to help us get reinvigorated. They offer the spark that builds a new fire in a business that’s grown stale or lives that more closely resemble a mere existence.
We’ve all heard it before: These students are our future. They are the future business and community leaders who help us move our past into prosperity and strong community spirit. In Farmville Downtown, we are living that out every day.

Just this month, for example, we welcome home two new businesses and a business expansion: Uptown Coffee Café at 236 N. Main Street, High Bridge Bikes/North Gate Store at 318 N. Main Street, and Tony’s Espresso at 118 W. Third Street above Farmville Signs & Antscape Photo.

Uptown Coffee Café features artisan sandwiches, salads, and coffees, along with yummy ice cream from Homestead Creamery. Uptown’s owners Jason and Jennifer Mattox have ten years of restaurant experience behind them in their Victoria and Amelia locations.
“Coming to Farmville has been a dream of ours for several years,” commented Jennifer, a Longwood alumnus. “When Farmville Downtown Partnership contacted us in January about opening a location here, we knew the time was right. We are really excited about the future here in Farmville Downtown.”

Up the street, Mark and Candice Smith of Sandy River Retreat and Outdoor Adventure Park in Rice have brought adventure to North Main Street with High Bridge Bikes and North Gate Outdoor Adventure Store. Offering full service bike rentals, sales and service, the Smiths are introducing a new dimension to this location: canoe and kayak rentals, as well as outdoor apparel and technical gear.

“People are traveling from all over Virginia to hike, bike, and canoe in Farmville,” Mark explained. “They want to be able to rent or purchase a good bicycle and get service on them. Outdoor recreation is really growing in our area. We want to help them find ways to get to know what all we have to offer.”

Over on W. Third Street, Tony’s Espresso is an expansion for Farmville Signs and Antscape Photo owner Anthony DeMarco. A self-service espresso bar with packaged snacks, Tony’s Espresso offers a quick pick-me-up a block from campus.

“Students are sometimes looking for a quiet place to study or hangout for awhile,” Anthony said. “Instead of going to a full-service restaurant, we have a limited offering that suits their needs. I think they’ll like having this option available to them.”

These three new businesses join the already growing family of Farmville Downtown businesses in saying, “Welcome to Farmville.” We’re so glad you’re home.

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