Love at Riverside Café

Jean and Parker Wheeler in front of Riverside CafeHow do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, and “don’t forget the gravy” can be heard across the small kitchen of Riverside Café. Love and family are seen and felt in this quaint café on Main Street in Farmville Downtown. The reason for this feeling of love and community? Parker and Jean Wheeler.

Parker and Jean met through a mutual friend thirty-one years ago. Both were very cautious about investing in another relationship, but after about a year of dating they decided to throw caution to the wind and get married. Parker says, “The Good Lord guided us together.” Now they work side by side along with their daughters serving the community through Riverside Café.

Jean and Parker Wheeler in front of Riverside Cafe

The smile on Parker’s face when he speaks about Jean is proof of his love and devotion.  However that devotion is not without reciprocation. Jean also smiles as she talks about their working relationship. “Romance is still an everyday thing. I get to see him all day,” says Jean. She recalls the quiet moments at the café when they are able to lean against the counter and just talk.  “How many couples can spend more than a couple of hours a day with their spouse?” Jean asks.

Parker and Jean are not new to Farmville.  Parker once owned and operated Par-Bil’s convenience store and Jean worked at Longwood University and then beside Par-Bil’s at a travel agency. Jean says, “Parker knows one generation from Par-Bil’s and I know another group from my work at Longwood, so we get to see these people again when they come to the café.”

Food is one of the greatest ways to show love.  The Wheelers open their café to show their love for their neighbors and for Farmville.

Photography by Courtney Vogel Photography

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