Tag Archives: Virginia Tech

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. presents A summer full of fun- the ultimate “staycation”!

23 May BEER2

Join us downtown for a variety of family fun filled events throughout the summer.

Updated: June 6, 2015

And here’s a little sweetener from the Town of Blacksburg!
During these events, metered parking will be FREE in the downtown area:
Saturday, June 20 – Summer Solstice Fest
Saturday, July 11 – Summertime Small Business Saturday
July 11-18 – Blacksburg Restaurant Week
Saturday, July 18 – Art at the Market
August 7 & 8 – Steppin’ Out

AW

Saturday, June 20, 1pm-11:30pm- Summer Solstice Fest. Free and open to all. Featuring live music, Dog Parade, Petting Zoo, Beer & Wine Garden, Water Wars, festival foods, craft vendors, games and activities for the whole family.

BEER2

 

Saturday July 4, 5-10pm- Dr. Elvis on the Roof. Featuring live music with Dr. Elvis & The Pink Caddy Daddies, and Guilty Pleasures, beer and wine, festival foods and the best view of the fabulous Town of Blacksburg fireworks. Bring your own chair. No pets allowed. Donations to the Special Olympics of the New River Valley.

 

Saturday, July 11 Summertime Small Business Saturday- featuring special deals at participating downtown stores. PLUS the chance to win $500 in gift cards and gift certificates when you shop at local stores in partnership with Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. Buy. Eat. Live. Local.

July 11- July 18Blacksburg Restaurant Week. One Town. Seven Days. 20+ Delicious Deals.4

Saturday, July 18, 9am-2pm- Art at the Market with Breakfast at the Farmers Market. A juried art show and sidewalk sale, with a fabulous breakfast at the Blacksburg Farmers Market.

August 7-8, 10am-10pm- 35th annual Steppin’ Out Festival. Three stages of live entertainment, more than 200 craft vendors, merchant’s sidewalk sales and your favorite restaurants providing great festival foods.

Monday, September 7, 3-6pm- Party on the Promenade. A pre-game tailgate open to all ages on College Avenue.

2Downtown Blacksburg. It’s not on your way, it’s where you are going!

For more information visit our website:DowntownBlacksburg.com

Modern + Idea = Modea

6 May Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Written by Taylor Martin & Emily Pote

Modea has been in the Blacksburg’s community for almost nine years after two Virginia Tech graduates named David Catalano and Aaron Herrington decided to use their entrepreneurial spirit to start the company in 2006. The company has been in several locations throughout Blacksburg and currently has its headquarters in Kent Square.

Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Company photo before heading out to Steppin’ Out 2014

Modea, which is a combination of the words modern + ideas, was originally started as an advertising agency, but over the past few years has transformed into a digital consultancy and product studio. On the consultancy side, the company does website strategy and redesign for various clients, including nTelos and Duke Medicine. On the digital product side, Modea creates simulators and emulators for cell phone companies including Verizon and Telus, a Canadian company.

The office space is very modern, but also very inviting. It consists of two floors separated by a spiral staircase. The top floor, where the consultancy sits, is where website design happens, while the bottom floor is where the digital simulators and emulators are made. Both floors have their own distinct features, but everything still ties together. Whiteboard paint is on just about every wall of the office space, and sticky notes cover many the regular walls left. There are two big kitchens in the facility, each packed with complimentary drinks and snacks for the employees to munch on while getting work done. On Fridays, employees enjoy what’s known as FLF, Free Lunch Friday, where the company caters lunch for everyone in the office. As you can imagine, it’s a pretty popular day at Modea and it’s all to show employee appreciation.

Employees enjoying Buffalo Wild Wings for Free Lunch Friday (FLF)

Employees enjoying Buffalo Wild Wings for Free Lunch Friday (FLF)

One of the most popular spaces in the office is the two game rooms. These rooms were designed with the employees in mind. While on lunch or when they need a break, several employees can join together for a game of foosball or to battle on every game system imaginable from Xbox One to PS4.

The company has several uniquely named conference rooms throughout the office. Upstairs, room names range from THIS ROOM and THAT ROOM, while downstairs, the rooms boast names such as CONFIDENTIAL and TOP SECRET.

Downtown Blacksburg was chosen as Modea’s home for several reasons according to Emily Pote, the company’s Office Manager. “Blacksburg offers a great quality of life and has been rated one of the best places to raise a family.” Emily’s favorite thing about living and working in Blacksburg is “the view of the mountains every day. I’ve been here about seven months and I love that I haven’t gotten used to the gorgeous views yet.”

Employees of Modea, known as Modeans, have a relaxed environment allowing them to get work done in a non-stressful atmosphere. You often find employees sitting in plush chairs throughout the office instead of at their desk. The dress code is casual and varied with folks wearing everything from t-shirts and jeans to dresses and button up shirts. Educationally, Modea hires candidates from the “techy” fields, such as computer science, arts and design, and software engineering. Virginia Tech is a great recruiting source that Modea uses often as seen by the fact that several of their part-time employees are students there.

Modeans at the 2014 company holiday party, themed Masquerade

Modeans at the 2014 company holiday party, themed Masquerade

Modea and its 90 employees love being a part of the Downtown Blacksburg Community. “People are always asking me what Modea does and I’m happy to answer their questions,” Emily said. Modea also enjoys giving back to its home community in various ways including hosting and maintaining the Lyric Theatre’s website. As a member of Downtown Blacksburg, Modea supports the towns’ businesses by shopping and buying locally. In 2014, during Downtown Blacksburg Inc.’s annual Steppin’ Out, Modea made it a point to give each employee $10, of the company’s money, to spend at the festival. Modea loves to be a part of this community and strongly encourages every person and business to support each other.

Modea is a great business to have in our community. It is the type of company you expect to find in Silicon Valley, but instead it is right where it belongs, in the heart of Virginia, in Downtown Blacksburg.

Showing off our shirts and supporting fellow Modean, Gary Lowery's son Kam to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness

Showing off our shirts and supporting fellow Modean, Gary Lowery’s son Kam to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness

Modea is a member of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

Taylor Martin is a Junior at Virginia Tech. She is Public Relations Major. Taylor is currently working as a part time work study Intern for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

A student’s eye view…

20 Jan

By: Abigail Rausch

Being a Virginia Tech student, I’m not as creative as I tend to think when it comes to some things. When I want to shop, I look online; when I want a cup of coffee, I go to Starbucks; and when I’m hungry, I eat Chipotle or Panera Bread. I’m sure a lot of students can agree with me, we get caught up in the rush of life and stick with what we know, what we’re used to. So what’s wrong with shopping on the same websites and eating the same foods if we know that 9 times out of 10, we’ll like our results? I never used to think there was anything “wrong” with that, and I think most students feel the same as I did. Truthfully, this is only because most people don’t know the many possibilities and options Downtown Blacksburg has to offer, and I am just now recognizing them.

In the Downtown Blacksburg area, there are tons of options for shopping and dining that a lot of students seem to overlook, at least, I know I did. We all know that Blacksburg isn’t the most “eventful” place, so in our leisure time we might stay in, order a pizza, and surf the web. We do all this while a lively and exciting downtown sits less than a mile away, perfectly stocked with the means to fulfill all of our wants and needs.

One day last semester I was put in a situation where I had to enter each and every business in the downtown area, and it was then that I realized I was missing out on so many wonderful aspects of downtown Blacksburg. Since that eye opening experience, whenever I want to hang out with friends or family, I love to spend the evening downtown. Throughout my many recent adventures downtown, I was surprised by the diverse food options a lot of restaurants offered, as well as the fun, interactive environments.

The restaurants aren’t the only great things about the downtown area, and with one walk down Main Street, anyone would agree. The local shops downtown carry unique items that you couldn’t find just anywhere else. Remarkably, they carry practically anything a college student or any other customer could want for all occasions. Exploring each and every store in the downtown area was a great experience and left me stunned with what I found, and happy I took the time to do it.

My new go to place for shopping and dining is downtown Blacksburg. Why don’t you join me? I think you’ll be surprised and excited at what you find.

 

Abigail Rausch is a Sophomore at Virginia Tech. She is double majoring in Marketing and Fashion Merchandising & Design. Abigail is currently working as a part time work study Intern for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

 

Tuba, Tuba, Tuba!

24 Nov

tubas

Join in the fun as the town celebrates the Winter Lights Festival, with the annual lighting of the tree, parade, and Farmer’s Market happenings.  TubaChristmas will make this the best holiday celebration ever! Dr. Andrew Putnam will be our guest conductor.   Bring your tubas, euphoniums and all of your friends to downtown Blacksburg on Friday, December 6th, 2013.  Participants, please RSVP to ecrone@vt.edu. TubaChristmas is sponsored by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc, the School of Performing Arts, Music | Theatre | Cinema and the Harvey Phillips Foundation.

Schedule and Details:

  • Parking:  Kent Square Parking Garage – 207 Draper Rd, Blacksburg, VA 24060.
  • Registration:  3:00 to 4:00pm – $10.00 per musician  (Department of Music, rm. 243, Squires Virginia Tech)
  • Rehearsal:  4:00 to 5:15pm  (Department of Music, rm. 243, Squires Virginia Tech)
  • Break:   5:15pm to 6pm (Dinner will be provided for the musicians.)  Pizza, hot chocolate, coffee and water.
  • Performance:  6pm to 7pm, (Henderson Lawn Square, Outside. Warm weather dress and plastic mouthpieces are in order.)
  • Available for purchase:  TubaChristmas hats and/or scarves – $20.00, Music ‘Carols for a Merry TubaChristmas -(6×10.5) $20.00, Commemorative buttons – $10.00.

PLEASE RSVP to ecrone@vt.edu

About TubaChristmas

Merry TubaChristmas is celebrating its 40th Anniversary (1974-2012). Created by Harvey Phillips, Merry TubaChristmas 2013 concerts will be presented in over 200 cities throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages, from specific geographic areas, gather to pay respect – through William J. Bell – to all the great artists/teachers who represent their heritage. Depending on the population of any given geographic area, TUBACHRISTMAS ensembles may attract multiples of 100 participants aged 8 to 85 years! The warm, rich organ-like sound of the tuba-euphonium choir has won the ears and hearts of every audience. It is no wonder that TUBACHRISTMAS is an established Christmas tradition in cities throughout the world.

TUBACHRISTMAS is a property and presentation of the

HARVEY PHILLIPS FOUNDATION, INC

e-mail: coord@tubachristmas.com Web site: http://www.tubachristmas.com

“. . .dedicated to developing, expanding, and preserving the music arts. . .”

Heavener Hardware offers True Value!

26 Apr ??????????

Post written by Cyndy Graham

Heavener Hardware has a long history of serving the town of Blacksburg. Blacksburg Lumber Company started out in the Blacksburg library building on Draper Road before moving to 813 Kabrich Street in 1980. The company became Heavener Hardware and Lumber when David Heavener bought the business in 1983.  Current co-owner Charles Woerner starting working there four days later. Current store manager Ed brought Charles to work with him at Heavener. Previously, they were both employed by Basic Hardware (formerly Western Auto). Basic Hardware is no longer around, but used to be located on Main Street in downtown Blacksburg. Obviously, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience to be found at Heavener Hardware that you will not find at the “big box” stores. The prices are also comparable, and the great service adds to the value.

Charles, a 1982 Virginia Tech business management graduate, thinks that in addition to being a great place to have a business, Blacksburg’s overall quality of life can’t be beat!   Charles and his wife, a Blacksburg native, decided to stay in Blacksburg because of the great school system, temperate climate, and small town atmosphere; the same attributes that still attract people to the area. Despite the dearth of department store shopping, which has been helped in some respect by the addition of First and Main, Charles believes that the town does a good job helping businesses get noticed and keeping businesses informed of recent developments. New additions to Virginia Tech, such as the new arts center, and downtown improvements such as the College Avenue Promenade project, all contribute to making Blacksburg a progressive community, while still preserving the small town atmosphere that people love so much.

Heavener Hardware’s major affiliation is the True Value brand. True Value is one of the major co-ops in the hardware industry providing buying power while allowing local ownership and autonomy. The store employs 24 people with an average of 16 years of service. Some employees have been in the industry for over 40 years, guaranteeing that if you need expert advice on a project you are sure to get just what you need! The Rental Store offers equipment from hand tools all the way up to Bobcats. Rentals are available from 1 hr to as long as you need the equipment.

Charles Woerner is currently serving as the Board President for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. He is in his second term on the DBI Board and is an extremely active member of the organization which Heavener joined about 4 years ago. Heavener Hardware has a cardboard compactor available for public use to recycle cardboard as part of the Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. GREEN Initiative.

Heavener Hardware was host to a Cash Mob on Saturday March 9, 2013. For more about our monthly downtown Cash Mobs please visit our facebook page.

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Small Town, Small Law Firm, Big Service

3 Dec Creekmore

Post Written by Nancy Mosely

Small Town, Small Law Firm, Big Service

I knew it was going to be an interesting interview when James Creekmore didn’t miss a beat after I asked my first question geared toward establishing his personal connection to Blacksburg.

“Oh, I hated Blacksburg. Prior to 2000 you wouldn’t have caught me dead in this town.”

Well… at least he’s honest. And as far as lawyer stereotypes go, that’s a pretty good start. James grew up in the Chesapeake area of Virginia, attended UVA for his undergraduate work (no surprises there) and William & Mary for law school. In 2006 he opened The Creekmore Law Firm in the Roanoke Valley and two years later he bought space in Blacksburg for a second branch. In 2011 he decided to merge the Roanoke and Blacksburg offices together to form one location in downtown Blacksburg. The draw of our small college town life was just too much to resist.

The office building itself, an old house that sits between Chipotle and Hokie House on North Main Street, dates back to the late 1800s and was a rooming house during the war. For the past 20-30 years it belonged to a real estate company and now, after extensive renovations that include exposing the original hardwood floors, belongs to Creekmore.

The small firm operates with just four attorneys and four administrative staff, so the everyday work environment is socially tight-knit and family-friendly, naturally leading to time spent together during off hours. They attend Salem Red Sox games, events at The Lyric, festivals around town and statewide and often celebrate holidays at the office.

“We turned the building into a Victorian Christmas party last year and a haunted house for Halloween this year and usually prepare a big meal and have everyone over for the downtown Christmas parade.  Playing together after work is also part of what makes coming to work fun.”

There are also quarterly local art & wine nights with live music and monthly “Shark Bite Luncheons” that are free to the public and include discussions on topics like trademarking and Internet privacy best practices. Creating fun, informative networking opportunities, James states, means you end up with a tremendous amount of friends in the area; friends that are either clients or potential clients.

“I love the business energy of the downtown community and the vitality of this corner in particular…. the retail, the restaurants. The accessibility of our office means we have a revolving door of visitors every day.”

The firm devotes a lot of attention to Intellectual Property Law, Small Business Litigation, Business Counseling and Corporate Law with a primary focus on technology. A majority of their clients come from New River Valley start-ups and young companies with ten or fewer employees, but they also offer services worldwide. Creekmore is a perfect fit for a town that includes the Corporate Research Center and tends to crank out college graduates who start local businesses so they can, quite frankly, stay local. The Blacksburg business community operates in harmony with Virginia Tech and vice versa.

“Here there is a different mentality about working for someone else. People worry less about finding a job, more about how to create one. We’re in place to support the entrepreneurs.”

Even though James has embraced (and even learned to love) the warm, friendly, energetic business and social community of Blacksburg, he still admits to only stepping foot in Lane Stadium when UVA is in town.

“Otherwise, I can wear an orange shirt of course. And I just recently started wearing a plain burgundy hat as well.”

I laughed and told him an outfit consisting of maroon and orange worn together is the first sign of total conversion. I bet it’s only a matter of time until he’s able to answer, “What’s a Hokie?” with complete conviction.

The Creekmore Law Firm
318 N.Main St.
Blacksburg, VA   24060
540-443-9350

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Back on Track

14 Nov Dr Logan Brooke

Post written by Nancy Moseley

Dr. Logan Brooke is not only a practicing chiropractor, he is also a patient.

“It’s the best kept secret in healthcare,” Dr. Brooke of the downtown Blacksburg location of Tuck Chiropractic admits, “I get adjusted once a week for prevention.”

Dr. Brooke received his chiropractic license in 2005 and moved to Blacksburg from Ohio when Tuck Chiropractic recruited him in 2009.  He decided to pursue the profession after having a positive childhood experience with a chiropractor. A Biochemistry major from Bowling Green State University, he took classes in college that would allow him to transition easily into chiropractic school, allowing him to evolve his childhood passion into a career.

Chiropractic medicine is typically used as a complement to traditional healthcare treatments and benefits people who suffer bodily discomfort due to any number of factors, both physical and mental. This type of therapy concentrates on using manual techniques to adjust the spine, joints and other soft tissues.

“People who come to see us can generally be grouped into three categories, those with physical, emotional or biochemical issues.”

These issues can include any number of health situations from chronic headaches and scoliosis to digestive problems or even unresolved financial stress. The practice attracts a lot of families and 1/3 of Dr. Brooke’s patients are under the age of 24.

“Usually one member of the family starts to see us for a specific reason and then the entire family starts to come. It ends up being a positive experience for everyone.”

The office itself is located on North Main Street on the same block as the new Waffle House and next door to 622 North. All Tuck Chiropractic locations, twelve in total stretching from Galax to Bedford, support a “green” healthcare initiative, believing that making a dedicated effort to benefit the environment will ultimately benefit the patient.

Dr. Brooke’s office has switched to a digital system of record keeping and note taking, nearly eliminating all paper waste. Energy consumption is also kept to a minimum by turning off all electronics and therapy machines when they are not in use. I went by for this interview while the office was closed for lunch and noticed that the waiting room lights and all interior office lights were also turned off. Just that one hour a day of saving energy can make a significant annual impact.

As with most businesses located in the Downtown Blacksburg community, maintaining a strong liaison to Virginia Tech is vital to the success of the practice. However, to depend on a revolving tidal wave of students 8 months of the year, Dr. Brooke admits, is not a sustainable way of doing business. It’s a challenge, but a welcome one, to find a way to stay connected to the local population as well.

“I love the small town feel of Blacksburg. I think we all do a good job of supporting each other by patronizing local businesses as much as possible. I also love running into my patients in the grocery store. It gives me a unique opportunity to grow relationships outside of the office.”

One of Dr. Brooke’s favorite parts of his job is helping build an overall wellness foundation for his patients. It is so rewarding, he notes, to watch them achieve their personal health goals. Dr. Brooke is also an avid triathlete with lofty health goals of his own. He participates in at least two triathlons a month and this summer completed seven total throughout the state of Virginia.

Still, this all begs the question, shouldn’t we be trying to avoid needing a chiropractor at all? There is a misconception surrounding chiropractic therapy, as Dr. Brooke candidly said at the beginning. It’s not always used as a reactive form of alternative medicine, but a preventative one as well. It’s not all careless cracks and pops, but an intentional regimen of procedures that are tailored to each individual’s needs.

“People have to learn to overwhelm their body with good stress, while simultaneously decreasing negative stress. Simply understanding the difference is a huge lesson.”

At the end of the day, it’s all about improving the patient’s quality of life. By being aware of simple things like hydration, sun exposure, regular exercise, correct posture and a general positive mental attitude, we can be in control of our own health journey. But when real life happens, as it tends to do, places like Tuck Chiropractic are at the ready to steer us gently back on course.

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Tuck Chiropractic is located at:
620 N. Main St.
Blacksburg,
540-951-4357

Patient Hours:
Monday 8-12 & 2-6
Tuesday 8-12 & 2-6
Wednesday 8-12 & 2-6
Thursday 8-12 & 2-6
Friday 8-12 & 2-6
Saturday 8-10

Refreshing Changes for Local B&B

7 Aug cci3

Post Written by Nancy Moseley
Situated just barely on the outskirts of downtown Blacksburg, Clay Corner Inn, a local bed & breakfast staple for over 15 years, is at first glance nothing more than a private residence. Built in 1929, the home has a driveway, flowering window boxes and flies a Virginia State flag out front. But if you look closely there is a small black plaque to the right of the front door that denotes it is actually an Inn.
“We aren’t allowed to attach any major signs out front because of the historic status of the property,” new owner Nicky Aymes-Arevalo laments. “But we just accepted that and took it on as a challenge, how do we get the word out that the Inn has new owners and a new look, how are going to imprint it with our personalities?”
Nicky and her husband, Rick, took over the Inn in the fall of 2011 after the original owners decided to retire. From their previous home in California they spent two years searching out B&B properties along the East Coast, wanting to get closer to their three children, the youngest of whom is in Barcelona, Spain, Nicky’s hometown.
“This has always been a dream of mine and when we walked through the door of Clay Corner Inn we knew right away, this is the place, this is it.”
Nicky, who wrote her senior thesis on running a 15-room inn where each room had a different theme, saw the potential with Clay Corner Inn to change the perception of B&Bs everywhere, to disprove the “scary dolls and doilies” stereotype.
There are eight total rooms at the Inn divided between the main house and two additions out back, the Magnolia House and the Dogwood House. And true to Nicky’s dream, each room has a well-developed theme, ranging from what you might expect – The Hokie Room – to a selection of locally-focused suites including The Cascades and The Appalachian.
Certain rooms are dog friendly and all have fireplaces and private bathrooms. Meticulously designed with every detail and accent in place, the décor features murals and paintings from local artists and creatively uses splashes of bright color to emanate a more contemporary feel.
“We offer all of the amenities of a typical hotel, but our goal is not just to give you a place to stay, but to provide you with a home, because this is our home. Meeting and getting to know new friends is our favorite part of running the Inn.”

Click here for video interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXJ3Llfg6Uc&feature=youtu.be
A majority of the Inn’s guests are parents of Virginia Tech students, coming for mid-year visits, orientation or to bring their child back to school after breaks. Nicky and Rick make every effort to assure parents that the Inn can be a home away from home for their children.
“Once you stay here you are part of our family. One time we got a call from a nervous parent whose daughter was sick, so she came over from campus to stay with us so we could take care of her.”
The public spaces at the Inn include a main living room, two kitchens, a business center, an outdoor swimming pool and an eating nook where breakfast is served daily. Each entrée is made-to-order, easily accommodating vegetarians, vegans or those with food allergies.
“One of the biggest changes we made after taking over the business was bringing in recipes with a European influence… from Italy, Spain and France,” Nicky states. “And we make a huge effort to keep everything as healthy and organic as possible.”
All of Nicky & Rick’s hard work has been well worth it; they are completely booked through VT’s 2015 graduation and were just awarded a perfect rating from the Bed & Breakfasts Association of Virginia. The “Certificate of Excellence” had arrived in the mail the day before my visit.
And what is it exactly that makes the Clay Corner Inn so excellent? When I asked if there have been any notable guests, Rick, who had joined our conversation toward the end, gave a sly smile, “Well, all our guests are notable.” Answered like a true host.

Make sure you “like” Clay Corner Inn on Facebook

Visit Clay Corner Inn’s website here

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Clay Corner Inn is located at:

401 Clay St., SW
Blacksburg, VA   24060
540-552-4030

Behind the design- Q & A with Sarah Vernon

29 Jul pocket

Sarah Vernon is a student at Virginia Tech in the Visual Communication Design program and comes from Marion Virginia. We asked Sarah to tell us a little bit about herself and how she came up with the design for the 2012 Steppin’ Out  t-shirt.

Q: How did you hear about the competition?

A: One of my professors, Meaghan Dee, used the t-shirt design competition as an extra credit assignment.

Q: What inspired your design?

A: I was sitting in front of Henderson and started to sketch and I think that the Lyric is a well-known part of downtown Blacksburg so I used that street in my sketches of possible t-shirt design and ended up using that in my final drawing. The green frog I used in my design was inspired by my mom because her favorite color is green and frogs are one of her favorite animals.

Q: Have you ever attended Steppin’ Out before? Will you be attending this year?

A: I have attended Steppin’ Out for the past three years but unfortunately will not be able to attend this year.

Q: When do you graduate?

A: I will graduate in Spring 2013.

Q: Anything else you would like us to know?

A: I have been drawing and creating things for as long as I can remember. My whole family is artistic. When we were little my mom let us watch Pappy Land which is a children’s show about drawing and creating art. Art is my passion. I love animals I have a cat named Kitty and a dog named Lola.

Steppin’ Out t-shirts are a fundraiser for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the proceeds go directly into helping to pay for the festival entertainment each year. The Steppin’ Out t-shirt has become a collectors item and each year the t-shirt is ordered from  several countries worldwide in addition to being sold in downtown Blacksburg before, during and after the festival.

2012 sees the 32nd annual Steppin’ Out and will include 230 arts and crafts vendors, over 40 downtown stores and restaurants on the the streets and three stages of live entertainment. For the first time ever there will be extended stage time on Friday August 3rd featuring a late night Zydeco Party with Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience until 11pm.

 For more details about Steppin’ Out 2012 please visit our website: http://blacksburgsteppinout.com/index.shtml

Interested in submitting a design for the 2013 Steppin’ Out t-shirt?A $500 prize will be awarded to the winning designer. Details of the contest will be announced by September 1 on  www.downtownblacksburg.com.

 

Eats-Doin’ it Naturally

28 Jul eats_local

Post written by Cyndy Graham

“Doin’ it naturally since 1974,’’ Eats Natural Foods at 708 North Main St. is more than just a supplement store. One of the things Manager Hannah McKnight thinks those who have not visited the store might not know, is the wide variety of organic foods and produce the store has to offer. The quality and variety of produce is impressive along with gluten/wheat free products and cheeses. Eats also offers wine and beer making supplies that Hannah says are quite popular with customers.

Co-founder and present owner Stan Davis started Eats as a co-op, a member-owned business run by a board. Today, Eats is owned by Stan and wife Becky and is a Membership Cooperative; customers can pay a small fee for a membership card which offers 15% discounts on all purchases. Local residents make up the majority of customers, which includes a large number of seniors. On a recent afternoon, some customers browsed while others took advantage of the seating area at the back of the store. After Bike Barn relocated to another spot downtown, the extra space was transformed into a pleasant area to sit and read or chat with friends. The sense of community is evident in the laid-back atmosphere.

When asked what attracted her about the business and Eats in particular, McKnight recalled how as a student at Virginia Tech she studied agriculture and consumer studies. Hannah started her undergraduate degree in Charleston, South Carolina before finishing in Boston. Not feeling at home in the north Hannah came to Virginia Tech for Graduate School because Blacksburg reminded her of her hometown in North Carolina. Hannah worked part time at Eats while completing her studies. Seven years on and Hannah is still working at Eats as a Manager.

Hannah is also currently serving as a Board Member for Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. The DBI fundraising Live Local t-shirts are available for purchase in Eats. Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. runs a downtown recycling program which Eats participates in; so bring your Compact Fluorescent bulbs, printer cartridges and batteries to drop off in the receptacle in Eats next time you come in.

A story I hear time and time again, is how someone will attend Virginia Tech as a student and end up being a long time resident. Evidence that once again, the Hokie spirit is alive and well, and Blacksburg is indeed, a great place to be!

Don’t forget to check out the Eats Natural Foods website

“We work to save you money while getting you the best and healthiest foods available”

Eats Natural Foods is located at  708A N. Main St.Blacksburg, right next to the new Roundabout/Traffic Circle.
Tel: 540-552-2279

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