Business Briefs: March 2018

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The former Gateway Gas location. Photo: Mike Marshall.

Rocket Coffee Coming

More than 10,000 people travel each day by the intersection of Route 250 and Crozet Avenue, and Scott Link is hoping that at least some of them will want to stop for coffee and a pastry. Link, who expects Rocket Coffee to open late this month or early in April, will serve Marie Bette products—muffins, cookies, quiche and other baked goods from the Charlottesville patisserie—espresso and brewed coffee and tea drinks, and morning staples like smoothies and yogurt.

Scott Link. Photo: Theresa Curry.

Although he’ll have some seating, Link expects his main business will be from commuters wanting to make a quick stop and not having the time to detour into downtown Crozet. “Everything will be easy to grab,” he said. He’ll try to have healthy options for those with specialized diets, he said. Drivers will be able to fill up on lattes but not on gas, he said, and the gas tanks will be removed.

As a musician, Link said he’s had to learn to do a little of everything, including working as a chef and in construction, and he’s doing the bulk of the remodeling of the former Gateway himself. He wants to provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere, while keeping the interior clean and modern. The coffee shop will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Link moved here from Maine several years ago. “I had musician friends in Charlottesville,” he said, “and I couldn’t help but notice how much better the weather is here.” He’s worked at area restaurants and wineries, including a recent stint helping with the reopening of the Batesville Market.

Architects rendering, Mechum’s Trestle

No Lease Yet for Mechum’s Trestle

“We’ve got a lot of people scheming and hoping, but the fact is there’s no lease yet,” said Stuart Rifkin, the Charlottesville realtor handling the lease of the restaurant under construction at Route 240 and 250 between Crozet and Ivy. Rifkin said the property, bought by Melton McGuire and Bill McKechnie in 2004, has drawn a great deal of interest because of its location, but nothing has reached the final stage. “We think as more construction detail is added, there’ll be even more interest,” Rifkin said.

The site in question is more than an acre with a building of approximately 3,922 square feet, accommodating a 100-seat restaurant with on-site parking. It’s bordered by Lickinghole Creek to the north and Route 680 to the east.

Hitch a Ride with Hoofitz

Hootfitz boots

Whether your children gallop, trot, canter or jump through life, why not have them leave an appropriate footprint? Thanks to Eileen Kenny of Crozet, whimsical rain boots with the face, tail and hoof prints of horses are now in production and available through her new business, Hoofitz.

Kenny, a horse trainer, actress and entrepreneur, grew up wanting not only to ride horses but to gallop along with them. As an adult, she designed sturdy children’s rain boots with the big, soft eyes and toothy smile of horses as well as the sturdy support of reinforced soles that leave a horseshoe imprint in the mud. A detachable horse tail and pull-on straps that look like ears complete the effect.

Kenny’s unique idea attracted backing, and she arranged for production of the first herd of the unique rain wear, which also includes a more traditional women’s line. Other animals are in the works, including the noble lion, which will leave the signature print of a large cat, with a full mane around the top of the boot and tuft of hair at the end of its tail like a real lion.

“Other ideas have been doggies (floppy ears), kitties, unicorns, elephants,” Kenny said. “An easy addition to the horse line is a zebra.” She’s headed for “Shark Tank” for further promotion.

Plans are to arrange for production in the area, Kenny said, and to create as many local jobs as possible. Order the boots, available in mid-March, through the website Hoofitz.com.

 

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