Business Briefs: February 2019

Kimberley and Ashley Gale.

Crozet Family Opens Gale’s Home Furnishing and Design

The multi-talented Gale family has combined the interior design skills of Kimberly, the artistic sensibilities of Ashley and the long-time furniture business know-how of Lee to open Gale’s Home Furnishing and Design in Charlottesville just last week. The family had hoped to find space in Crozet (see story here) but eventually settled on an elegant, light-filled building opposite Barrack’s Road Shopping Center. 

It was a long-time dream of Kimberly’s to combine her design service with offering well-crafted classic and modern pieces in partnership with artisans, artists and manufacturers almost entirely from Virginia. In addition to the larger pieces, Gale’s has art work, small household items, textiles and functional items from local and state artists. The showroom was important to her, Kimberly said, to help customers visualize their choices before investing. “Designers are trained to see how furnishings will look in a room before they’re there,” she said. “But I’ve learned that it helps people to actually see and feel textures, colors and shapes before making their decisions.” Besides the comfortable, friendly and stunning showroom, there’s a virtual showroom at

Potter’s Cidery Plans Expansion

Over the next three years, Potter’s Craft Cider in Free Union will spend $1.56 million relocating and expanding its hard cider production facility to Neve’s Hall, an historic Albemarle County Episcopal church south of Charlottesville. The company expects to create 12 new jobs in Albemarle County. The eight-year-old cidery will continue to use only Virginia apples. 

Potter’s Cidery to move and expand at historic Neve’s Hall. Submitted photo.

Plans also include the addition of a tasting room at the 100-year-old stone structure, and the planting of an apple orchard at the site. Funding for the significant expansion includes $100,000 from a combination of state and county funds.

Credit Union on Track for March Opening

Customers desiring a high-tech banking experience will find it at the new branch of the UVa Community Credit Union, scheduled to open in March in downtown Crozet on Three Notch’d Road, with interactive touch screen displays and other new electronic banking devices. That doesn’t mean there will be a lack of personal service, said Alison DeTuncq, the credit union’s CEO, who said the branch would have a staff of loan officers, business experts, and a financial advisor, with the same level of services that have always been available at the branch on Four Leaf Lane. Colin Martin, who oversees that branch, will also manage the new branch. 

UVa Community Credit Union will open in March. Photo: Theresa Curry.

Martin said he’s looking forward to learning how the new technologies will contribute to the convenience of the downtown branch. Martin’s a long-time Western Albemarle resident who joined the credit union in 2014. “I look forward to introducing the new Downtown Crozet Branch to the community,” he said.

The new branch will have special promotions to celebrate its opening and to encourage new account openings. The opening date will be revealed soon. Meanwhile, follow the progress of the construction, staffing and opening at

Wildrock adds “Nature Friends,” Launches Plastic Reduction Campaign

With a donation from the Bama Works fund, Crozet’s Wildrock established “Nature Friends” last year with the Charlottesville city schools. It’s a program to bring nature play into city schools, in addition to programs at the Crozet site. Nature Friends supports programs to help schools make the best use of urban green spaces. One of them is The Nature Play Lab, a program that creates pop-up play zones around Charlottesville

Plastic problems explained at Wildrock education program. Submitted photo.

Carolyn Schuyler, a Charlottesville psychotherapist, founded Wildrock––western Albemarle’s non-profit nature play center––out of her concern for the diminishing connection of children with nature and free play, a loss that affects children’s motor skills, thinking, and social and emotional health. According to a recreation industry publication, today’s children today spend seven minutes each day in outdoor play, compared with an average of seven hours each day in front of electronic media. As experts identify this as a public health crisis, Wildrock expects the program to grow in the next school year.

Wildrock is also launching The Kids’ Plastic Reduction Campaign, focused on establishing a love for conservation through a connection with nature; and educating students in the dangers of plastics through field trips and design projects. The campaign will kick off February 22 at 12 at CitySpace in Charlottesville with a program for government and business representatives as well as the general public.

Crozet Creamery Adds Girl Scout Cookies to Frozen Desserts

Business is hot at Crozet Creamery despite the winter weather, and two flavors of ice cream in particular are moving rapidly. The Creamery bought dozens of boxes of Girl Scout cookies from Troop #246 and Troop #3020 for their special “Thin Mint” and “Shortbread Cookie” ice creams.

Emmaline Robertson, Cora Diaz and Noelle Robertson sample Troop #3020 shortbread cookie ice cream and milk shakes at Crozet Creamery. Photo: Theresa Curry.

Troop 3020 leader Margot Diaz said the Creamery crushed the cookies right into the ice cream mix, leaving larger cookie pieces to fold in later. Diaz co-leads the troop with Christina Wysong, Amy Crickenberger, and Jessica Bullard. For those who prefer their cookies unfrozen, Diaz said the troop will be setting up tables around town. Find out where and when at

Biz Bits

No new tenants as yet for vacancies at the former SWAY and Claudius properties in downtown Crozet or Mountainside Grill at Clover Lawn. Mechum’s Trestle’s exact opening date is still a mystery but it will be a restaurant. Benny’s Pizza, whose owner has a connection to the Valley, has started construction on its 19th location in downtown Waynesboro in the former Valley Framing Studio on Main Street. 


  1. […] “There were a few spaces for small retail places and restaurants,” Gale said. “But we needed at least 3,000 square feet.“ The Gales seriously explored the building now named “Mechum’s Trestle” at the intersection of Routes 240 and 250; but at the last minute, that deal fell through. They looked at the former F & R building on Route 250, but portions of that space had already been rented, she said. Ultimately, the Gales found a space in Charlottesville and opened for business in early February (see story here). […]


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