Business Briefs: December 2023

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Stoney Creek Pharmacist Kasey Griffith and Pharmacy Technician Nicoliah Taylor greet new customers at U.Va. Health Pharmacy at Stoney Creek. Photo: Malcolm Andrews.

Community Welcomes Pharmacy to Nellysford

After almost four years without a pharmacy, the people of Nellysford, Afton, Wintergreen and their adjoining countryside have a place to fill prescriptions without traveling miles from their homes. “It’s important,” said Dr. Tinsley Rucker, a family physician who was credited with approaching and working with U.Va. to offer this service. “If you need an antibiotic, you can’t wait for several days to start it.”

The opening of the U.Va. Health Stoney Point Pharmacy was unlike any other, Rucker said, as he looked out over a grateful crowd at the ribbon cutting in mid-November. “We usually don’t see this kind of enthusiasm for a new business.” Officials from the university as well as grateful residents surrounded the building and applauded as officials and pharmacy workers crowded around the giant scissors and cut the ribbon signifying the official start of business. Later, there were tours of the tidy space and a buffet featuring muffins, fruit and hot coffee. 

A respected family-owned pharmacy had served the community for decades in a couple of locations until its closing in 2019. Seeing the need, Rucker—who had worked with Stoney Creek Family Practice—approached U.Va., received a commitment, and then worked with a small band of community and university representatives to bring the new facility to the building vacated by the pharmacy, at the north end of the Nellysford Shopping Center.

The lead pharmacist may look familiar: Kacey Griffith lives in Crozet and worked as a pharmacist at Harris Teeter for many years before she joined the staff at U.Va. “I have honestly never seen anything like this before either,” she said.  “All of our other satellite pharmacies have opened quietly without any fanfare, but most of those have opened in places that already have other pharmacies nearby. This is a wonderful and unique community and their excitement is infectious.” 

U.Va. Health Stoney Creek Pharmacy is the ninth U.Va. satellite pharmacy. Griffith said she wanted to make sure people know that they don’t have to be U.Va patients to use the pharmacy. It’s open to everyone and actively welcoming new patients.

Griffith said one of her biggest challenges when she was a corporate pharmacist was having to tell people she could not fill their prescriptions if they couldn’t pay for them. “It’s a relief to be able to work out some kind of a plan,” she said.

This is not the kind of box drug store where you shop for everything from cards to toasters as well as medicine: It’s devoted strictly to filling prescriptions, and its connection with U.Va. will enable the pharmacists’ access to compounded and lesser-used drugs, Rucker said. Since the area needed for this is only about 1,000 square feet, he hopes to use the other 3,000-square-foot space for community health, with services like physical therapy, diabetes education, or a radiology practice. Now retired from medical practice, he works part-time with U.Va to explore these options.

“For the past few years, we’ve been a pharmacy desert,” he said. “Now we’re a pharmacy oasis.”

The UVA Health Pharmacy Stoney Creek is at 2831 Rockfish Valley Highway in Nellysford. Reach the pharmacy at 434-297-6100, or UVAPharmacy [email protected]. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

New Fitness Studio to Open in February

Leslie Dice, co-owner of The Basement Crozet, and a personal trainer and fitness instructor, plans to open a high-intensity Pilates studio in the current NovoVista space on Welbourne Lane.

Leslie Dice will open MTHD in February. Submitted photo.

Dice, who has a passion for creating inclusive, welcoming spaces for all fitness levels, saw the need for a studio using the Xformer machine to elevate Pilates training to the next level. The studio, MTHD 434, will use a method loosely based on traditional Pilates, but adding cardio and strength elements for a 45-to-50-minute, low-impact, high-intensity workout.

Dice plans to offer classes every day with a variety of class times for all schedules. Her goal is to open the doors in early February, with a soft opening and discounted classes. MTHD 434 will offer founders’ memberships and package deals in January. 

For more information, visit the website: mthd434.com.

Crozet Author to Sign Books at Bluebird & Co.

Crozet author Mollie Cox will sign copies of her new book, The Lace Widow: An Eliza Hamilton Mystery, at Bluebird & Co. Thursday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. The prolific author, known for her several series of “cozy” mysteries, said this new mystery is a departure for her. She sets it in early 19th-century New York, using the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr as the starting point. 

Author Mollie Cox will sign books at Bluebird & Company Dec. 12. Submitted photo.

At the same time that Hamilton’s widow manages her grief, she faces accusations that her son, Alexander Jr., killed a man he’d fought with in a tavern the day before his father’s duel. While Eliza Hamilton sorts through her late husband’s papers, she finds evidence that clears him of an old accusation of plotting to steal money from the government and also proving Alexander Jr.’s innocence.

That’s not all she’s facing. Eliza, desperate to support her eight children, turns to making and selling lace, one of the only professions open to genteel women. Her work plunges her into a network of other widow lacemakers connected to New York’s high-society families. They have more in common than their skill at lacemaking; all have been privy to their dead husbands’ secrets. As the secrets are shared, Eliza begins to unravel the larger mystery. 

And there’s more: people connected to the duel are being murdered, and she fears she may be next. 

The Lace Widow is a historical mystery with Alexander Hamilton’s widow as the heroine.

Find more about the book and Cox’s previous books at molliecoxbryan.com.

Also at Bluebird this month will be Charlottesville-based author Emily Thiede, celebrating the release of her second book in The Last Finestra Series on Thursday, December 7, at 7 p.m.

Thiede will discuss her work with Ivelisse Housman, answer audience questions, and sign copies at this free event. Books are available for preorder from Bluebird & Co. at www.blue birdbookstop.com/emilythiede

Horse and Hen Debuts New Products, New Website

Horse and Hen, the newest business at Piedmont Place, now offers cheese and butter from Mountain View Farms, a Shenandoah Valley dairy. An assortment of Birdies Pimento cheese is also available now, as well as jams and jellies from Smoke Camp Craft, a woman-owned community organization helping people of rural West Virginia grow and market new products from their gardens.

Brittany Barnett of Horse and Hen now offers flowery delivery through online ordering. Photo: Malcolm Andrews.

There are some beautiful local lavender and rosemary topiaries at her ground-level shop, and she’ll be making fresh and dried wreaths to order. 

In case you missed it, bedding made of recycled coffee grounds is preferred by those in the know to keep chicken coops clean, smelling fresh, and free of insects and mites, but it sells out quickly at farm and livestock stores. The “Cup to Coop” bedding at Horse and Hen is the project of two local chicken-keeping women who are also nurses at Martha Jefferson. They dry the used grounds to remove the caffeine and sell it at Horse and Hen.

The store’s new website, www.horseandhencrozet.com, will allow shoppers to order local flower deliveries online.

Skyline Home Services Celebrates First-year Growth

In January, it will be a year since Crozet resident Tim Campbell started his own in-home care service. The veteran caregiver wanted to offer a different kind of care, one that inspired the elderly or disabled to set goals for improvement in some areas of their lives, rather than assuming a continuum of decline. His vision has worked, allowing him to hire staff members while he still works in direct care, the service he loves most. “I’ve had to learn the administrative and marketing part, of course,” he said. “But I still love my work with clients.”

Tim Campbell of Skyline Home Services encourages clients to set goals to improve their quality of live. Submitted photo.

Campbell said his clients, regardless of their physical condition, often name social connection as their first goal. “We try to find fun activities for them, events that stimulate them, or even just some simple ways to be part of the community,” he said.

For others, he acknowledges that just getting up, having a meal, remembering their medications and preparing for the day are all significant achievements. He finds his clients are often overwhelmed with worry or anxiety and benefit by learning skills designed to keep them in the present moment and lowering their stress. 

“We don’t force it,” he said. “We meet people where they are.” 

The Skyline Home Service model is a little different from others, in that there are no contracts to be signed, and no weekly minimum time commitments. Find out more at skylineinhomeservices.com.

Biz Bits

In Waynesboro, L.L.Bean will bring its “Bootmobile” to Constitution Park December 9 and 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Virginia Museum of Natural History will reveal its mobile exhibit space that weekend in Constitution Park, and Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be there Sunday. Chiles Family Orchard will offer cookies and cocoa Dec. 9 and 10. The orchard is presently open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. 

Again this year, Caroline Just, with the help of some friends, will wrap presents on December 9 and 10, as well as December 16 to 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. She’ll be at Bluebird & Company, but bring gifts from anywhere. The wrapping is done by donation, which Just passes on to Loaves & Fishes, a Charlottesville non-profit.  

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