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Jamestown Feed and Seed Co. in Norge, established 40 years ago to serve customers in the western part of James City County, is closing at the end of the month.
It began at a time when the county was already served by a state-wide company, Southern States, a farm supply retailer which closed several years ago, but Jamestown Feed and Seed offered a variety of different items and services.
Owner Shirley Hatten of Newport News posted on the company’s website that “with much sadness” the firm is “going out of business” and will close Dec. 30.
“We have weathered the storm for far too long and have made this decision after much contemplation,” she wrote. “Competition from big box stores, the shift to online shopping and endless shipping and product availability issues have helped fuel this decision.”
Hatten, who said she is “well past retirement age,” felt it is “time to close this chapter of our lives.”
Customers throughout the county have expressed disappointment but understanding at Hatten’s decision.
“To our friends and loyal customers, thank you for your unwavering support of us for so many years,” she noted. “It has been a privilege to help you feed your pets, your horse and wild birds, to help you have a beautiful lawn, grow your herbs, plant a bountiful garden and dress up your flower beds.
“We hope you will come in and take advantage of our Going Out of Business Sale.”
All store items are 30% off and warehouse items will be discounted 10%, excluding deliveries.
The business at 7348 Richmond Road in Norge was opened in 1982 by Gerald and Kay Ainsworth; Hatten purchased it in 2008.
The local retail alliance reported on its webpage that the company proudly “partnered with and contributed to community-based charities and initiatives.”
Those yellow plastic cups with red lids, long a trademark of Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que Restaurant and a victim of COVID-19, have returned for the months ahead as the company completes its 50th anniversary celebration.
Jay Pierce, owner and son of founder and owner J.C. Pierce and his wife, Verdie, expressed pleasure that he was able to return the cups which proclaim the 50th anniversary on the side along and an old 1970s Pepsi logo on the other.
Previously, they weren’t able to use the reusable cups because of COVID-19 restrictions, and when that passed they weren’t able to get the cups because of supply problems.
The business, on East Rochambeau Drive, began in a 14-by-16 foot cinderblock building that remains part of the complex that has expanded through the years to include a dining room that was built in 1985.
At first it was a walk-up business and that continues today, but the restaurant and its indoor seating is booming and has for years.
Probably the most familiar story related to Pierce’s Pitt is the word “Pitt” on the original plywood sign — designated to declare pit-roasted barbecue.
The painter, however, painted “Pitt” with a double “t” on the orange and red sign.
J. C. Pierce couldn’t believe it. The spelling was wrong, and the sign cost him $20.
Jay Pierce, who was 15 years old then, related that when he and his father went to pick up the $20 sign, they noticed the “double t.” That was wrong, he pointed out and the painter replied, “If you knew how to spell it you should have painted it yourself, but I’ll fix it for another 20 bucks.”
J. C. Pierce didn’t have the money so the sign remained “Pitt” and has become well-known throughout the nation as food critics, far and wide, have visited and proclaimed the goodness of the company’s food.
Insomnia Cookies, a store featuring sweet delights and geared to college students, is expected to open on in Midtown Row sometime next spring, according to Sarah Schwab, director of communications.
A question of signage was before the Williamsburg Architectural Review Board on Nov. 23. The business will be at 100 College Row.
The chain, which now has more than 100 locations, was founded in a dormitory room at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003 by then student Seth Berkowitz, according to the company’s website.
Store offerings include a variety of cookies, brownies, cookie cakes “and even cold milk,” the site says. Also available at most locations is ice cream. At most locations the stores are open 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily so goodies can be bought for late night study breaks.
There are currently five locations in Virginia: Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Norfolk and Richmond.
La Casona Mexican Restaurant and BBQ Grill at 1784 Jamestown Road has closed, according to a posting on its Facebook page.
The closing was Dec. 2 and owners Christian Illanes and his wife, Marcella Guzman, said: “Today our beautiful restaurant closes its doors forever. Unfortunately life teaches us to accept fate no matter how bad or good it may be. The first against the adversities of our existence are many, and each one of you fights a daily fight.”
The owners explained, We know “it is not easy to say goodbye, but the circumstances of life, the pandemic and the high inflation, ended up annihilating us.”
The restaurant’s Facebook will remain open, they said, “in case one day we accept the challenge again.” In closing they proclaimed: “The best Mexican food and the best margaritas in all of Williamsburg.”
• Pet Supplies Plus has opened at 6493 Centerville Road in the Lightfoot Marketplace. Owned and operated by Scott and Roxanne Bobowicz, it is their second store — the first location is in Chesapeake. The business hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
• The Shoe Attic renewed its lease of 1,599 square feet of retail space in Merchants Square at 409 W. Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg. Dawn F. Griggs and Drew Hayne of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the negotiations for the landlord.
• Tidal Wave Auto Spa is in the final stages of construction at 6640 Mooretown Road in York County in the Williamsburg Marketcenter. The opening date has not yet been finalized. The company’s headquarters is Thomaston, Georgia.