Sperryville column for Dec. 6

Glorious December

What a glorious way to start the month of December! Last weekend’s perfect weather combined with expanded retail options in Sperryville to make the perfect holiday shopping location. Starting at the West End at the Sperryville Emporium, proceeding east with a turn onto Main Street, then across the bridge to the Piedmont festival at the Schoolhouse and onto U.S. 211 to turn right onto Son’s Road/Water Street to the River District, you really could find whatever you needed for your holiday shopping in unique settings.

A forest of enormous green pine trees with artists and craft persons under them presenting their wares was the setting in the auditorium of the Schoolhouse. The River District was alive with antiques, art shows, good food and evening music at Cafe Indigo, distillery tours and the opening of Old Rag Photography in the Copper Fox Malt House Studios. If meeting up with friends and sharing time is part of the joy of the holidays, it sure did happen this weekend. Of course, hats off to Denise Chandler, her committee and the parade participants who, once again, treated us to an outstanding Christmas in Little Washington parade on Sunday.

There is more to come – be sure to start your Saturday this week with an all-you-can-eat breakfast with Santa at the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Hall from 7 to 11 a.m. Then proceed west to the annual Hearthstone Bazaar featuring handmade items, baked goods and a gingerbread house raffle. Stop at the Triple Oak Bakery annual Holiday Open House where, from 10 to 5 both Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 8-9), you can find cookie tins to take home, complimentary treats, door prizes and lots of fun! Don’t forget the Sperryville Emporium, Sleepywood Rustic Furniture and the unique Beech Spring Farm Gift Shop and quilt outlet.

There are two locations to purchase Christmas trees in Sperryville. Coterie at the Schoolhouse has both live and cut trees, while the Baldwins’ roadside stand now has trees on U.S. 211 across from the Sperryville Fire Department.

While the holidays can be very special, we want to acknowledge they also may be times of stress. Be sure to read the article on managing holiday stress on page 6 of this week’s paper.

Kombucha comes to Sperryville

Formerly known as Horseshoe Hills under raconteur James Russell, and later as Blue Moon Cafe and Coyote Cafe and then as a hot tub warehouse, the building at 11763 Lee Hwy. is taking on a new identity.

Ryder and Trey Williams, sons of Frank and Carol Williams of Amissville, are very excited to become part of the local healthcare and food community. They plan to begin brewing kombucha – a tea-like drink reported to promote good health and to have detoxifying and immune-system-enhancing qualities – by the end of December and will announce store hours for pick up that begin in January.

Ryder and Trey Williams (left and middle), are distributors for the  20 flavors of kombucha tea developed by Ralph Crafts (right). The brothers will begin brewing, bottling and distributing the tea from their new kitchen in Sperryville within the next few weeks. Photo by E. Raymond Boc.
Ryder and Trey Williams (left and middle), are distributors for the 20 flavors of kombucha tea developed by Ralph Crafts (right). The brothers will begin brewing, bottling and distributing the tea from their new kitchen in Sperryville within the next few weeks. Photo by E. Raymond Boc.

Renovation of the kitchen of the old restaurant is being done with the assistance of their dad, a carpenter of thirty years in the community. Ryder and Trey are working hard to finish new drywall, paint and floors to open their own franchise of this product and have been mentored by Ralph Crafts, who first began brewing kombucha to fortify his own immune system while acting as a full-time caretaker for his wife, who has been seriously ill for several years. At 66, Ralph is the picture of good health and says his wife has made improvement since drinking kombucha.

Trey has long been interested in organic food and had worked on an organic farm in Alabama. Ryder has been working with his father, but is excited about contributing to the community and providing a service by making kombucha available locally. The brothers developed a business plan with Ralph, researched possible locations and ultimately are delighted to be able to rent the space from Andre Abecassis, whose wife owns the wonderful Knit Wit Yarn Shop at the Schoolhouse. We are very excited to welcome these two young men into the community and wish them every success. By the way, Ryder is getting married in January and we send this young couple our wishes for many years of love and happiness.

Trey and Ryder can provide made-to-order (MTO) kombucha to you now. Contact them at mtoksperryville@gmail.com and read more about this product at mtokombucha.com.

Birthday wishes

Happy birthday to Bessie Baldwin, who turned 96 on Sunday (Dec 2). Bessie, who still lives independently, is the mother of Washington entrepreneur Paul Baldwin.

Holiday kindness

When I locked my keys in my car at the pump at the Quicke Mart on Sunday, I walked in and asked if anyone was driving into Sperryville to take me home. Jason Brown immediately volunteered to do so. He and his family not only took me home, but also brought me back because my husband, recovering from knee replacement surgery, is still not driving. This young man, who lives in Culpeper, had just finished the daily monitoring at the Washington Waste Water Treatment Plant. Looks like that plant is in good hands with a young man who is conscientious and thoughtful. Thank you, Jason.