After a 35-year run in Carytown in Richmond, Jeweler’s Services Inc. has moved to Chester.
Master jeweler Jill LaPrad bought the business last June after founder Stephen Shaffner retired. LaPrad has worked at the business for more than 32 years, starting as a bench jeweler out of trade school.
“I wanted to bring it closer to home,” said LaPrad, who lives in Chester.
“Parking is an issue in Carytown. We have easier parking.”
The shop is at 6523 Centralia Road in the Chesterfield Meadows Shopping Center at Centralia and Iron Bridge roads.
“We are a full-service jeweler. We do repairs. We do special orders, custom designs from very simple to very complex. We have a laser welder which gives us some additional ability to repair specialty items,” LaPrad said.
She has seven employees, all of whom have been with her for seven years or longer.
“People are very attached to their jewelry, and a lot of times they want that ring fixed. They don’t want it replaced,” LaPrad said.
“Sometimes, we have to say it’s not going to be in your best interests to fix this piece. But a lot of times, we will look outside the box and find a way to do a repair.”
Sometimes, old pieces can be made new.
“I had a lady come in the other day. Her husband had passed away. She had her engagement ring and a wedding band. ... We are designing a whole new ring for her,” LaPrad said.
The shop has a retail space with jewelry made by staff members on display. There is also a display of jewelry that is part of an estate sale.
The shop is having a grand opening from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with door prizes, discounts and refreshments.
“Customers can come in talk to the people who will be working on their jewelry, the designers. They have direct contact,” LaPrad said. “We don’t send stuff off for somebody else to do. The work is all done here.”
Second Dunkin’ Donuts planned for Staples Mill
A new Dunkin’ Donuts is planned for 8727 Staples Mill Road, not far from an existing Dunkin’ Donuts shop at 7300 Staples Mill Road.
It’s not a mistake, a Dunkin’ Donuts representative said.
The new doughnut shop will be near Parham Road, about a mile from the existing Dunkin’ Donuts that’s near Glenside Avenue.
“I can confirm that this will be the second Staples Mill Road store and will feature a drive-thru where our current Staples Mill store does not have one. It is also on the opposite side of the road and at the corner of Parham and Staples Mill,” a Dunkin’ Donuts company spokeswoman said.
Lou Cabral is the franchise owner for both locations.
The timing for construction and opening of the new Dunkin’ Donuts has not yet been finalized.
Summit Financial has subtly rebranded itself
Summit Financial Planning has rebranded and is now Summit Financial Partners.
The firm worked with local companies Branding Marvel and Longstaff Creative on the new brand and logo.
“While the name change may be subtle, Summit Financial Partners better depicts who we are, the services we provide. ... The services we offer go far beyond just planning,” said Jennifer Luzzatto, the firm’s president.
Luzzatto founded the Henrico County-based firm in 1999.
Good luck escaping from these venues
Puzzle lovers and problem solvers are having a blast with new interactive, immersive escape room venues opening.
Jason Gosselin and business partner Donovan Phillips opened Last Second Escape at 11001 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County in December.
“We have five rooms, and we are about to open our sixth,” Gosselin said recently. Each room has a different theme. For instance, the Virus X escape room has a laboratory-like feel, with a metal counter, a microscope and a row of different-sized test tubes.
“You’re a group of scientists, and you’re trying to stop a virus from spreading. You are trying to create an antidote in 60 minutes before it spreads outside the lab,” Gosselin said.
A new venue expected to open in the next couple of weeks is Warehouse 29 in the Clopton Siteworks development off Maury Street in South Richmond.
Sam Williams, who owns River City Escape Room at 8047 W. Broad St., and Josh Czarda, who owns Escape Room RVA in The Village shopping center, are business partners in the new Warehouse 29 venue. Czarda’s Ravenchase Adventures also operates Escape Room Herndon.
“We’ve partnered up with them and a company called 51 (Virtual Reality), and we are bringing what I think is probably the first of its kind in the United States,” Czarda said about Warehouse 29.
“It’s a hybrid, a combination of three things. It’s a virtual reality experience, mixed with immersive theater and mixed again with an escape room,” he said. “The only thing that is even close to it is something called The Void, which Disney has just introduced and that’s kind of like a Star Wars theme.”
Czarda said he and Williams developed the Warehouse 29 concept, and he expects the venue to open in mid-May.
Gosselin at Last Second Escape said he believes the escape room industry is still in its infancy.
“It’s been around for a couple of years, but it’s not really recognized yet as mainstream, but it’s coming there very quickly,” he said.
Customers are finding ways to make the experience unique. Gosselin said one couple included a baby gender reveal in their experience. In another case, David Hancock worked a marriage proposal into the game when he and newly engaged Cheryl Lashley played Virus X with friends.
“All my friends were in on it. ... She was in utter shock,” Hancock said.
Planners OK restaurant at Stony Point Fashion Park
Stony Point Fashion Park’s owners received approval from the Richmond Planning Commission last week for exterior building modifications for the new Latitude Seafood Co. restaurant going into the mall.
The restaurant space was formerly occupied by Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Cafe, which closed in early 2007.
Latitude Seafood is slated to open this year.
Five Virginia companies exhibiting in Asia this week
Five Virginia companies will exhibit their products at the Food and Hotel Asia trade show in Singapore this week.
The companies are Purcellville-based Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., which produces whiskeys, gins and brandies; Richmond’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery; Alexandria-based Port City Brewing Co.; Stone Brewing Co., a California-based company that has a brewery and store in Richmond; and Meadow Creek Dairy of Galax, which makes artisanal cheeses.
The companies will exhibit in booths sponsored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The trade show is expected to attract an estimated 78,000 attendees.
“For the first time, we have a Virginia presence at this major international food and beverage trade fair,” said Charles Green, the agency’s acting commissioner, in a statement.
Some recently issued building permits:
- T.J. Maxx/HomeGoods upfit at 12850 Jefferson Davis Highway, $1.8 million;
- new construction of freestanding Union Bank & Trust branch bank located on an outparcel in the shopping center at 10620 Iron Bridge Road, $556,050;
- new construction of a 2,558-square-foot, single-story Taco Bell restaurant with drive-thru at 12751 Stone Village Way, $350,000;
- tenant upfit for Your Pie, 15720 WC Main St., $125,000; and
- store remodel of Bath and Body Works at 4825 Commonwealth Center Parkway, $175,000.
- MOD Pizza at 1408 N. Parham Road, $300,000.