Farm Basket Refresh | New Owners Bring Exciting Changes to Local Lynchburg Favorite
Opening a store had been on Alex Wood’s mind for quite a while. With a business background and a keen eye for design, she has been helping clients decorate their homes with a mix of antiques, new pieces and other unique finds for the past few years. After hosting successful pop-up events in her home selling that same curated mix of specialty decor, she wondered if it was time to try her hand at retail. So when she was approached about purchasing the Farm Basket on Langhorne Road, she jumped at the chance to put her own spin on a local institution.
Alex and her husband Sackett were born and raised in Lynchburg, and grew up getting vegetables from the produce stand that was once in front of the Farm Basket. They know it’s a special place to the people of Lynchburg and plan on continuing its legacy since opening the doors in October. “I have gotten a lot of input about things that definitely need to stay,” says Wood. “Specifically, people are extremely passionate about the gift-wrapping service, Simon Pearce crystal which is hand blown in Vermont, cheese straws, pimento cheese and Virginia ham. These items aren’t going anywhere.” The gist of the Farm Basket remains the same: a specialty gift shop with a focus on customer service. There are still baby gifts to delight new parents, wedding registries to shop from, personalized baskets to create, and gifts to be delivered. But when you walk through the doors, things look completely different.
The front of the store, which is designed by Shop Front Fitters, features casual gifts and the one-of a kind pieces Wood is known for finding. There is a mix of antique and vintage with modern and new. She plans to have home items such as lamps, pillows, vases, and a few pieces of furniture along with seasonal items. An exciting addition to the new store is space dedicated to Moore and Giles, of which Sackett is president. Farm Basket will offer their handmade leather goods, including bags, men’s gifts such as wallets and belts, as well as furniture pieces available for purchase from the showroom or custom order. The café, still in the back of the store, continues to offer many classic menu items that customers have come to know and love. But there are several new sandwiches and treats to try while sitting at the new lunch counter. Wood also hopes to host happy hour in the cafe at least once per week, where you can come enjoy a glass of wine and a charcuterie board.
Another addition includes a Golf Park Coffee satellite shop staffed with a barista in what used to be the solarium. Visitors to the Farm Basket can also enjoy fresh produce one afternoon per week in the iconic gazebo, with specialty items available around the holidays, provided by a local farm.
The amount of planning, renovating and revamping has been a challenge, but Wood credits those who have helped along the way. “I can’t imagine starting this project from scratch. It would have been impossible. I couldn’t have done any of this without the help of [former general manager] Kerry Giles, [former owner] Rie Godsey and all of the amazing staff, most of whom are staying to help run the newly updated store,” Wood says. “I’m most excited to see people’s reaction to the inventory and the new café menu items.” ✦