• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Best of Williamsburg 2008 Continued

From an article in the VA Gazette by Cortney Langley Dec 2008, Charlie Martino credits three R’s for Cooke’s Gardens popularity: Reputation, repeat customers, referrals. Cooke’s Landscaping topped the Gazette’s “Best of” awards for 2008.

“We become more friends — more a part of their businesses and their homes — than being viewed as a contractor,” operations manager Martino explained.

Although the 20-year-old company won in the landscaping category, Martino believes it’s the entire package of garden center, Christmas store and landscaping business that sets Cooke’s apart.

“We’re the only full-service gig in town,” he said.

Cooke’s is known for seeing projects from haplessness to happiness. Weekend workshops offer free design help for guests who walk in with surveys and snapshots of their front yard. Clerks help with ideas in the outdoor pavilion, which offers outdoor leisure ideas. They also aid with plant selection.

If the clients don’t want to dig for themselves, Cooke’s offers three landscaping crews who can plant whole gardens and lay out irrigation systems. Three more maintenance crews can tend to the new horizon.

The company is also well regarded for innovation, especially helping to promote rain harvesting and green roofs. Both ideas are worked into plans Martino and owners Jeff and Karen Schell have to replace the 5,000-square-foot garden center next year. Located along Powhatan Creek along Jamestown Road, reducing stormwater run-off is a priority for the new place, Martino said. The design calls for a demonstration green roof that gathers rain in its foliage and soils. Cooke’s has partnered with College of William & Mary students on a project to monitor the quantity, quality and temperature of run-off before and after installation.

Cooke’s is also working with Williamsburg Sentara Regional Medical Center on plans to build a 16,000-squarefoot green roof over the lobby of the new hospital, which he estimated to run $300,000 project. The hospital was constructed with support for the green roof.

The company is a big supporter of the Williamsburg Botanical Gardens, donating plants and expertise to the nonprofit, as well as sitting on its board of directors. Cooke’s also supports the United Way, YMCA, Housing Partnerships and the Colonial Services Board through memberships, director positions, donations and volunteer time.

Cooke’s belongs to the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, which Martino credited for its growth and success. They work extensively with other local businesses, including Great Wolf Lodge, Anheuser-Busch and Chesapeake Bank, among others.

Deli restaurant
1. New York Deli
2. Florimonte’s Fine Foods
3. Paul’s Deli
Candy store
1.Wythe Candy
2. The Candy Store
3. Coco Chocalatier
Wireless network
1. Verizon
2. Sprint
3. Alltel
Best customer service
1. Buon Amici
2. The Whaling Company
3. Absolute Tan
Place to work out
1. Iron Bound Gym
2. JCC-W Comm. Center
3. Williamsburg Jewelers
Jewelry store
1. Williamsburg Jewelers
2. Precious Gem
3. Zales
Local youth coach
1. Chris Jones
2. Chris Stephano
3. Kim Owens
Kid’s birthday party
1. Great Wolf Lodge
2. Kidsburg
3. Jumping Joey’s
Best makeout spot
1. Colonial Parkway
2. Crim Dell Bridge
3. College Creek
   

Best of Williamsburg VA 2008 Continued

By Susan Robertson VA Gazette Dec. 2008 —When Andy Jacobs dressed up as Super Principal for Halloween, he had no idea that he’d be voted Best Principal for 2008 in the Gazette’s annual reader survey.

He donned his Superman outfit, complete with a homemade “Super Principal” symbol, and climbed up onto the roof of Matoaka Elementary. Covered by a sheet atop the canopy, he lay hidden until the children began to arrive. As he popped up, teachers shouted, “It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Super Principal!”

He also wears a tuxedo on the first day of school every year. Those are the sorts of stunts that have earned Jacobs a reputation as WJC’s wackiest and most-endearing principal.

He said adding the title of Best Principal to that is an honor.

“I’m not the type who really likes that type of notoriety, but a principal is only as good as the staff that he works with,” he said, “My being named Best Principal is really a reflection on them.”

He has spent most of his 22 years in education teaching in the WJC. division. He got his start at Rawls Byrd Elementary and ended up spending 10 years there.

After that he left the division briefly to work as an assistant principal at Magruder Elementary in York for two years. From there he returned to WJC to take over Mathew Whaley Elementary.

Nearly 16 months ago, when Matoaka Elementary opened, he was offered the chance to lead the new school. He quickly become well loved by parents and teachers alike. Sister Mary Jeanne Osterle, head of Walsingham Academy, received second for best principal. Kim Hammond, who’s serving her first year as principal of Bruton High, placed third.

Carpet cleaner
1. Conscientious Carpet Care
2. Carpet Pro
3. All Pro Cleaning/Restore
Antique store
1. Dovetail Antiques
2. Antique Mall
3. Charlie’s Antiques
Best brunch
1. Kingsmill’s Bray Bistro
2. Opus 9
3. Center Street Grill
Music store
1. Plan 9
2. Amory
3. Barnes & Noble
Event planner
1. Jason at Opus 9
2. Red Carpet Events
3. Wmsbg Event Rentals
Pet boarding facility
1. Godspeed Animal Care
2. St. Francis Pet Resort
3. Pet Resort/Greensprings
Steak house
1. Opus 9
2. Outback Steakhouse
3. Aberdeen Barn
Pest control
1. James Pest Control
2. Mark’s Pest Control
3. National Exterminating
Art gallery/store
1. Prince George Art/Frame
2. This Century Art
3. Antique MallDry cleaners
1. Swan Cleaners
2. Nams Cleaners
3. Master Cleaners
Tanning salon
1. Absolute Tan (Longhill)
2. Body & Sol
3. Toucan Tan (tie)
3. Tropical Tan (tie)
Financial institution
1.Wachovia
2. Chesapeake Bank
3. Citizen & Farmers
Asian restaurant
1. Peking
2. Soya
3. Thai Pot (tie)
3. Chez Trinh (tie)
Best kept secret
1. Velvet Shoestring
2. The Whaling Company
3. Buon Amici
Wine store
1. The Wine Sellar
2. Wine & Cheese Shop
3. Williamsburg Winery
Auto service
1. Harry’s Mobile Repair
2. Williamsburg Ford
3. Casey Toyota
Local artist
1. Bruce Hornsby
2. Nancy Thomas
3. Richard DePaul
Maid service
1. Molly Maid
2. Merry Maids
3. The Maids
Caterer
1. Second Street
2. It’s a Secret Cafe
3. By George Catering
Retirement community
1. Williamsburg Landing
2. Colonial Heritage
3. Chambrel at Williamsburg

Best of Williamsburg VA 2008

From an article in the VA Gazette by Amanda Kerr- Dec 2008—Fred Miller, owner of Prince George Art & Frame, is a lover of art and a student of art history.

So it’s no surprise that he’s dedicated to making sure that paintings, photographs and documents like diplomas are thoughtfully framed and properly displayed.

Miller’s love of art is evident in his shop in the Colony Square shopping center on Jamestown Road where he regularly displays work by local artists. He also hosts art shows by regional artists.

It’s that appreciation of art that has led Gazette readers to chose Prince George Art & Frame as best picture framer and best art gallery for 2008.

The Williamsburg Pottery and Walls Alive came in second and third in picture framing. This Century Art Gallery and the Williamsburg Antique Mall placed second and third in the art gallery category.

For nearly 30 years, Prince George Art & Frame has been framing art for the residents of greater Williamsburg. The shop started out on Prince George Street before moving to Colony Square shopping center about two years ago.

Properly framing art, photographs or documents is an art form in itself.

“We help customers make choices that will really enhance the appearance of whatever it is they’re framing,” Miller said. “That’s a foreign topic to most people.”

Customers can chose from a variety of styles of frames, matting and glass. Miller said choosing the right glass can be key.

Museum glass, for example, is lead-free and protects documents from light damage. Because the glass does not reflect light, Miller said images framed with museum glass can be viewed “crystal clear.”

Miller recalled reframing a Burmese tapestry in this special glass and what a difference it made in viewing the tapestry.

“You could see detail after that you couldn’t see before because the glass was so clear,” he said.

For larger pieces, Miller said customers should consider using acrylic instead of glass because it’s lighter.

All frames are custom cut to fit the artwork, as is the glass. Miller is proud of the support his store offers to local artists. “I think that has bolstered our reputation in the market,” he said. “People like to support local artists. We are one of only a few places in town that shows local artists.” For Miller, the bottom line is he is
“seriously into art”

Hair salon
1. Salon 109
2. Cindy’s Classic Cuts
3. Salon Vivace
Women’s fashions
1. Belk
2. Ann Taylor
3. JC Penney
Bookstore new/used
1. Barnes & Nobles
2. Books- A- Million
3. Book Exchange
Manicure/nail shop
1. Uptown Nails
2. Atir Natural Care Clinic
3. NY Nails
Print shop
1. Kinko’s
2. Sir Speedy
3. Kwik Copy
Best barbecue
1. Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que
2. Hog Wild Smokehouse
3. Red Hot & Blue
Seafood restaurant
1. Bonefish Grill
2. Berret’s Seafood
3. Backfin
Local night spot
1. JM Randalls
2. Green Leafe
3. The Corner Pocket
Place to worship
1. Williamsburg
Presbyterian
2. St. Bede Catholic
Church
3. Olive Branch Christian
New business
1. Trader Joe’s
2. Francesco’s Ristorante
3. Great Harvest Bread
   

Best of Williamsburg VA 2008

This annual poll in the VA Gazette is eagerly anticipated by all in the area. Do realize there are others that should appear. It is based on votes submitted by readers.

By Cortney Langley VA Gazette Dec 2008 “If you drive through Toano and smell fried chicken, it’s peanuts cooking,” explained Terri Morgan. She’s director of Retail Sales for Smithfield Specialty Foods Group, owner of The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg.

The kitchen in Hankins Industrial Park cooks about 2 million pounds of nuts annually for mail orders and the shop on Prince George Street. Gazette readers recognized The Peanut Shop as carrying the best nuts in town.

“It’s nice,” she said. “In a tough economic environment, it’s rewarding to get the vote from the readers and the sales during Christmas,” she said.
To earn the best, the shop begins with the best. The kitchen cooks only the meaty Virginia Peanut, grown in North and South Carolina. No puny “runner” peanuts here. The crop is then hand-sorted for the “supers,” the largest 5% of the year’s yield, Morgan said.
Small batches of these are cooked according to a traditional recipe in pure boiling peanut oil under the supervision of the plant’s roastmaster.
That’s the key, Morgan said. Other plants dilute peanut oil with other types, she said. “We think our have a stronger, more distinct peanut flavor.” They also maintain the trademark blisters that mark the Southern favorite.
As a result, where other retailers are struggling, The Peanut Shop has held steady this holiday season. Usually, The Peanut Shop brand makes up about 65% of holiday sales in the store, but it’s up this year to 75%.
“That tells us how strong the brand is,” Morgan said. Even with shipping, they also make affordable gifts.
“For less than $20, it’s a great item that you know Dad’s going to love,” she said. And in case Dad diverts from the usual “lightly salted” variety, The Peanut Shop offers a bevy of flavors, including wasabi, hot Southern, crab and spicy New Orleans cajun.
For those with a sweet tooth, the shop sells chocolate-covered, butter toffee, honey roasted and new this year, praline-glazed peanuts. And of course, peanut brittle, chocolate-covered brittle, clusters and white chocolate cashew toffee.

With a menu like that, the shop has endeared itself to generations of loyal locals as well as tourists.
Long-time residents remember when Louise Anderson, then in her 50s, opened the small shop in 1973, cooking half-sized tins of peanuts on site and selling them out of the back door of Ayers Garage. Within a year, she had to hire her first employee.
In 1986 she retired, selling the shop to Peter Pruden and Dick Fuller, who also owned Smithfield Ham & Products and Williamsburg Foods. At the time, Smithfield Foods was trying to buy up anything with the Smithfield name. Fuller and Pruden sold to the pork giant in 2001. “Most people don’t know that,” Morgan said.
In December 2006, a fire next door in Baskin-Robbins severely damaged the original store. After an extensive remodel, the shop re-opened in February 2007.
Meanwhile, the store had diversified. For more than five years, the shop had witnessed double-digit growth. That fueled the opening of the Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe of Williamsburg across the street.
Second to loyalty among long-time customers, Morgan credits the proximity to Colonial Williamsburg and the energy on Prince George Street for the store’s success.
“I’m so glad we’re on Prince George Street,” she said. “It’s a really healthy business environment. We have great neighbors. They are really kind and aggressive business people.” Whitley’s Peanuts placed second and Virginia Peanuts third in reader results.

Winners 2008 Best in Williamsburg

Best Men’s fashion
1. Belk
2. L.L. Bean
3. JCPenney
Best Peanuts
1. The Peanut Shop
2. Whitley’s Peanut Factory
3. Virginia Peanuts
Best Heating/AC
1.Weather Crafters
2. Williamsburg Heating & Air
3. Betty’s Plumbing
Best Japanese/sushi
1. Kyoto of Williamsburg
2. Peking
3. Soya Williamsburg
Best Crab cakes
1. The Backfin
2. Bonefish Grill
3. Opus 9 Steakhouse
Best Restaurant (opened in 2008)
1. Francesco’s
2.Wok n’ Roll
3. Scala Pizzaria
Tastiest pizza in Williamsburg
1. Buon Amici
2. New York Deli
3. Chanello’s
Best Ice cream
1. Bruster’s
2. Cold Stone Creamery
3. Ben & Jerry’s
Best Picture framer
1. Prince George Art&Frame
2. Williamsburg Pottery
3.Walls Alive
Hometown hero
1. Active military
2. Lois Hornsby
3. Veterans

Best Car dealer
1. Williamsburg Ford (tie)
1. Williamsburg Honda (tie)
2. Patriot Buick
3. Casey Toyota
Best Florist
1. Morrison
2. Williamsburg Floral & Gifts
3. Seasons of Williamsburg
Best Furniture store
1. Ethan Allen
2. Carolina Furniture
3. Willamsburg Furniture
Best Travel agency
1. AAA Travel
2. Travel Corner
3. Sue Mayberry Travel
Temp service
1. Protemps
2. A Temp
3. Caliper
Best Home improvement store
1. Lowe’s
2. Home Depot
3. Ace Hardware
Best Italian restaurant
1. Sal’s by Victor
2. Buon Amici
3. Maurizio’s
Best Locally owned gift shop
1. The Mole Hole
2. Paisley
3. Kinks, Quirks & Caffeine
Best Supermarket in Williamsburg
1. Ukrop’s
2. Farm Fresh
3. Fresh Market
Best Shopping center/mall
1. Prime Outlets
2. New Town
3. Monticello Marketplace
Best Veterinarian Williamsburg
1. Godspeed Animal Care
2. Colonial Veterinary Clinic
3. Noah’s Ark Vet Hospital