Business Woes

By: Meryl Conant
By: Meryl Conant

Growth is good, but one Valley business man says too much too soon is putting the squeeze on his mom & pop shop.

While business from national chains may be booming in the River City, the owner of Route 250 Central and Mad Anthony's Coffee and Tea said it's taken some of the steam out of his livelihood.

Bruce Ketchum doesn't just depend on a cup of Joe for a jolt.

"For me it’s not a side investment, not a side job, it's all I have," he said.

All he has brought in less this year so far than in the previous six years.

That's why he wants Waynesboro to take a gulp before letting Sheetz and other out-of-state competitors set up shop here.

"Someone rolls in a few blocks down the road, spends a million dollars on a build out, that's not competition that's David and Goliath," Ketchum explained.

This David says his small business gives a boost to lots of others in Virginia, from a coffee roaster in Lexington to a food distributor in Harrisonburg.

"The money stays local, my employees stay local, my food distributors, the people who work in the warehouse, the truck drivers are all local people and that just continues to circulate a lot of money and tax dollars in our area," he added.

An area he thinks is too focused on bringing in those grand businesses at the expense of those smaller ones.

Ketchum said he thinks there needs to be a comprehensive plan, so Waynesboro doesn't grow too fast now.


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