Community Helps Save Food Stand

AFTON, Va. -- Ronald King runs the King's Gourmet Popcorn stand just off Skyline Drive in Afton.

He's been running this stand in the same spot for more than two years and wanted to put a sign up off the road. He was surprised by the response he got when he went to get permission from the county.

"The director of zoning told me I needed a special use permit. I didn't know what that was, so I was a little nervous," says King, "It was scary, there was a chance of everything, this is my livelihood."

He'd been in that spot for so long, had outdoor seating for customers, and his own sign off the road, so he was considered by the county to be a brick and mortar business. That meant that he had to get a special use permit or faced the risk of being shut down.

Carrie Eheart is one of his regular customers and was shocked when he told her that he may have to close up shop.

"He's trying to compete with all the big guys. Don't take something away from an individual who's trying to make a business for himself," said Eheart.

Wednesday afternoon, King approached the Board of Zoning and was surprised that people from the community came to support him.

"Six people came just for me, it was pretty impressive, I was very happy, two made a speech," said King.

After those speeches, the board unanimously voted to grant King his special use permit so he can stay there permanently. King was grateful for the support he received from everyone around him.

"I made a Facebook post like I always do," said King.

King is happy the community stood by his side and that he keep giving out popcorn.

"It was hard work, it wasn't easy. I put in a lot of work to be here today and if I didn't have the support of the community, they could've shut me down," said King.


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