Wide Array of New Businesses Are Popping Up in Middleburg


(Sunday, November 11, 2007 4:04 PM EST)

Middleburg had to say goodbye to a number of businesses this year, but the storefronts didn't stay empty long. Here a few new businesses in town you might want to pop your head into:

Mrs. Tate's Bake Shoppe and Tea Room: If you're looking for upscale comfort, then Mrs. Tate's might be the perfect place for you to take a load off.

“We want our customers to just have a pleasant afternoon,” owner Doug Elstob said in a recent interview. “Leave your stress at the door.”

Mrs. Tate's (named after Elstob's grandmother, who had a knack for making fruit pies) is the brainchild of Elstob's wife, Catherine, who always wanted to open a tea house.

The bakery and cafe portion of the shop is up and running, offering 14 English imported teas, baked treats and a lunch menu. The 42-seat tea room will open in the near future.

Winner of five first-place ribbons at the Mid-Atlantic Cake Show, the bakers for Mrs. Tate's offer specialty cakes for all occasions, in three-dimensional designs that range from Noah's Ark to a Cessna plane to a Lotus race car.

“Every cake is different because everyone is different,” Doug Elstob said. “We like our customers to take part in the design.”

Customers will be able to book a private room in the back for parties and the shop also hopes to offer specialty tea events such as “Tea with Mrs. Claus” and American Girl parties.

And for those who can't make it to Mrs. Tate's in person, treats can be ordered online at www.mrstatesbakeshop.com.

Mrs. Tate's Bake Shoppe and Tea Room is located at 102 W. Washington Street in Middleburg. For more information, call (703) 687-3884.

Highcliffe Clothiers Ltd.: Previously located in Dupont Circle in Washington, Highcliffe Clothiers has moved to Middleburg

Owner Mark Metzger recently teamed up with clothing designer Wendy Pepper and is offering a range of custom-tailoring services and products for the people of Hunt Country.

“[Metzger] wanted to change the focus of his business a little and concentrate a bit more on the custom equestrian business,” Pepper said in a recent interview. “We decided to combine forces.”

Highcliffe offers custom tailoring (including custom riding jackets and britches) for men and women and also carries several European ready-to-wear lines.

The store sells a wide variety of ties, cuff links and socks, as well as pajamas and luggage. Alterations and tuxedo rentals also are available.

But why go to a custom tailor instead of a department store?

“We believe that there's no substitute for good service,” Pepper said. “We feel that through a custom suit, overcoat, shirt, pants, everything we do, we can best target the specific needs of each customer.”

Highcliffe tries to offer it all - Pepper's sewing machine is on site if you need a quick repair, and if you want to take a break from shopping on the streets of Middleburg, there's a flat-screen TV in the shop for everyone's viewing pleasure.

“We are an old-fashioned haberdashery with a few new twists,” Pepper said. “We bring the best of the old and welcome the best of the new.”

Highcliffe Clothiers is located at 16 S. Madison Street in Middleburg. For more information, call (540) 687-5633.

Nobel Nielsen Shoes: Upperville native Troya Plaskitt has always received compliments on her Franchetti Bond shoes, but until recently had to send people to England to get them. Now they can just buy them from her at her new shoe store, Nobel Nielsen Shoes.

The store, which is named after Plaskitt's grandfather, exclusively sells Franchetti Bond shoes. The London-based company's products are made in Italy and Spain and come in a variety of styles and colors.

Franchetti Bond's mainstay isflats, and Nobel Nielsen carries penny loafers, loafers with tassels, and ankle boots, among other styles.

The shoes come in suede, calf leather, patent leather, even mock crocodile, and colors range from metallics to a rainbow of hues to classic blacks and browns.

Heels will be available in the future, as will handbags.

The shoes at Nobel Nielsen are for “women who like to dress well and like good quality,” Plaskitt said. “They're good shoes and they'll never go out of style.”

Nobel Nielsen Shoes is located at 15 S. Madison Street in Middleburg. For more information, call (540) 272-9454.

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