Bevy of New Businesses Coming to Town


(Sunday, December 9, 2007 7:54 PM EST)

Having a hard time finding gifts for everyone on your list this holiday season? Think you've already hit every store in the area?

No need to fret, because a number of new businesses recently opened in the Middleburg area. Here's a run-down on what's out there:

Salamander Touch: The newest addition to Sheila Johnson's Salamander Hospitality offerings, Salamander Touch opened just in time for the Middleburg Christmas Parade on Dec. 1.

From Mistral's French bath and body products to Lepine fine writing instruments to golf merchandise and apparel, the shop “brings something unique to the town of Middleburg,” said Megan Carr, executive assistant for Salamander Hospitality.

“For the most part, you can't find this merchandise anywhere in the area,” she said.

Thick wool carriage throws, as well as lighter throws for the home, found at Salamander Touch are Carr's recommendations for gifts during the holiday season.

Many of the product lines were hand-chosen by Johnson, and the linens and Crown Salamander jewelry collection available in the shop were designed by the Hunt Country entrepreneur herself.

Soon to open within the store is a model of a Salamander Resort and Spa room.

“Customers will get to come and see what it looks like, and see the real standard of quality and service they'll get from staff members when they come to the spa,” Carr said.

And until the resort and spa opens, they'll be able to purchase fine linens and bath products that will allow them to live that luxury lifestyle, she said.

Salamander Touch is located at 100 W. Washington Street in Middleburg. For more information, call (540) 687-4138, or see the Web site at

WhiteBench: You'll be able to find gifts of all sizes and price ranges at this brand-new home-furnishings and accessories store in downtown Middleburg.

WhiteBench's smaller items such as mouth-blown glass, fine table linens, slate place cards and diamond-cut paperweights might be the perfect gift for that special someone. But if you're feeling extra generous, you can also buy a roomful of furniture.

All the merchandise is made of natural products and much of the furniture is made from reclaimed wood, including a particularly unusual and unique piece made from a reclaimed railroad tie.

“The style is warm, classic and timeless,” said owner Cheryl Gavitt. “I love clean lines and interesting shapes.”

Gavitt's style is reflected throughout the store, including the show window, where the simple white bench that inspired the name of the shop is on display.

Her philosophy is to keep bigger pieces in neutral colors, but to jazz things up with flashes of color from pillows or candles to keep a room looking “refreshed and reenergized all year.”

WhiteBench may have just opened, but Gavitt already has plans for the store's future, including customer appreciation events such as wine-and-cheese cocktail parties, and sessions with local interior and garden designers.

She also will start the WhiteBenchStyle home of the month, which will feature a customer's home that reflects the WhiteBench style. The home will be featured on the store Web site, as well as in the store itself.

WhiteBench is located at 100 E. Washington Street in Middleburg. For more information, call (540) 687-8555, or see the Web site at

Viccor: Jewelry is usually a welcome gift, but now you can make it even more special, with a custom-designed piece.

Jewelry designer Natasha Curry Kurfees' new shop offers only original jewelry designs, handmade exclusively by the artist. Each piece is hand-knotted and has a quality guarantee.

“When a woman looks good, she feels good,” Kurfees says on the Viccor Web site. “That's why my designs are created to enhance a woman's natural beauty.”

Women who purchase or receive jewelry from Viccor should know they're in good company. Kurfees has designed jewelry for Laura Bush and for the state of Washington's contestant in the Miss America Pageant.

Even though the jewelry from Viccor can be worn for glamorous events, it also is appropriate for everyday wear.

“After five years of jewelry design, I have been able to create a working line of jewelry that any woman can mix and match to complement her clothes for any occasion,” Kurfees said.

Viccor is located at 10 E. Federal Street in Middleburg. For more information, call (540) 687-3740, or see the Web site at

Return to index of articles