A Love Letter to the Past

Years ago, sitting on horseback with feet in stirrups, a group of children would saddle up and ride their stallions to a place formerly known

Woods Goods & Mercantile Brings Back a Bygone Era

Photos by Ashlee Glen

Years ago, sitting on horseback with feet in stirrups, a group of children would saddle up and ride their stallions to a place formerly known as Tom’s Grocery. Their intention was to snag some sweet treats from the owners of the storefront, not knowing that it would someday become much more than a gas station located in front of U.S. Route 460. 

After a short period of being Witt Wholesale before it relocated, the market so loved by many sat desolate for a long while, serving only as a storage and rental unit. That was, until the Wood family discovered it. Originally hailing from Northern Idaho, Heather Wood and her family relocated to Bedford County in June of 2022, where they fell in love with the weather, scenery, and community. Instantly, Heather began searching for the perfect place to turn her dream of what would soon become Woods Goods & Mercantile into a reality. After discovering the forgotten structure, she knew that was just the place, and the Woods knew it was time to give it both new life and a whole new personality. 

“We really had no idea how much work it would require to get her heart beating again,” Wood said. 

The renovation process was a whole family affair with Heather, her husband, their two children, and Heather’s parents and brother-in-law working tirelessly to renovate the abandoned building. Together, they updated the electrical, flooring, paint, and landscaping of the old market. 

“We had to tear out 1950’s appliances and plumbing,” noted Wood. “None of us are home renovators so it was DIY trial and error. Through the process, we met locals who were willing to help and who are now dear friends of ours!”

Now, standing where horses once galloped and cars filled their gas tanks, is a remodeled home and goods store. Woods Goods & Mercantile is a family-run love letter to the olden days, holding within their walls antique pieces and heirlooms for any customer to appreciate. Wood noted that she and her family take pride in displaying items that allow their customers to feel as if they are being transported to another time.  

Those with a green thumb will feel right at home here, as well.

 “We love flowers and houseplants,” Wood said. 

She encourages customers to visit their plant room, where they are able to create their personal houseplant with the store’s abundant selection of pots and plants. 

“At Woods Goods & Mercantile, we believe that our plant buddies need their own decor,” she said. “We have many fun little plant decor items to add to your new green pet!”

Also available at their boutique is a curation of handmade novelties—ranging from woodworker MJB Artisan, who “transforms blocks of wood into beautiful bowls and jewelry boxes” to leather artist Banister Goodes who crafts purses, hats, wallets, and more. The store holds an all-natural body care line by Keitha’s Artful Garden who, according to Wood, grows many of the plants used in her products. On one corner, a shopper could discover Nana’s Nifties, who creates Memory Bears and kitchen items. On another corner, one could spot one-of-a-kind birdhouses, made from barnwood and antique hardware with original artwork by Geppettoz. 

Woods Goods & Mercantile not only caters to the avid shoppers, but also to those who happen to come along for the ride. Wood goes on to note that her family’s store even carries “‘husband’ chairs for the gentlemen to rest while their wives feather their nests.” 

“We have a booth to satisfy the huntsman, veteran, engineer, or antique connoisseur,” she said. 

After said gentleman finds his desired purchases, they are directed to bring their finds to Edison, a 1929 Model A-turned checkout counter.

“Antique vendors and consignment artists also grace our store,” noted Wood. “We support the Bedford Humane Society by selling items with 100 percent of the profit going to the Humane Society. We also contribute to CASA of Central Virginia.” 

Wood, longtime lover of home decor and antiques herself, said, “This store is a dream come true with new home lovelies, antique treasures, plants, talented vendors, and just darn good coffee!” 

She notes that she and her family are even working on transforming the old kitchen located inside the shop, aiming to turn it into a small coffee shop, where they will serve, in her words, “the most amazing coffee from Floyd, Red Rooster Coffee!” 

When asked what her favorite part of being a small business owner is, Wood answered, “feeling like a part of the community! I have met so many wonderful people and love to hear about the memories our store’s products bring back. Many of our customers are now friends!”  

Issue Navigation

<< Debunking Common Food Myths | Healthy Home, Happy Life >>
(Visited 119 times, 1 visits today)