A Revitalization of Tastes 

A new food and shopping campus on Bedford Ave. does more than revitalize a building

A new food and shopping campus on Bedford Ave. does more than revitalize a building

It’s 2:30 p.m. on a Friday and shoppers mill about, hopping from business to business experiencing something new and unique to Lynchburg. That unique experience can transform a shopper into an environmentalist, a cooking student, or a foodie when they are at this one-stop destination that houses various businesses.

These new businesses share a 19,000-square-foot building that is part of a bigger picture for restoring Bedford Avenue. The building is located at 2204 Bedford Avenue.

Photo Courtesy of ODD+EVEN

“The goal is to revitalize Bedford Avenue. It is the bridge to downtown,” said developer Daryl Calfee. The 2204 Bedford Avenue property is just two miles from downtown Main Street.

Calfee, owner of Penny Lane Properties, a company that focuses on property restoration, noted that the area had been abandoned and no one had done anything to it. So they stepped in to change that.

The 2204 Bedford Avenue building was once a Dr. Pepper Bottling Company—one of many locations in and around Central and Southwest Virginia in the 1950s. Based on permit information from the Lynchburg City Planning Commission, the site was sold in November 2021 and a site plan for the property was approved in the Summer 2022.

The businesses that opened this spring at the location share the property—with guests having the ability to float from shop to shop via open interiors. The building’s facade features dark wood and charcoal paint, while the interiors each have their own unique charm and look.

Photo Courtesy of ODD+EVEN

From the outside, this location appears like a mini outdoor mall that supports a small food campus. The businesses that are nestled within are Truss, a restaurant that boasts a seasonal menu and crafted cocktails in an upscale casual dining environment; The Flour District, a community bakery with mouthwatering European-style pastries; Scratch Pasta Co., an extension of the already well-loved local pasta brand, where shoppers can purchase pasta, salads from the cold case, and curated kitchen wares; Rivermont Refillery, a zero-waste and sustainable store; and Rhodora, a specialty gift shop. 

The staff at the businesses believe that the revitalization is a great opportunity for a pedestrian-friendly shopping and dining experience.

“It is such a good connector to Rivermont,” said Rivermont Refillery manager Anita Fontaine, referring to the proximity to Rivermont Avenue, which includes residential properties and Randolph College and is a main thoroughfare to downtown Lynchburg.

Fontaine noted that Rivermont Refillery, open since April, offers people the opportunity to make sustainable, environmentally friendly choices by reducing plastic waste. Shoppers can refill containers of products such as detergents, shampoos, and other household products versus buying them in single-use plastics.

Rivermont Refillery offers a wide range of nontoxic vegan beauty products including soaps, lotions, as well as laundry detergents and fabric softeners as well as other items ranging from jewelry to stationery.

Photo Courtesy of ODD+EVEN

Residents have expressed excitement over the revitalization, as well.

“I am really excited about it,” said longtime resident Hailey Anguire, who first heard about what was happening on Bedford Avenue through Instagram.

Co-owner and chef of Truss Wray Warner said there is a lot of hype around town about the area.

Warner and Jill Fees share ownership of Truss, which is currently 2204 Bedford’s only full-service restaurant. Walking into Truss feels like an experience in and of itself. Entering through the front door, guests get an immediate glimpse into the kitchen, where seasonal dishes and a rotating menu are thoughtfully and carefully prepared. There is also a 40-seat banquet room along with a 10-seat chef’s table, the perfect gathering space for intimate food and wine tastings, meetings, or special events. 

“I am excited to have it open and be a part of the Lynchburg restaurant scene,” Warner, who has been a chef for 20 years, said. “I want it to be a place where people can come three times a week whether it is for dinner or for a snack and a drink.”

Other business owners see the new combined businesses as a plus, as well.

“We want it to be a community gathering space,” said Stephanie Fees, longtime chef and owner of Scratch Pasta Co.

Scratch Pasta Co. will offer different varieties of pasta for sale, like their fan-favorite Virginia Wheat Campanelle, Spicy Garlic MoHawks, and Lemon Basil Gemelli. Shoppers can also purchase freshly made pasta and pasta salads from Scratch Pasta’s cold counter as well as meticulously curated kitchen wares, from artisanal salts and spices to reclaimed fabric napkins to stunning cookware.

“The vision is to make dinner easy for people,” explained Stephanie Fees, who formerly was a professional chef in New York City and ran the kitchen at West Manor Estate for a number of years before launching into her Scratch Pasta venture full time.

Another stop within the 2204 Bedford space is The Flour District—a bakery that offers a variety of pastries and other foods ranging from cinnamon rolls and European-style muffins to breakfast sandwiches. They also offer a drink menu for specialty coffee, seasonal tea blends, and celebratory mimosas.

Photo Courtesy of ODD+EVEN

Maria Niechwiadowicz, pastry chef and CEO of The Flour District said there will also be cooking classes in the future. 

“We hope that we will be both a place that neighbors can walk to as well as a destination spot in Lynchburg. We hope that customers will feel welcome and excited to invite a friend to share a pastry or beverage over a good conversation and ultimately be a point of connection,” Niechwiadowicz said. 

The 2204 Bedford Ave. project is unlike anything Lynchburg has seen in our area in recent years, or perhaps in our city’s history. Within one space, an idyllic afternoon stretches out in front of you—starting with an espresso and pastry at The Flour District, meandering through the shops, and culminating in a truly local meal at Truss. Simply walking through the doors of any of the businesses within the campus, you get the understanding that something truly magical has taken place—not just the revitalization of an almost-forgotten building, but the revitalization of epicurean enjoyment in Lynchburg.   


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