Virginia Capital Trail spawns another startup

herring creek market

The Herring Creek Market is targeting a spring 2018 opening at 4940 Herring Creek Road in Charles City County. (Mike Platania)

Anne Poarch is making a habit of finding entrepreneurial inspiration along the 52-mile Virginia Capital Trail.

Poarch, who in 2015 launched Basket & Bike, providing guided bike tours up and down the trail, is working to open Herring Creek Market, a market for cyclists and runners halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg.

She and her partners have leased a dormant 2,100-square-foot market building at 4940 Herring Creek Road, just off the trail.

Basket & Bike, which offers history lessons, snacks and wine tasting during its rides, helped Poarch find the old market, and her aim is for the two ventures to complement each other.

“My signature ride goes right past it and I always stop right there on the tours, right at the entrance to plantations,” Poarch said. “I kept thinking that I’d love a place to do the rentals from.”

The market, which has been vacant for years, sits at mile marker 27, the halfway point of the paved path.

Poarch is going into the venture with Shelley Roberts and Beth Norfleet. The trio plans to launch a crowdfunding page this summer to accrue somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000 to renovate the building.

“The building needs to be updated with new equipment if we want to have a kitchen. It could use some new paint, some TLC,” Poarch said. “We’d love to have a great espresso machine.”

This summer, the trio will host pop-up markets at the shop to gather intel from the community on what it’d like to see at the store.

The first pop-up will be held June 3 and will feature live music, coffee and pastries from Sugar & Twice, and the Capital Trail Shuttle (which launched earlier this year) providing rides.

“We plan to have a suggestion box on our first pop-up,” Poarch said.

The Herring Creek Market will carry baguette sandwiches to sunscreen, to energy bars, to local home goods. Poarch said she plans to have a bike fix-it station with wrenches, tubes and tires.

“We don’t want to be a restaurant. We’d be more of a garden shop/bike shop/market,” she said. “I would love to eventually have a couple of different wines and beers.”

Spring 2018 is the target open date for the market. Poarch said she’d like to start renovations as soon as possible.

As the Herring Creek Market gets underway, the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation is working to add amenities like fix-it stations and benches this spring.

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Jennifer Tompkins
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Anne, You should really connect with Wilson Hale, owner of Parts & Labor mobile bicycle services. He would be a great addition to your offerings on the Trail. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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