Steve Rose has been a longtime staple in the Williamsburg community. As owner of Williamsburg Event Rentals and CultureFix, Steve is the man behind many of the town’s biggest events, but his newest endeavor is more of a passion project.
Steve is the co-owner and operator of the new business Spoke & Art Provision Company. Located near mile marker 2.5 on the Virginia Capital Trail, Spoke & Art sits on the corner of Route 5 and Greensprings Rd, a convenient location for cyclists and locals.
An outdoor enthusiast and recreational cyclist, Steve loves everything about the outdoors, and finds the Capital Trail to be a special asset in our town that has tremendous potential.
Once Spoke & Art has completed a massive renovation, the business will feature a sandwich and coffee shop, local beers and wines, indoor and outdoor seating, live entertainment, bike rentals and a gift shop selling specialty items for cyclists as well as quirky pieces of art.
Speaking of quirky art, Jennifer Raines has partnered up with him on the business. Similar to Jenn’s other businesses – The Sideshow Gallery and Quirks! Handcrafted Goods & Unique Gifts, Spoke & Art will feature funky and unique gifts for cyclists and art lovers.
For Jenn and Steve, welcoming out-of-town cyclists and locals to their business is also like welcoming them into their home, because in many ways they are. The duo has completely renovated the upstairs apartment above the shop, and are looking forward to their future living and working on the Capital Trail.
While they have been intermittently open on weekends, they have been gradually getting the place up and operating. “We have been open for cyclists on the trail to stop in for a soda or ice cream, but hope to be open for good in early November,” Steve says.
They recently completed an entrance to Spoke & Art directly on the trail, so bikers can easily swoop in for a quick visit, or enjoy an afternoon relaxing on the large outdoor deck.
“We have people coming from Richmond, Washington, D.C., North Carolina and all over,” says Steve. “The Capital Trail is so much more than just a trail in Williamsburg. It is a part of major routes that people take all over the nation. We have had people come through who are biking to Yorktown from Oregon, and even someone who was riding from Montreal to Florida. It’s amazing the people you meet.”
Steve has seen the potential for a business along the Capital Trail for years. “In addition to being on this trail that goes to Richmond, there’s about 2,000 homes in the general area, so we are in a prime location,” says Steve. “Not only are we getting trail traffic, but we are getting all of the neighbors coming by on their evening walks to grab an ice cream and chit chat.”
When they open full-time, Spoke & Art will carry local brews like Aleworks, Precarious Beer Company and Virginia Beer Company. The kitchen will feature European style sandwiches, like baguettes with a variety of meats and cheeses. Steve also plans to offer comfort foods this fall like grilled cheese and tomato soup – one of Jenn’s favorite meals.
The pair also plans to sell Blanchard’s Coffee out of Richmond, with the idea that people can ride from capital to capital and from coffee to coffee. They can start the day in Richmond with an espresso at Blanchard’s and ride to Spoke & Art for a cup of their famous coffee.
“Our plan is to open early November and stay open until Christmas, then we will close for January and February,” says Steve. “In the spring, we plan to open full-time.”
Steve and Jenn are seasoned professionals at pulling off big events, but for the official opening of Spoke & Art they plan on going small. “We aren’t doing a big flashy grand opening. That is not what this place will be about,” Steve says. “We hope to reach people on social media and build a following, and just let people know when we are having special events.”
They plan to host lots of small events, including music on the patio and outdoor movies on the lawn. Locals can expect pop-up events that allow for a little spontaneity and fun. “I like to do things on the fly,” says Steve.
For the couple, starting Spoke & Art is much more of a passion project than a potential revenue stream. While it’s a challenge to juggle owning this business with their other businesses, they love it and are excited for the potential it has in the community.
To start, Jenn, Steve and son, Christian, will staff the small shop and restaurant. Cadbury, their Great Dane, is also sure to make an occasional appearance on the deck.
Spoke & Art is open (weather depending) from 9am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday until early November when they will open the doors full time.
Address: 3449 John Tyler Highway
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185
Phone: (757) 592-4289
Visit Them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/spokeartprovisions/
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