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Lakeside Farmers’ Market voted No. 1 in Va.

The Lakeside Farmers’ Market was voted the No. 1 farmers’ market in Virginia by patrons who participated in a national contest during the past several months.

The America Farmland Trust’s “America’s Favorite Farmers’ Market Contest” sought feedback and votes from readers nationwide for their favorite markets from among the 7,000-plus in the nation.

Lakeside Farmers’ Market earned 1,393 votes, placing it first among the more than 100 markets in Virginia and third nationally in the “Small Markets” category for markets with 16 to 30 vendors.

In Virginia, Lakeside Farmers’ Market finished ahead of markets in Falls Church, Williamsburg, Powhatan and Charlottesville to claim the honor.

“It’s something that has brought a lot of pride and raises the level of recognition of the market, the vendors and the community itself,” said Peter Francisco, who along with his wife, Sharon, started the market in 2008. The Franciscos decided to actively promote the contest to vendors and customers this year – both in person during market times, through print advertising and online, hoping to win that recognition for the market and the Lakeside region. Now, the market’s supporters are excited about the results, Francisco said.

“They’re proud that they’re associated with the market that won.”

During its peak season (July and August), the market regularly attracted upwards of 1,500 visitors during its four-hour Saturday session, Francisco said. Wednesday sessions draw fewer people but still pull in steady crowds, he said. This year, the Farmers Market Too (an indoor area adjacent to the outdoor market)opened and has attracted another dozen or so food and craft vendors.

“We’re going to have to turn vendors away for the winter season” because the indoor space has nearly reached capacity, he said. Francisco and his wife have enjoyed watching the market grow each year and bring more visitors to Lakeside at the same time, but Francisco also has a practical reason for looking forward to market days.

“I enjoy the food too,” he said, with a laugh. “It’s a real disappointment when things go out of season and I have to go to the grocery store to buy them.”

The Lakeside Farmers’ Market, 6110 Lakeside Avenue, operates on Wednesdays from dawn to dusk and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. For details, visit http://www.lakesidefarmersmarket.net
Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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