LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) “I’ll tell you, it’s really weird," says Al Hockaday. "It’s really odd, standing in the store and not walking around and greeting people because I’m the owner.”
It seems everyone in Lexington knows Al and ernestine Hockaday.
For 27 years, they’ve greeted customers at their shops: The Shenandoah Attic and Victorian Parlour.
Until today, when they held a ribbon cutting reopening the shop after a pair of friends and longtime customers made them an offer.
“We asked them if they’d be interested in selling," says Debbie Darlington, new owner of the shop along with her business partner, Jerry Coleman. "And they said yes.”
“The timing is right," Hockaday remembers thinking. "Let’s start our retirement two years, three years earlier. And that’s how we came to this conclusion.”
But, though the storefront’s a little smaller, customers will hardly notice much change.
“Al and Ernestine have built a great name within the community, and we didn’t want to do anything to that," Darlington explains. "So that’s Jerry and my goal is to make sure that this store grows and enhances till we can reach people within the community and far out into the community as well.”
Something Lexington is seeing all around its business district.
“New is always good. It’s always hard to see something coming to an end, end of an era, because it has been a really good time for a lot of these business owners," says Tracy Lyons, Executive Director of the Lexington-Rockbridge Chamber of Commerce. "But it's exciting that there are some new availability in storefronts downtown and some room for some new business and new growth.”
And an opportunity to hand the keys of an iconic shop to some new owners.