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New Roanoke businesses persist while opening just before and during the pandemic

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - New businesses are opening even during this pandemic. WDBJ7 spoke with the owner of Crumbles, a breakfast shop in downtown Roanoke, and the owner of Hustle/Haven, a hot yoga and cycling studio. Both owners say they have experienced many challenges opening just before and during the pandemic. But they have persisted.

“It’s crazy to see your vision come to life," London Ray-Dykstra, owner of Hustle/Haven, can now say. But at one point, she wasn’t sure if or when she’d be able to say those words.

“We didn’t get our building permit until literally the day before essentially the world stopped, so that slowed down everything and then we were slated to open in June, end of June, and then that got delayed for a multitude of reasons," Ray-Dykstra said.

Finally, her hot yoga and cycling studio - Hustle Haven - opened near downtown Roanoke at the end of August and had its ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday with Mayor Sherman Lea.

“We’re celebrating the opening and expansion of an exciting new business in the city," Mayor Lea said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Our business owners are very invested and they will do whatever it takes to make it work," Lisa Soltis, economic development specialist for Roanoke, said.

Like Ruben Liendo, who opened Crumbles - a cinnamon roll and biscuit shop in downtown Roanoke - just a week before the affects of the pandemic hit.

“I’m very persistent, and at some point I told myself, I was not going to let this affect me, and I need to reinvent myself and come back,” Liendo said.

So the store has stayed open, but it hasn’t been easy.

“Definitely the traffic is not there yet. I do feel like a good percentage of people that work downtown are still working at home,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Liendo has stayed positive.

“I wake up everyday thinking today is going to be a good day, and that’s the way to do it," he said.

Crumbles will have it’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony September 24.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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