Hopewell hopes new business development will help city’s economy

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) – Business in Hopewell is on the upswing. City leaders are hopeful several new businesses will bring in more revenue and help build the city’s economy.

“It is all a part of the city council strategic plan,” said Hopewell City Manager, Mark Haley. “There is this component to revitalize downtown to get attractions down here that will bring folks to shop and eat and make it a more vital part of our community.”

Mark Haley
Mark Haley

The city of Hopewell is over 400 hundreds years old but with several new businesses slated for Broadway, downtown will receive a much-needed capital facelift.

Gun Cotton Coffee is opening in a newly renovated building that will also include an art gallery and event venue.

The project was initiated by a  group known as Capital Uplifting People (CAPUP).

In April, Legacy Roasting will also open its doors.

“In the beginning, it may just be by appointment only. But if someone would ever want to go tour the facility, I would be more than happy to show them how to roast coffee and where our coffee comes from. It is mainly a wholesale operation. We have coffee from Honduras, Brazil, Ethiopia and other places,” said Larry Hancock, the owner of Legacy Roasting.

Larry Hancock
Larry Hancock

Legacy Roasting will sell coffee bags by the pound.

“We sell it by the half pound and pound bags,” Hancock said. “A half pound bag will be $7 dollars and a pound $14.”

Legacy Roasting is just one of several new start-ups including the Fast Katz barber Shop.

“Two doors down, there is a pizza shop coming. Of course, everybody knows that the Boathouse is at the entrance of the city just a few blocks from here — that’s a big project,” Mark Haley said. “We have several other new restaurants coming as well.”

You Got a Deal also opened recently on Broadway. You can buy items you would find at your local supermarket a lot less than you might normally expect to pay.

8News talked to Karen Vaughan about her hopes for Hopewell as the mother of an entrepreneur in the city.

“I really want them to bring it back up because it has been down for a long time and they need to bring Hopewell back up,” Vaughan said.

Locals say the city needs more places to eat.

A restaurant recently set up shop on Broadway but it closed shortly after. Locals said the prices were too expensive.

hopewell

They also said business owners should keep in mind they are serving a blue collar community.

City leaders said economic development in the city has been challenging, but they are optimistic they can achieve city council’s vision.

“It is a very holistic approach. Economic development in an older city like this is a journey — it is not a destination. It takes a long time. You have hiccups, you have pluses and every now and then you have a minus, but you just keep plugging away,” Haley said.

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