Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

BizSense Beat: Aug. 4, 2023

Richmond BizSense logo

BizSense Beat is a weekly collaboration between VPM News and Richmond BizSense that brings you the top business stories during NPR's Morning Edition on Fridays.

Here’s a recap of the top stories for the week of August 4, 2023:

‘This place has to be unique’: Master plan unveiled for next 37 acres of Sauer Center
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

Following on the success of the Whole Foods and CarMax-anchored first phase, Sauer Properties is looking to effectively build a new neighborhood from scratch in the next leg of its Sauer Center development in the city.

The company, backed by the Sauer family and led by President Ashley Peace, has unveiled its master plan for the next phase of the mixed-use project, with over 2 million square feet of new construction planned for the 37 acres the firm owns between Hermitage Road, West Broad Street and North Allen Avenue.

In addition to buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and other uses, Sauer is also planning to build parks, pedestrian walkways and public green spaces on the land, much of which is currently either industrial or undeveloped.

Gramophone winery ready to be uncorked in Forest Hill
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

After years of preparation, the needle is set to drop on a new winery on the Southside.

Gramophone, which sells its own brand of wines sourced from vineyards in the U.S. and abroad, is preparing to open at 4827 Forest Hill Ave. in the coming weeks.

Behind the venture are longtime friends Arthur Grant, Justin Laughter and Chris Mayo, who’ve been working on Gramophone since early 2021.

The trio once played music together in middle- and high-school bands, and have used music to stay close over the years, Grant said.

They’re combining those musical ties and wine into the new venture, which has taken shape in a storefront once planned for a rage room and owned by Grant’s family. Gramophone was built to include a lounge and has plans to add a small stage, something Grant said would be ideal for hosting singer-songwriters.

Sugar & Twine bringing back sit-down cafe with expansion into adjacent storefront
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

Sugar & Twine is planning to invite its patrons back inside after several years of serving them on the sidewalk.

The Carytown bakery at 2928 W. Cary St. is eyeing a takeover of a vacant storefront next door to house a new sit-down cafe.

It’s been more than three years since Sugar & Twine closed its dine-in cafe and introduced a walk-up service window fashioned out its front door as a pandemic-era precaution.

Owner Beth Orcutt said she wanted to bring back the cafe experience, and at first assumed she would have to get rid of the walk-up window to make it work. But she was reluctant to remove the window because customers appreciated the convenience of the arrangement.

You can have these and other local business stories sent right to your inbox. Sign up for the Richmond BizSense newsletter!