By Mike Seal
Alexandria, VA – Vicki Ruckman used to make holiday gift baskets for family and friends around the country, and she wanted to use Virginia products to show off her state. Each year had a different theme: breakfast, cocktail hour, etc. She got frustrated trying to find the elements in one place. She spent hours searching websites and stores and placing multiple orders. There had to be a better way!
An online store was her first idea, but then an opportunity to partner with a wine bar in Harrisonburg, owned by Cave Ridge Vineyard, presented itself. Vicki’s son, the artist Mike Seal, moved to the valley to help and the store was launched featuring all Virginia products from peanuts to coffee, dog treats to cheese, and almost everything imaginable produced in our bountiful commonwealth.
In 2013 the store moved to Woodstock and added wine, cider, and mead and now has the largest selection of Virginia wines in the area, along with a variety of U.S. and international wines. The shop features functional crafts produced by local artisans, including pottery, soap, wall art, and hand-knitted outerwear.
Are you visiting for a weekend? Pick up local eggs, chicken, beef, and bacon for your larder! Want to make your own gift basket? You’ll have lots of snack items to choose from, including tortilla chips made in Manassas Park and six types of salsa made in Richmond. Want Mike or Vicki to make a basket for you and deliver it locally? Call them with a theme or a list of goodies and a price range, and you’re guaranteed a happy recipient! And they have gift cards!
Mike’s artistic eye rearranges displays monthly to keep the store looking fresh. Both owners are always on the lookout for new items to add to inventory, so you’ll always find something new on return visits.