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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Ferrum College plans new venture near campus
Restaurant, market and deli will benefit community and campus
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Courtesy Art: This is an architect’s rendering of the planned Ferrum Mercantile on the site of the former Happy Pappy’s store across the campus on Route 40.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ferrum College has begun a new business and community development venture to be known as the Ferrum Mercantile across from the campus on Route 40.

The college acquired the property earlier this summer (the site of the former Happy Pappy's) and renovations to the existing building are under way. Plans for the Mercantile include a Papa John's Pizza franchise, a deli, a seasonal farmers' market, and Blue Ridge arts and crafts. A small performance stage for local talent is also planned, which will harmonize with Ferrum's location on Virginia's Crooked Road music trail.

"Colleges and universities across the country are taking advantage of similar purchases to expand their campuses and gain better control over their 'front doors'," said Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten about the college's recent acquisition.

"The Mercantile offerings will complement local businesses. In addition to generating added revenue for the college, visitors will be encouraged to stop and spend more time in Ferrum," Braaten said. "This in turn will promote the college's visibility and viability and foster economic development for the Village of Ferrum."

"The benefits to students include internships and employment opportunities, while the farmers' market will enhance the college's sustainability and local foods initiatives," she added.

Bobby Thompson, special assistant to the president for project development, said the development aligns with the college's plan for enhancing the Route 40 corridor.

"The purchase and development of this property accomplishes an objective of the College Master Plan that has long supported community development and enhancing the Route 40 corridor through economic, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives," Thompson said. "We are gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response to the early news of this acquisition, both from the campus and the wider Ferrum community."

The Ferrum Mercantile should be open for business later this year.

 
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