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Success Stories

Building A Legacy:  Clem’s Garage

Building A Legacy – Clem’s Garage

For Dennis Clem, running a service station has always been a family affair. It started when he was a young boy sitting next to his father in a tow truck responding to calls from stranded drivers. Years later Dennis’ own son, Bill, would sneak down and sleep across the front door so his father would have to wake him up when a call came in.

Clem’s Garage was opened back in the 1940’s when servicing tractors from the local farms was bigger business than servicing cars. Dennis remembers whole families would come into town with the tractors and spend the day visiting friends and picnicking next to the garage while the technicians completed their repairs and maintenance. But Dennis’ fondest memories were of the pool table his Dad had at the garage where farmers would play to pass the time. Dennis learned how to play pool from one of those farmers and enjoyed spending time watching and playing with the men who visited his Dad’s garage. Clem’... Read More

"Plan B" produces successful Cabinetry business:  Martin-Star Cabinetry and Design, LLC

Martin-Star Cabinetry and Design, LLC
1610 W. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220

Martin-Star Cabinetry started as a sole-proprietorship in 2005.  The owner, Joshua Kayer, had no formal training as a cabinet maker but loved the creative process and challenges from taking pieces of wood and turning them into functional and beautiful pieces of art.  Prior to starting this business, Mr. Kayer was a member of a very successful rock band, traveling the country, and recording under Madonna’s record label.  He always knew he wanted to eventually settle down and have a family, and that he needed a “Plan B”.  His “Plan B” evolved into Martin-Star.  Mr. Kayer has entrepreneurship in his blood.  His great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were entrepreneurs, running Mama Kayer’s bakery in Norfolk for over 100 years before selling it in 2007.  Josh said that he always knew that one day he would run his own business.  

Like most small businesses, sales and... Read More

Blue Sky, Blue River, and Blue Goblets: The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing

The James River is central to all that is Richmond; history, recreation, jogging on the canal walk, bird-watching, kayaking, nature hiking and even swimming. Add to that list elegant dining, either open air or behind floor-to-ceiling windows, that offers a panoramic view of the James River and Richmond skyline. Richmond can claim such a restaurant: The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing, 4708 East Old Main St., Richmond, Virginia, that opened in August of 2009. Partake of blue sky, blue water and blue goblets on a balmy day.

The Power Plant now housing the restaurant was built around 1910 and was used to generate steam power for Richmond’s trolley cars. Contemporary glass and steel are now meshed around the baked-brick smoke stack and other industrial remnants of Richmond’s past. The Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhoods (“ACORN”) honored the project with its 2009 Golden Hammer award for “best commercial renovation.” Also, the Greater Richmond... Read More

Joshua Wilton House: Historic “Old Town” Appeal and Four Star Service spells SUCCESS

One of Virginia's finest inns and restaurants, the historic Joshua Wilton House can be found in "Old Town" Harrisonburg, Virginia, in the heart of the
Shenandoah Valley. This Inn features five rooms furnished with restored period antiques and reproductions and a restaurant serving award winning meals that
change with the seasons.

Joshua Wilton, the original owner and builder of the house, was born in England and raised in Canada. He was the President of the First Virginia Bank and a pillar of the community. He was also instrumental in bringing electricity to the Harrisonburg area of the Shenandoah Valley. In 1888 Mr. Wilton completed the construction of the house for his family and it included hand carved mantels and faux-marble slate fireplaces. Today his portrait still hangs in the front foyer. The Wilton family occupied the home for about 40 years and in the 1970’s the house served as the TKE fraternity house until it was sold and converted into... Read More