In 2019, native Buchanan resident, June Morris, took a giant leap of faith and signed up for the Town of Buchanan’s Community Business Launch (CBL) classes through the Advancement Foundation’s Gauntlet program. She hoped to learn good business practices and receive assistance attaining her dream of owning a business. Morris completed the training, pitched her plan to a panel of judges and won one of five prize packages to support opening a new business in downtown Buchanan using grant funds from Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
As one of the winners, Morris opened James River Drip in April 2021. This soft opening stage allowed Morris and her husband, Keith, to hire staff, train them and learn their product line and the nuances of the community. After ironing out the details, Morris hosted the Grand Opening of James River Drip on August 20, 2021 on Main Street in Buchanan.
“By participating in the Gauntlet and winning financial and in-kind support from The Advancement Foundation and the Buchanan Business Launch Grant, my dream is now a reality in the form of the James River Drip. Despite the downturn of the economy due to COVID-19, I didn’t stop. Being fortunate enough to win told me to go forward, no matter what. Having the town and community believing in me and my dream helps remind me that you got this!” – June Morris, Owner, James River Drip
“The James River Drip has already become a community eatery and is known for delicious food and support for Buchanan. We are grateful for June and Keith Morris and their desire to help grow Buchanan’s retail base by starting up on Main Street. We applaud the assistance provided by partners including the Gauntlet, Roanoke Regional SBDC and Virginia DHCD.” – Susan McCullock, Town Manager, Town of Buchanan
Click here to check out the latest version of the CBL Annual Report for information about other CBL success stories!