I love living in Zion Crossroads. It’s a good mix of country living and proximity to all that Virginia has to offer. That being said, every situation has a little room for improvement. So, sometimes I daydream about the following establishments opening a location at good ole I-64 exit 136, smack dab in Zion Crossroads.
Kroger. Yes, ZC has Walmart, but a dedicated grocery store would be awesome. Kroger has broad appeal and would add some welcome competition to the area. A Kroger gasoline station would be an added bonus!
Urgent Care Center. It would be nice to have this type of medical facility available to visit for life’s little illnesses and accidents. It would nicely complement the existing medical and physical therapy establishments on Spring Creek Parkway.
Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel. These are two good all-around restaurants with appeal to both locals and interstate traffic. Neither one has a presence for about 40 miles along the interstate, so Zion Crossroads seems like a natural fit. Both of these would likely draw from Charlottesville as well.
Papa Murphy’s Pizza. Ok, admittedly this one may seem like an off-the-wall choice, and is probably unfamiliar to most of my readers. But with the departure of Lelo’s Pizza, there is a dearth of good pizza options in Zion Crossroads. Papa Murphy’s is a take-and-bake franchise that prepares delicious pizzas that you can pick up, bake at home, and eat fresh and hot out of the oven. It only requires a small storefront and relatively little capital investment since there are no ovens or dine-in options. In fact, the business model works perfectly in these coronavirus times! This pizza choice is one of the top three things I miss about living in Missouri. The closest Papa Murphy’s is in Williamsburg and every so often we drive there to bring home a pizza or two. It’s usually when my husband wants to butter me up for something. He knows I’m a sucker for saying yes when pizza is involved.
I certainly understand there are complexities to opening these establishments that are far beyond exploring in a simple newspaper column. Population density, location, demand, competition and start-up costs are just a few criteria to consider. However ... I am also a seasoned consumer who listens to her neighbors discuss how they must travel to either Charlottesville or Richmond to fulfill grocery, medical, or restaurant needs. I really do believe Zion Crossroads is ripe for these opportunities, and hope to see one or all of these businesses locate here in the near future!
Laura Schupp is a regular columnist for the CV.
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