By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Feb. 8 — They’re back, and they brought some friends…blueberry glaze with lemon drizzle, chocolate glaze with sprinkles, cookies and cream, blueberry cobbler, strawberry glaze with sprinkles, strawberry shortcake, powdered, PB&J, peanut butter glaze, peanut butter glaze with chocolate chips, French toast, maple bacon, and of course…just glazed. The famous Fairview donuts are back on Saturdays at the small country store on the east side of Luray, thanks to its new owners.
Arthur and Amber Buchkovich purchased the 115-year-old Fairview Country Market and Deli in May. After relocating from Lexington and re-opening the country store in mid-June, the young couple has spent the last eight months rebuilding the store’s inventory and getting to know the community.
“It’s always been his dream to have his own business,” Amber said of her husband.
Prior to coming to Page County, Arthur served as the general manager of the Lee-Hi truck stop in Lexington. He saw the Luray business for sale online and was drawn to it.
“One of the things we liked most was its history and sense of community,” Arthur said, “and we are trying to do all we can to preserve that…and hopefully it will be here another 115 years.”
On Wednesday morning, a couple dozen supporters and local leaders gathered at the country store to celebrate its re-opening. The Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce hosted the ribbon-cutting event at what has been dubbed the “hub” of the Fairview community on the east side of Luray since 1907.
“I’m really glad you are re-opening Fairview,” District 2 supervisor Allen Louderback told the new owners. “It’s been an establishment for a long time…I think you’ll find people here are dedicated to help you survive and thrive.”
While the Buchkovichs bought the business, the building was purchased by an investment group from Manassas. When the Lexington couple walked in the door, the shelves were empty and they had to rebuild the store’s inventory from scratch. For the first two months, Arthur tried to retain his job in Lexington, while Amber held down the fort at Fairview — managing the store, while also tending to two toddlers, Alexander and Conner…with another one on the way (Alianna).
“During the whole decision process for us, there was a lot of prayer,” Amber said. “There were times when things were difficult, but we always felt like this was the right place to be.”
Arthur left his Lexington job in late August and has been building up the store ever since. Fairview’s famous donuts have returned on Saturdays, along with hot sandwiches offered daily. Deli meats and cheeses can be purchased by the pound, and breakfast menu items are served all day. A few tables sit in the back corner if someone wants to dine-in for lunch.
“We’ll always change little things…but to me, it’s very important to stay true to the idea behind Fairview…and I think most people would agree,” Arthur said. “Fairview is about community…it’s the quintessential ‘mom and pop’ place.”
Shelves are starting to fill up with various candies, nuts, drinks, snacks and groceries. Alexander’s Book Nook sits in one corner, complete with coloring books and children’s books. Cookbooks are for sale by the door, and the classic horse and buggy still sits out front. Arthur says sales are increasing 15 to 20 percent each month as he continues to increase the offerings to customers.
“Things are really a lot better,” Amber said, compared to the first few months. “One thing that stands out is the quality of the people…they are very friendly…a very welcoming community.”
Saturday nights feature spaghetti and meatball dinners, while other nights feature a catfish dinner, complete with four to five handmade hushpuppies or hand-cut fries and cole slaw. Special dinner offers will rotate each night. Soon the milkshake machine will be replaced to offer shakes in addition to the many flavors of ice cream already being served.
“We are open to feedback,” Arthur said. “If there are things that people are used to getting and if we don’t have it…we can look into getting it… we are here for you.”
The old historic store at the intersection of Fairview and Antioch has modernized to offer an ATM, but it holds the feel of a country store where the community comes together to share stories. Old photos of the business hang near the coffee pot. Tables sit nearby waiting for old men to tell tall tales.
“We just really want it to be a place where everyone feels welcome,” Arthur said, “where they know the business owner cares about them…and we will always strive to give them the best experience.
Fairview Country Market and Deli is located at 101 South Antioch Road.
Follow them on their Facebook page.
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