At Mosaic Yarn Shop, a community of knitting enthusiasts equips for upcoming projects with supplies including skeins of yarn from more than two-dozen brands. Yarns from Malabrigo, Cascade, and Berroco accommodate a wide range of budgets with a rainbow of needle-ready bundles ready to transform into sweaters, caps, and ineffective football helmets. The shop's brick walls, brick-patterned floor, and sunny skylight evoke a homey atmosphere, encouraging patrons to relax as they peruse wares or ask the staff for tips on bartering with alpacas for their wool.
Chosen by the Independent Jewelers Organization as a member of the elite group of Master Jewelers, Kent Jewelers stocks an assortment of fine diamonds and head-turning jewelry. Slip on a selection of sterling-silver jewelry from renowned French designer Frederic Duclos ($70–$300), or dazzle onlookers with a variety of 14-karat gold, diamond, and gemstone jewelry ($300+). Kent Jewelers also carries hand-enameled Virginia Tech football pendants ($99) and Virginia Tech charms ($45). For jewel aficionados seeking a custom piece, Kent Jewelers' goldsmith collaborates with customers to bring their design ideas to life, whether they want a diamond ring or a chocolate coin covered in real gold. Additionally, the expert staff is trained to do insurance appraisals in-store at their IJO-certified gem lab, and every piece of jewelry in the store is hand-selected instead of randomly acquired out of a gumball machine.
After a dozen years in the restaurant business, Roya Gharavi had an epiphany: instead of traveling far and wide to gather specialty ingredients and kitchen tools, why not bring those things to her? The idea took root; in 2000, she sold her restaurant, and the Gourmet Pantry was born. After outgrowing its first location, the business expanded into a second location in 2006, where Roya finally had the space to construct a kitchen and bring her dream of founding a cooking school to fruition. Today, the shop is stocked floor-to-ceiling with cookware and is equipped for cooking classes as well as a variety of special events such as wine tastings and cheese-eating contests.