The knowledgeable team at Jerry’s Artarama stockpile a vast selection of art supplies for amateur and professional projects. Staff members roam the store answering art questions and help track down hard-to-find supplies for any medium including wrapped canvases and invisible ink. The onsite custom-framing shop outfits works in traditional wood and aluminum frames with a variety of matting options to enhance and preserve enveloped images. The emporium also hosts workshops throughout the month to develop oil- and watercolor-painting techniques, as well as demos to meet and learn from instructors in a more informal setting.
“I’m sorry, but our espresso machine is broken.” It was these words—a lie uttered by a server too intimidated to operate the machine—that inspired Larry Epplein to ease espresso service for restaurants and cafés everywhere. Today, he helms Virginia Espresso along with a staff that boasts more than a century of combined foodservice experience. They are a factory-authorized service center for commercial machines and coffee-brewing robots and also tout a map-full of 100% Arabica beans available at wholesale prices to both vendors and the public.
In addition to coffee, a selection of more than 40 loose-leaf teas ensnares shoppers with aromas of white peony and passion fruit. Monin gourmet syrups bloom in more than 50 flavors—all sweetened naturally with agave nectar, pure cane syrup, and kisses from honeybees—and can be used to infuse the showroom’s inventory of soda water and gelato mix.
For more than 45 years, Fabric Hut has been amassing a comprehensive collection of imported and domestically produced fabrics and sewing supplies, all sprawling across 14,000 square feet of retail space. Against the store's back wall, a vibrant array of quilting fabric replicates the rainbow's spectrum, and in the nearby bridal department, swathes of delicate laces and flashy sequins await crafty brides-to-be or restrained Cher impersonators. Fabric Hut also carries sewing machines from Janome and Elna and sewing cabinets and chairs from Horn and Koala.
The Gallery at East Beach's sophisticated staff possesses a knack for refining that which is already lovely by making paint into art and putting art into frames, leading Pilot Media readers to crown it Norfolk's Best Art Gallery and Best Print and Frame Store for 2011. Vulnerable visuals set clearer boundaries by nestling themselves into sturdy, chic frames, arranged around the gallery in a herringbone pattern of corner samples for ease of perusal. Acid-free archival- and museum-quality mats in a wide range of hues support photos, prints, or diplomas with subtle backup vocals. The friendly staff estimates matting and framing costs free of charge, with prices ranging from $45 for a small, simple piece to $350 or more for a large blacklight velvet masterpiece. Alternately, peruse paintbrush maestro Betty Hadfield's striking creations ($75+), which have appeared in a constellation of galleries and art shows, selling to collectors nationwide. Hadfield corrals haphazard oil pigments into vibrant sea scenes and still-lifes, illuminating her subjects using bold, italicized, or underlined color.