As thousands of visitors walked through the streets of Waterford last weekend during the village’s 74th annual Waterford Fair, many found themselves standing inside the doors of a rejuvenated version of an iconic Loudoun building.
Waterford’s Corner Store reopened last weekend after nearly two years of vacancy for visitors to stop in and get a feel for the new storefront, which is now called the Corner Store Studio and specializes in gardening and design. After years of living just across the street from the 2,000-square-footbuilding, Kathy Middleton decided in August to put her name on the lease and prepare to open her studio on the bottom floor. “It just seemed like such an ideal place,” she said.
Middleton will provide gardening classes, sell flowers and vintage items from around the world and bring more attention to local farmers and growers. “All the things that are going on now in Loudoun, we’re trying to figure out a way to pull that together in Waterford,” she said. “We are plenty busy.”
The Corner Store was built around 1900 to replace a smaller shop. For nearly a century, the bottom floor of the building operated as a general store, selling everyday items like groceries to residents and travelers passing through the village.
Store operations ceased in the early 1990s, however, when the Waterford Foundation renovated the building to use it as office space.
When the foundation moved to the Waterford Old School in 2013, the Corner Store was reopened. Until the end of 2016, volunteers operated the store during limited hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for visitors to buy local crafts, books, gifts, honey and syrups and peruse exhibits on Waterford’s history.
Waterford Foundation President Stephanie Thompson said that the store’s reopening is refreshing for village residents, who were disappointed when the store closed two years ago.
“I think everybody is very excited to see it open again,” she said. “It’s nice to have a gathering place for residents and friends to connect.”
Starting this weekend, Middleton’s Corner Store Studio will be open Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.