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RVA Legends — Herman Schmidt, European Store

A look into the history of Richmond places that are no longer part of our landscape.

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(Chronicling America) — advertisement, The Jewish South — September 22, 1893
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  • 500-502 East Broad Street
  • 504-508 East Broad Street
  • 832 East Main Street
  • Established, 1865
  • Demolished, 1982?

Just the place when you need specialty farinaceous goods: a store unfazed by the need for advertising.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 6 — showing Gro(cery) Stores at the north-east corner of East Broad & Fifth Streets

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1886) — Plate 6 — showing Gro(cery) Stores at the north-east corner of East Broad & Fifth Streets

Hermann Schmidt’s “European store” occupies two places here, one at Fifth and Broad street, Nos. 500 and 502, and the other at 832 East Main street. He makes a speciality of foreign delicacies, wines and liquors, and imported goods of the finest grades. He does business chiefly in the city and State, to the aggregate of perhaps $75,000 a year. He employs 20 persons, and runs seven delivery wagons. He has the largest wine and liquor trade of any retail house here.

(Chronicling America) — advertisement in Presbyterian of the South — June 9, 1909

(Chronicling America) — advertisement in Presbyterian of the South — June 9, 1909

He has been very successful in the business, and he owns considerable real estate here. He is the proprietor of the Transparent Ice Works on Canal and Adams streets, and is also president of the Virginia Building and Loan Association, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. [RVCJ93]

Established in 1865 its history has been one of constant development and catering to the wants, necessities, and tastes of the public. One of the results of this was that its trade finally outgrew the accommodation of its quarters and some months ago it had to rebuild on its old site its present splendid and commodious structure.

(Chronicling America) — advertisement, Richmond Times-Dispatch — Tuesday November 10, 1908

(Chronicling America) — advertisement, Richmond Times-Dispatch — Tuesday November 10, 1908

Hermann Schmidt explores the markets on both sides of the Atlantic for all that is best in the fancy and staple grocery lines. In the house will be found twenty-two kinds of farinaceous goods, all the brands of macaroni, twenty-eight varieties of nuts and table fruits, such as raisins, figs, citron, currants, twenty-odd selections of dried and evaporated fruits, scores of chocolates and cocoas, ever known wholesome brand of American and foreign biscuits, preserves, jams, and pickles in glass, various Chinese conserves, luncheon delicacies by the hundreds, all description of sauces, and fish in oil, &c.,

(Chronicling America) — advertisement, Richmond Times-Dispatch — Sunday, March 17, 1907

(Chronicling America) — advertisement, Richmond Times-Dispatch — Sunday, March 17, 1907

American German, French, Swiss and other cheeses, canned goods of all the celebrated canneries, prepared soups, mincemeats, and plumb-puddings, champagnes, clarets, Rhine and Moselled wines, domestic white wines, Sauternes, Burgundies, and Hungarian wines, ports, sherries, and Madeiras, brandies, rums, whiskeys, gins, malt liquors, cordials, &c. The liquor list in the convenient catalog published by the house and which should be in the hands of every housekeeper, fills pages.

(Chronicling America) — advertisement, Richmond Times-Dispatch — Wednesday, February 20, 1907

(Chronicling America) — advertisement, Richmond Times-Dispatch — Wednesday, February 20, 1907

The wines and brandies are of all vintages, and the whiskeys are of all ages. To say that the house of Hermann Schmidt has a magnificent Christmas stock would seem a waste of words, yet they have specialties in addition to the articles enumerated above in the way of countless delicacies for the holiday storeroom, many of which the general American public are not familiar with. Excellence of quality and purity are the watchwords of the concern. Mr. Carl Wipperman is the experienced manager and buyer of the house. [RICD]

(Chronicling America) — advertisement, Richmond Times-Dispatch — Sunday, February 10, 1907

(Chronicling America) — advertisement, Richmond Times-Dispatch — Sunday, February 10, 1907

Mr. Schmidt is a man of more than ordinary enterprise. He is the proprietor also of two grocery stores here—one on Broad and the other on Main street. He is the president of the Virginia Building and Loan Association, and is largely interested also in other local projects.

He is, in fact, one of the most subtantial men, financially, in the city. He is of German birth, but has been a resident here for twentyseven years, and for five years before that time was an exporter and importer of New York city. [RVCJ93]

March 2020 — looking towards the former 500-508 East Broad Street

March 2020 — looking towards the former 500-508 East Broad Street

The north-east corner of Broad Street underwent massive changes as the result of Project One, and is today the home to one of its survivors, the Broad Street Marriott built 1982-1984.

Project One was Richmond’s kitchen sink attempt at urban renewal in the early 80′s. It had everything: a new convention center, office tower, plus this thing called Sixth Street Marketplace, based on Norfolk’s Waterside concept. And there would be these two long-established Richmond fixtures — Thalhimers and Miller & Rhoads — helping ground the experience.

So not everything turned out well, but the Marriott managed to survive and even play host to a boatload of cyclists during the UCI championship in 2015.

(Hermann Schmidt, European Store is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [RICD] Richmond Dispatch. Wednesday, December 5, 1894.
  • [RVCJ93] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1893.

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Community

Snack Collection for Westover Hills Elementary

Everyone deserves a snack.

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The good folks over at Westover Hills United Methodist Church (1711 Westover Hills Blvd) are helping out Westover Hill Elementary students and you can help as well.

The WHUMC Connect Group is collecting snacks for Westover Hills Elementary! We will be organizing and delivering the snacks at our October 12th meeting and would love to have donations in by then. If you are able to donate, please feel free to drop off at the church! Thank you!

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Community

Richmond BizSense Reporting Goatcado Moving into Forest Hill Avenue Spot

There is no timeline for when the Goatcado will be up and running.

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In the spot that held a fish market, Dixie Chicken then Happy Empanada there will be a new eatery. Goatcado will be setting up. The three store strip is currently home to Current Culture Fly a shop focused on fly-fishing.

From Richmond BizSense

The fast-casual eatery is planning to open an outpost in the strip center at 1205 Westover Hills Blvd., while keeping its existing West Main Street location in the Fan.

Its 3,800-square-foot Southside storefront will be next to Current Culture Fly, a fly fishing shop that opened earlier this year.

Goatocado owner Ian Newell said he’s taking over the remaining two suites in the center: one going to Goatocado and the other for a to-be-determined concept.

“Goatocado is still doing well. I think it’s a solid model, it’s a good offering for both locations – fast-casual, kind of health food,” Newell said, adding that the menu at the Southside location will be similar to that of the Fan location.

Goatcado has one other brick and mortar spot on West Main Street in the Fan. Goatcado started as a food cart (still in operation) and serves up veggie focused bowls and wraps. Most of which is grown on their own farm. You can check out the menu here.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Northside

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to buy 6.2 acres from Lakeside Baptist Church

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will acquire 6.2 acres along the western edge of its Lakeside Avenue location through a purchase agreement with Lakeside Baptist Church that is being supported by Henrico County.

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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will acquire 6.2 acres along the western edge of its Lakeside Avenue location through a purchase agreement with Lakeside Baptist Church that is being supported by Henrico County.

The nonprofit community-oriented garden has agreed to buy the church’s property at 7401 Woodman Road for $1.9 million. The parcel borders the garden on its northern and eastern sides and includes a 1963 sanctuary and classroom buildings totaling 23,700 square feet. Henrico is supporting the sale by contributing $750,000 over three years, leaving the garden to raise the remaining $1.15 million from donors.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, at 1800 Lakeside Ave., currently encompasses 82 acres. The land from Lakeside Baptist Church will represent the largest expansion of the grounds since the garden’s opening in 1987.

In announcing the acquisition today outside the garden’s Conservatory, Lewis Ginter President and CEO Brian Trader said church leaders reached out in October 2021 to gauge interest in a potential sale. Under the agreement, ownership will transfer in July 2025.

“We’re honored Lakeside Baptist Church approached us with this opportunity and extremely grateful to Henrico County for making it possible,” Trader said. “The church and the garden have been wonderful neighbors over the past four decades, and this ensures the church’s legacy will continue. It also provides additional future opportunities as the garden seeks to serve the community in exciting and innovative ways.”

Henrico Supervisors Daniel J. Schmitt, of the Brookland District, and Frank J. Thornton, of the Fairfield District, lauded the agreement and welcomed the garden’s opportunity to grow.

“This agreement to add 6.2 acres to the garden in Lakeside is great news for all parties – Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Lakeside Baptist Church and Henrico County,” said Schmitt, who also serves on the garden’s Board of Directors. “Henrico and its Board of Supervisors are pleased to support this effort as it will allow the garden to continue to serve our residents and community for generations to come.”

Thornton added, “Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is an absolute treasure for Henrico County as well as our region and state. It promotes visitation and tourism, with more than 390,000 visitors, including students, last year. The garden also helps us to appreciate the beauty of our natural world and brings joy and peace to our lives. With this additional land, Lewis Ginter will be poised to grow and bloom for years to come.”

The Rev. Becky Gunter, pastor of Lakeside Baptist Church, called the announcement of the property transfer a historic moment for the church, the garden and the community. She thanked Lewis Ginter for being such good neighbors and said the church felt particularly blessed seeing the garden’s dome illuminated during its annual light show.

“We have taken great pride over the years telling people that this beautiful garden of colorful flowers backs up to our property. Unknowingly to Lewis Ginter, they have been a ‘directional’ beacon to the location of our church,” she said. “We come with mixed emotions but are excited to know that the property is going to continue to be used to bless many people in the years to come. As Mr. Rogers would say, ‘It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!’”

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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