Market Indicator: Short Pump Signage Struggle Comes to an End 

click to enlarge Tom Leonard’s quest for Broad Street signage ended with a street to call his own: Tom Leonard Drive.

Scott Elmquist

Tom Leonard’s quest for Broad Street signage ended with a street to call his own: Tom Leonard Drive.

In the midst of Short Pump’s bustling sprawl, a farmers-market-style grocery store seeking greater visibility just became impossible not to find. All it took was changing the name of a street.

“It wasn’t the only way,” says Tom Leonard, the owner of Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market, “just the one that made the most sense.”

He says the solution hadn’t occurred to him until a friend suggested it a few years ago. By then, Leonard had spent nearly a decade struggling with the county to get signs on Broad Street to draw attention to a small cluster of stores on Brookriver Drive, just off the main drag.

Getting the endorsement for the street-name change from the neighboring hotel and custom car shop proved less difficult than persuading authorities. The process took nearly three years, and needed approval from Henrico County and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The sign and VDOT installation cost Leonard $5,500, he says — not including the cost of engineering studies and lawyers.

“It’s great for the store,” he says. “That’s all I really care about.”

Now up for a little more than a week, Leonard says he still gets a kick turning onto Tom Leonard Drive. But he says his ego remains in check. His father is Stew Leonard, founder of a grocery chain in New York and Connecticut that holds a Guinness World Record in food sales.

“My dad has a highway exit named after him on the New York State Thruway,” Leonard says. “I’m small potatoes compared to him.”

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: Bon Air Residents Petition Against Goodwill

    • "'We had a grocery store there, and we want one to replace it. Bon Air…

    • on April 24, 2017
  • Re: “It Was a Life Changer”: Man Completes Motorcycle Adventure from Virginia to South America

    • What an adventure! Curious about his route between Panama and Colombia.

    • on April 24, 2017
  • Re: Bon Air Residents Petition Against Goodwill

    • The very nature of this petition saddens me. Do the creators/signers of the petition have…

    • on April 24, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in News and Features

    More by Tom Nash

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation