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PB&J eatery idea is the people’s choice

Adrian Silversmith pitches his idea for a sandwich shop called Sprelly during the Made in FredVA business competition. at the University of Mary Washington on Wednesday. / Photo by Griffin Moores

Adrian Silversmith calculates that at least 8 million peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches are eaten every year in the Fredericksburg area, and he wants to make a good chunk of them at a new eatery called Sprelly.

Sprelly, Silversmith’s brainchild, won the People’s Choice Award at Wednesday night’s Made in FredVA event at the University of Mary Washington’s Dodd Auditorium.

Adrian Silversmith accepts the People’s Choice Award for his idea to start a gourmet sandwich shop called Sprelly during the Made in FredVA business competition at the University of Mary Washington on Wednesday,

Silversmith and business partner Matt Scheller are working on getting Sprelly—whose name comes from “spread” and “jelly”—from concept to reality. Silversmith said at Wednesday’s business plan competition that he needs about $115,000 to get Sprelly open.

He was hoping that $10,000 of the capital would come from winning the Made in FredVA contest, but a tech-focused company called Muster Me that allows people attending an event to easily share contact information with the whole group won the grand prize.

Silversmith didn’t walk home empty-handed, however. Being the audience’s favorite won Silversmith $250. He remains committed to opening Sprelly.

Silversmith said he would like to locate Sprelly at Eagle Village in part because of its access to University of Mary Washington students. He thinks his offerings—which will include sandwiches and crepes made with freshly ground nut butters and jellies—will be popular among college students, young parents and more.

Silversmith said there is no other restaurant in town focused on the simple peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. He envisions a comfortable restaurant where people can grind their own nut butters and share lunch with fellow diners at a communal table.

Sprelly wasn’t the only restaurant concept that made the finals of the Made in FredVA contest. Shawn Phillips also got to make his pitch onstage Wednesday in front of the five judges for a planned microbrewery in downtown Fredericksburg called Spencer Devon Brewing.

Phillips, who will retire from the U.S. Marine Corps in April, is negotiating to lease a downtown space for the microbrewery. He plans to hire a chef who will focus on fresh, local ingredients, and run a brewery with four separate craft beers.

Phillips has experience as a home-brewer and has also worked with the Blue & Gray Brewing Co. in Spotsylvania County on special events. He has two daughters, and said he would have named his son Spencer Devon.

“I’m looking for Fredericksburg to help me raise this child,” Phillips said.

Andy Leonard’s Campus IDeas company took home top honors at a Startup Weekend event held earlier this year.

Joining Muster Me as a tech-focused finalist at Made in FredVA was Andy Leonard, whose Campus IDeas took home top honors at a Startup Weekend event held earlier this year.

Campus IDeas is an app that will allow college students to store their IDs on their smartphone. Colleges would pay a fee for the service, which would save them money on printing costs. Local businesses could advertise to students through the app.

Leonard said UMW and Germanna Community College have both expressed interest in the app, as have many of his peers.

“Everybody I know wants a mobile student ID card,” the recent UMW graduate said.

The other two finalists were Mary Lou Cramer’s Buy Local Hands, which plans to buy products from local artists and sell them to schools and organizations for fundraising events, and Jim Haney’s concept for a botanical garden in Celebrate Virginia South.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405