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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Small organic grocery store planned downtown

Kathy Craddock, left, and Brandi Fishback are the women behind the planned Kickshaws Downtown Market.

Two local women plan to open a small grocery store in downtown Fredericksburg focused on organic, locally sourced, all-natural and gluten-free products.

Kathy Craddock and Brandi Fishback hope to open Kickshaws Downtown Market this coming April. They describe Kickshaws as a smaller-scale Whole Foods Market.

Craddock and Fishback are working on financing and finalizing a lease for Kickshaws but didn’t identify the exact space they are targeting. They want to lease about 2,000 square feet on William Street between Prince Edward and Princess Anne streets, a stretch that has become known as the city’s “Restaurant Row.”

Craddock, who formerly ran a bakery called Lily Lane Cakes, follows a gluten-free and “paleo” diet that she says makes her feel significantly healthier. She said it’s difficult to find the ingredients she needs, which led to the idea of starting an organic-focused local grocery store.

She partnered with Fishback, a former police officer whom she has known for a couple of years, on Kickshaws. The word kickshaw is defined as a small, tasty bite to eat.

Craddock and Fishback have been meeting with vendors and local farmers who will supply the products sold at Kickshaws. They plan to sell an array of items including health and beauty products, and allow customers to order food in advance and pick it up in person. They want to sell locally produced beer and wine, and offer grab-and-go prepared foods.

They plan to offer classes on topics such as juicing, canning, fermenting and organic farming.

The women hope to complement other downtown businesses rather than compete with them. They are targeting an area that includes the popular Olde Towne Butcher shop, which also serves as a downtown grocer of sorts, but said their product lines will differ.

So far the public response has been “amazing,” the women said, with steady traffic and inquiries at their newly launched website.