What's in store

Cathy Jett is the business editor at The Free Lance-Star, and specializes in covering the area's retail scene. You can email her at

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Wish List gets unexpected suggestions

I don’t claim to possess a crystal ball when it comes to  figuring out which retailers and restaurants will top my annual Wish List poll.

But I don’t need one to figure it out.

Trader Joe’s, with its Hawaiian-shirted staff and private-label goodies, has already snagged the No. 1 spot among the businesses that readers say they’d like to see open here in 2013.

Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and Stein Mart are a distant second, third and fourth. Eight others are vying for fifth.

For me, the fun part of this poll is that so many readers also recommend businesses that I’d never heard of.  Ben Rhines, for example, has been singing the praises of Q Barbeque, which has one location each in Glen Allen, Midlothian and Richmond.

“Our son lives in Richmond and got us hooked on it,” he told me in an email. “We think it is the best barbeque we have ever had.”

Several Richmond restaurants have opened locations in Fredericksburg, so maybe there’s hope for this one.

Steven Hu must have a sweet tooth because he recommended not one but two bakeries in the Washington area:  Georgetown Cupcakes and Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats.

Georgetown Cupcakes’ chocolate ganache cupcakes won over the testers in The Washington Post Food section’s 2008 Cupcake Wars series, and remains a leader among the metro area businesses specializing in that treat.

Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats has a more extensive menu, and was the first vegan bakery to win Food Network’s competition program “Cupcake Wars All-Stars.”

“Even my carnivorous son loves it, so that tells you something!” Hu said.

Please keep your suggestions coming, and tell me why you want to see a business or businesses open here. Is it a restaurant that you tried on vacation? A boutique that carries clothing you can’t find anywhere else? A need for more of a certain type of business near your particular neighborhood?

You can send your suggestions to me by Dec. 27 either by email, the address is, or by mail to my attention at The Free Lance-Star, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, Va. 22401.

You must include the name of the business you would like to see here, a short explanation, and your name and contact information.

I’ll put a poll on’s Facebook page on Dec. 28 featuring the most requested businesses, so please check back then to vote for your favorite.

On Jan. 5, I’ll have an article in the business section about the Top 10 most popular, and will list the top 20 on my blog.


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