Fluvanna Review

Carolyn HerbertCarolyn Herbert’s 92-year-old mother inspired her wine jelly business. Herbert wanted to do something nice for her mother and went online to look up wine jelly recipes. Her mother, who enjoys half a glass of wine, became the tester for Herbert’s wine jelly. Then her son suggested a jelly made from beer and her friends encouraged her to go further with her products. Herbert built a business.

However, the business soon became less about the product itself, which she enjoys creating, and became more a crusade for mental illness awareness when her son had mental health issues as a result of injuries suffered in an accident. Herbert saw an opportunity to combine a growing business with helping those who are in need of jobs and who experience ongoing mental health issues.

“Did I ever think I would have a business – heavens no – I was a school administrator in special education for years,” Herbert said. What started with an idea to please her mother turned into something Herbert never dreamed of when she made her first batch of wine jelly.

The jelly-making process is tedious and has to meet certain standards before being allowed on the market.

“There are recipes out there for making wine jelly but you cannot sell them because of the alcohol content,” Herbert said. She began research and development a year ago and now is in the process of expanding her business. She has 10 flavors thus far and as ideas flow, more will come. Each has a subtle fruity flavor with a hint of wine taste. The Pear Pinot Grigio can be used in cooking or to enhance the taste of something as simple as an English muffin or cream cheese and crackers. Among the flavors are Apple Merlot, Blackberry Sauvignon, Orange Pineapple Chardonnay, and even Lager. For the winter holidays, she features specialty jellies such as Pineberry Julep and for summer Orange Mojito. Add a comment


The Fluco wrestling squad, the Fluco indoor track and field squad, and the Fluco swim and dive team all competed in Jefferson District year-end events Feb. 2-3.

The wrestling squad under Coach Michael Gore traveled to Orange County High and placed four of its seven competitors in the top four in their weight classes. John Bland, wrestling at 152 pounds, was 3-1 for the day and captured third place in his class. The Flucos also did well in the lower weight classes. Tyler Haynes was fourth at 106 pounds. Wyatt Dillon was fourth at 113 pounds and Shawn Metcalf was fourth at 138 pounds.

The Jefferson District indoor track and field meet was held Feb. 3 at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, with Fluvanna County High acting as the host school. The girls’ team finished in fourth place and the boys’ team was fifth.
A number of Fluco athletes did well individually and one relay team also excelled. Coaches Tom Casto and Rose Brogan reported the following outstanding performances: Winning All-District honors for the girls were: Kaitlin Bower in the 55-meter dash, Emily Smeds in the 1,600-meter run (metric mile), Kieri Hart in the 500-meter run, Kristen Cabrera and Saige Haney in the 1,000-meter run, Brianna Parker in the 3,200-meter (two mile) run, and Amina

Wilson and Ashlee Pieno in the pole vault. Cabrera was second in her event, earning a time less than one second off the winning time.

The 4x800 relay team of Hart, Haney, Smeds and Cabrera won the Jefferson District championship. The relay team’s time was 10:32.06, which was an impressive 34 seconds faster than the second place time.

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To the casual observer driving through Fluvanna’s historic yet shabby little river community of Columbia, it may not appear that much is being done to improve conditions there. Fluvanna County Administrator Steve Nichols says just the opposite is true; progress is being made – it just can’t see be seen yet

“We are just in the preliminary phases of the process,” Nichols said, referring to the county’s plans to use grant money from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase blighted properties in the flood zone and tear them down. The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) has worked with the county to obtain the grant and is assisting with the administration of it. Add a comment


Nichols focused his suggestions more on enhancing systems already in place than on establishing new taxes and fees. But one new initiative – a meals tax – sparked a Board argument by touching too closely on a frequent philosophical impasse.

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Local EatsMembers of the county business community, government, and a bunch of hungry Fluvannans turned out on Thursday (Aug. 24) to celebrate the official opening of Local Eats on Joshua Lane in Palmyra.

Owner Amy Myers said she got the idea for the micro-restaurant and grocery after visiting The Store in Staunton last February. Opened in 2012 by John and Stella Matheny, the farm-to-table cafe/grocery has become a popular spot for Staunton foodies, and Myers soon found herself asking the Mathenys about the nuts and bolts of their business.

“Finally I decided, why not do it?” said Myers. “Sink or swim.”

Working with the support of the Fluvanna business development community and the Small Business Development Center, she got underway earlier this year in the space formerly occupied by the Christian Outreach Thrift Shop. Add a comment