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May 9, 2018

Biz Buzz: Strother family opens Locavore Market

Contributed Photo
Built in 1920, this barn at Valley View Farm houses The Locavore Farm Market that opened last weekend.
Strothers open farm market near Delaplane

The Locavore Farm Market at Valley View Farm near Delaplane opened last weekend.

The Strother family’s latest venture offers Virginia wines and hard ciders, seasonal pick-your-own fruits, organic vegetables from the garden at Valley View and other local farm products, including locally-crafted art and furniture. 

“We are thrilled to provide a complete destination experience for customers who appreciate locally produced products, who we refer to as, ‘Locavores’,” said Philip Carter Strother, owner of Philip Carter Winery on the same property. “Valley View Farm is considered one of the most spectacular landscapes in the northern Piedmont of Virginia.  It is stunning.

“To be able to make this site available to Locavores to enjoy fine wine, Virginia ciders, pick-your-own fruits, and organically grown vegetables is nothing short of being able to create the perfect local farm fresh experience.”

The 500-acre farm has been in the same family, with one exception, for nearly three centuries.
Charles E. Strother Jr. in 1997 inherited the farm he had helped his father run for a decade. He expanded the farm business, offering it as a retreat for day outings by business and religious groups and establishing a pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operation. 

In 2016, Charles Strother and his son, Philip Carter Strother, formed Strother Family Vineyards that operates a vineyard on 45 acres of the farm. Father and son have collaborated again to open the Locavore Farm Market & Tasting Room at Valley View Farm in the red barn built in the 1920s.

Fauquier Bank quarter profit up 65 percent

The Fauquier Bank’s parent company reported net income of $1.3 million — or 34 cents per share — for the first quarter of 2018.

That represents 65.4-percent increase from Fauquier Bankshare’s first-quarter profit of $768,000 last year.

“We made significant progress during the first quarter as we continue to strive towards achieving our strategic initiatives of growing the balance sheet, increasing profitability through net interest income and other fee income, and increasing our efficiencies by managing expenses,” President/CEO Marc Bogan said. “With this progress, we are gaining traction on becoming a high performing community bank."

Total assets stood at $682 million on March 31, compared with $630 a year earlier.

Year-over-year, net loans increased by $46.5 million to a total of $497.7 million.

Nonperforming assets stood at $10.9 million on March 31, down from $11.5 million a year earlier. That total included $9.5 million of nonperforming loans and $1.4 million of other real estate owned.

Shareholders’ equity was $56.7 million on March 31, compared with $55.3 million a year earlier. Book value per common share was $15.01, up from $14.66 as of March 31, 2017.

Established in 1902 and headquartered in Warrenton, Fauquier Bankshares has 11 banking offices in Fauquier and Prince William counties in Virginia.

The company’s stock (Nasdaq: FBSS) traded at $21.15 per share Wednesday. Over the last 52 weeks it has ranged from a low of $17.24 to a high of $22.25.

Oak View National Bank profit up 72 percent

Warrenton-based Oak View National Bank reported net income of $365,353 for the first quarter of 2018.

That represents an increase of 72.5 percent from the same period last year, when the bank reported a $211,774 profit.

“We are pleased to see the positive results of our efforts to increase the bank’s overall rate of growth; which has resulted in higher net interest income and noninterest income,” Vice Chairman and CEO Michael Ewing said. “We have reached sufficient scale whereby our gross earnings are outpacing our noninterest expenses, resulting in improving net earnings.”

Year-over-year, loans increase 15.8 percent to $190.1 as of March 31. At the quarter’s end, Oak View reported two non-performing loans, totaling $75,890.

Total deposits stood at $183.2 million, up 13.3 percent.

Total bank assets ended the quarter at $225.9 million, an increase of 12.7 percent.

Established in 2007, Oak View has offices in Warrenton, Marshall and Culpeper. It grew from the roots of the old Marshall National Bank & Trust Co., which went through a series of mergers, starting in 1998.

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