Local entrepreneurs intent on getting out into the community and networking with other like-minded individuals now have a place in downtown Culpeper which could help meet their needs.
New business elevate co-work & community, now open at 107B East Davis Street, could be the destination for just such activity.
Located above Reigning Cats & Dogs on East Davis Street, elevate opened its doors a few weeks ago, with an eye toward providing co-working space, meeting rooms and space for community gatherings and events.
“We are very tech-forward,” said Aaron Wood, who owns the business along with his wife, Kristy Romeo. “We are a work-oriented space with high-speed internet.”
The company’s logo features all-lower-case letters, designed to reflect their trendy, tech-savvy clientele.
Romeo said anyone interested in using the space can make arrangements online through elevateculpeper.com.
The business’ mission is listed online as, “Give people space and let them be inspired.”
Romeo said the facility has desk and office space with internet access, copiers and printers which can be used during the daytime or after hours. There is also a separate meeting room for business gatherings or social occasions, Romeo said.
Wood said co-work spaces are popular in urban areas these days, and he felt Culpeper could be a good place to start such an enterprise.
His mother, Rosia Wood, owns the building in which elevate is located. His late father, Emory Wood, operated the Barter Post antique shop downstairs since the family bought the building in 1999.
Rosia said the building has 2,800 square feet of space on each of its three floors.
Most of the older building’s infrastructure was brought up to date over the years that the Wood family has owned it, she said.
Rosia said the family also owned the former Levy building on North Main Street, which was demolished after sustaining heavy earthquake damage in August of 2011. A pocket park dedicated in memory of Emory Wood is now located in the building’s former space.
Rosia Wood said The Loft art studio had been renting the space at 107B Davis Street, but vacated the building about a year ago.
“It was empty for about six or eight months before Aaron came to me about using it for this,” she said. “I thought it was a great idea. I knew they could do it.”
Aaron said he grew up in Warrenton, where he and Kristy now live with their two children, Vera, 8, and Oscar, 5.
With the family owning a business in downtown Culpeper, Aaron said he has had strong ties to the Culpeper community since the early 1990s.
“I had been working from home for some time, and I wanted to get out and be around people again,” Aaron said. “Right now, there are around 8,500 people who commute out of this community every day to go to work. They could stay here and work.”
During a ribbon-cutting ceremony at elevate Wednesday afternoon, Aaron said the Culpeper community has been very welcoming so far.
“I think Culpeper feels like the right fit for what we wanted to do,” he told the crowd assembled Wednesday.
Kristy, who hails from Connecticut, said she liked Culpeper when Aaron first brought her to the area.
“I said, ‘What a cool town,’” Romeo said. “Culpeper has a great vibe, and we’re thankful for how well we have been received so far.”