A group of 42 first grade students from Goochland
Elementary School spent a sunny afternoon learning and lunching
on the James River under the supervision of teacher Sue Mason
Mason scheduled the trip for students to visit Maiden’s Circle,
which is home to a local deli, candymaker and post office, to
learn about each before enjoying lunch on the bank of the James.
“This is perfect,” Mason said of the unseasonably balmy weather,
then joked, “I planned it this way.”
The students’ first stop was Goochland Gourmet Deli and Sub
Shop. The establishment is owned and operated by Susan
Lippincott and has been in business for two years.
Lippincott told the Gazette, “I am a family nurse practitioner
and my husband is a doctor, so I felt like trying something
different, and this is it.”
While her staff was busily preparing the children individual
lunches, Lippincott took time to explain to the students what a
delicatessen does. She used a puppet she called Teddy to talk to
the children, rhyming “we get the meat from Pete and the bread
comes from Ed.”
Once the sandwiches were packed, up it was on to The Original
Velatis for a lesson in candy making.
Velatis is run by CEO Bill Servais, and has been producing their
famous caramels since 1866.
The Maiden’s Circle location is main factory where, as Servais
said, “we produce and distribute the candies all over the
Velatis recently won the Best Food Prize at the Virginia Food
and Beverage Awards for Servais’ new black-cherry-brandy
“I was astounded that we won and very pleased . We had never
entered a contest before,” he commented.
The children watched with much interest and anticipation as
Servais showed them how the candy was prepared, and they left
with the promise that the candy would be waiting for them when
they got back from lunch.
The last stop was the Maidens Post Office. The office is run by
George Smith, and has been for the last seven of its 110-year
Smith taught the students the nuances of the postal business,
and allowed them to take part by sending themselves a letter
addressed to their homes.
Asked how long he thought it might take to arrive, first grader
Charles Swift replied, “Maybe I will get it tonight, but it
might come tomorrow.”
A picnic was set up for the students across the James at
Maiden’s Landing. The children ate their lunches on the bank of
the river and discussed the day’s events with a strong focus on
“My favorite part will be the candy,” commented Jordan
Jefferson, adding “lunch is good too.”
Lance Loper agreed, but voiced a complaint.
“I wish we could jump in the river,” he said. “It’s a good day
to go swimming.”