Woodstock celebrates new businesses

June has been a busy month for Woodstock as the town has seen two new businesses open their doors to the public.

The Pantry at 117 held its ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday and Assisting Angels Home Care cut the ribbon on Friday. The owners of both businesses are first-time business owners, and Sharon Baroncelli, executive director of the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce, explained that there is always excitement when new businesses open.

“It’s always a good day when we have a new business in the county, as well as the town of Woodstock,” Baroncelli said.

The Pantry at 117

There may be a 12-year difference between sisters and co-owners Meredith Norris and Paje Cross, but one  wouldn’t know it with how close the two are. In fact, they’re close enough to open The Pantry at 117, a culmination of years of talks between the sisters.

The shop, located inside the Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes, specializes in high end entertaining supplies, including food, paper products and home accents. As Cross explained, the name comes from the location in the house where most people store their party supplies.

“The intent of the name was The Pantry, the place where you hide all your entertaining stuff,” Cross said. “Coe and Jean (Woodstock Cafe owners) have afforded us an opportunity to expand on our ‘what if?’ Meredith and I are kind of a duo, it’s like one is not without the other.”

Assisting Angels Home Care

In 2011, Melissa Ross suffered a fall that would change her life. When she fell, she broke both of her hips, fractured her neck, back and shoulder and had to have her hip replaced. Between all the surgeries, she was out of commission for almost five years. But one of the worst parts, Ross explained, was going through the recovery with nobody there to help her. And when doctors told her she couldn’t go back to her old profession, she knew she needed a change.

“They told me I couldn’t go back to the kind of work I was doing because I couldn’t lift,” Ross said. “So rather than choosing the disability route, I thought, ‘I want to make a difference in this community.’ I’m going to open up a 24-hour home health care agency.”

And that’s exactly what she did when she opened Assisting Angels Home Care. With a staff of almost 50, Ross’s business provides in-home care to patients in eight counties.

“This is the most rewarding job that I have ever had,” Ross said. “I can’t explain how happy it makes me to hear stories from my patients. I love my employees and my patients and everything about it. I’ve been very blessed.”