Claire has lived in Fort Valley on and off for nearly 20 years. She raised three children - Nicole, Michael and Christopher - in Vienna, Virginia. Her sons are now 34 years old and 30 years old, respectively. She lost her 28-year-old daughter to cancer in December 2011, which brought Claire back to The Fort for what she thought would be a few months of spiritual recovery. She is now approaching her eighth consecutive year back here in the place she loves most, began working at the store in November 2017, and took on her management role in November 2018. Claire is also our Notary Public (registration #7806536) commissioned by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Nova has worked for the Fort Valley Country Store through its many iterations over the years, in addition to working at other (now closed) stores in the fort. Nova is our go-to person for anything or anyone Fort Valley. She was born and raised here, married her husband Ricky here, raised her two daughters here, and is now the proud grandmother of a grandson and two granddaughters. We are grateful to have Nova at the store when she isn't spending time with her family.
Kim lives in The Fort with her husband, two sons and daughter. She spends quite a bit of time in the family garden, got herself a passel of chickens, and tends to her bee hives. With her keen sense of humor, work ethic, and connections to our community, Kim is a welcome addition to the store.
If the name is familiar, that's because she's Kim's daughter. Sarah was born and raised in Fort Valley. She currently lives with her mom and dad but is heading off to Bridgewater College this fall.
Karen moved from The Plains, VA to Fort Valley over a year ago. She lives with her "baby" sister, brother-in-law, two dogs, Sawyer a standard dachschund, and Sydney, a yellow lab mix., PLUS a black kitty named Sassy. Karen is a photography hobbyist and recently discovered drawing.
Owen lives in Fort Valley with his parents and has a brother and sister who live away from the fort. He was homeschooled K-12 and is now a student at Lord Fairfax Community College. Owen is working part-time at the store during during a break between his second and third semesters. In his free time, Owen is likely at home practicing music, writing, or taking care of his chickens and pigs.
If the name is familiar, Angel is, indeed, former employee Shanda Hernandez's son. Angel works part-time at the store, volunteers for the Fort Valley Volunteer Fire Department, and is currently in school to become a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Gage contributes a "chill" attitude here at the store, especially welcomed when the kitchen gets busy. He graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School and now lives with family in Fort Valley. When you stop by the store, chances are you'll find Gage in the kitchen listening to music from the 1960s and 1970s. Despite his young chronological age, we're pretty sure he's an old soul through and through.
In addition to working at the store part-time, Jacob is a sophomore at Strasburg High School. He plays lacrosse and is active in ROTC and Eagle Scouts. Jacob is currently working on the Fort Valley Veterans Project, a long-term Eagle Scout project that entails interviewing military veterans from the Shenandoah Valley. We have seen snippets of interviews and are eager to see the completed project!