Lisa Martin



Ragged Branch owner Alex Toomy runs a two-part operation at his southern Ivy distillery: bottling bourbon and raising cattle. The Black Angus cows feed on a mash mixture post-distillation, resulting in beef that pairs well with, go figure, straight bourbon whiskey. Photos: Jen Fariello

In good spirits: Ragged Branch is ready to pour

On a picturesque, 92-acre hillside ranch in southern Ivy, native Virginian Alex Toomy and two partners have launched an enterprise centered on a perfect pairing: bourbon and beef. Craft distillery Ragged Branch, now open for business after five years of preparation and two more of whiskey-aging, is poised to make its mark on the Virginia […]

Located in McIntire Park, the new YMCA incorporates design elements that acknowledge its natural surroundings: floor-to-ceiling windows bring in the wooded views from the fitness room and the pool, as well as flood the space with natural light. Photo: Stephen Barling

Open for business: Brooks Y designers aim for clarity

When Piedmont Family YMCA CEO Jessica Maslaney was still a program director for the Y back in 2009, she tagged along on a tour of regional Y facilities with local VMDO architects to look at design ideas. “I think they invited me because I was an English major in college, and so I was the […]

The 79,000-square-foot building, designed by VMDO Architects, is nestled on the backside of a slope at McIntire Park. Photo by Stephen Barling

The Brooks Family YMCA is an exercise in community building

For the better part of 25 years, Kurt Krueger has harbored a vision. “I remember learning to swim as a kid at a YMCA in St. Louis,” says Krueger, a UVA School of Law graduate and downtown attorney, and a long-time supporter of the local Y’s satellite youth sports programs. “I knew that a full-service […]

Boxwood Villa, the newest renovations project from the couple behind Grelen Nursery, The Market at Grelen and Spotswood Lodge, can host weddings, family get-togethers and corporate events. Photo: Kellis Photography

Out of the box: A new event space blooms in Orange

While inspecting an array of tall boxwood shrubs on a property in the town of Orange last year, Grelen Nursery founder Dan Gregg discovered more than he bargained for. The 1891 farmhouse in the center of the ring of shrubs was for sale, and Dan immediately saw its potential as a lodging and event space, […]

Members of the Rivanna Rowing Club tout both the physical and mental aspects of the sport. Photo by Ron Paris

Ready to row: Keeping pace with the pull to stay fit

Imagine a fitness regimen that combines the fresh air of running with the low impact of swimming. A form of recreation that can be social or solo, casual or competitive, for ages 13 to 103. Housed close to the center of town yet away from traffic or hubbub, the sport requires no prior experience or […]

Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America think tank, served as director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She returns to her hometown to talk about her vision for the future. Courtesy Royce Carlton

Anne-Marie Slaughter likes to be in the middle of things

A Charlottesville native whose keen intellect and deep foreign policy knowledge led her to become the first female director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Anne-Marie Slaughter has never forgotten her roots. She is one of this year’s Tom Tom Founders Festival Founders Summit keynote speakers, as well […]