Charlottesville Breaking News
To launch his 21st century phone app business Cardagin, Rob Masri says he learned everything he needed to know when he was a kid at his family's restaurant in southwest Virginia.
"My father always said to me, 'If the same 40 or 50 families didn't come here time and again, there's no way our restaurant would survive'," recalls Masri. "Customers would drive up, and he'd begin making their order before they even got inside."
Now 41, Masri had emigrated with his parents and three siblings from civil war-torn Lebanon in 1977 and settled in the tiny town of Pearisburg, outside of Blacksburg. He recalls that for particularly frequent patrons, his father sometimes refused payment for the entire meal.
"He'd smile and say, 'Your money's no good today,'" says Masri.
Three decades and a law degree later, those memories of such special treatment and customer loyalty helped Masri launch what's poised to be a global customer loyalty appreciation business based right here in Charlottesville.
The key to Cardagin's success, says Masri, is the rise of smart phones coupled with the popularity of "customer loyalty cards," which include grocery store swipe cards and the freebie-offering punch cards popular at sandwich shops.
Masri recalls the day in 2008 that he sat in the basement of his Charlottesville home sorting stacks of such cards he'd collected from coffee shops, restaurants, and other businesses as he tr...
By Robert Butler
You've probably heard that iconic cinematic moment in Apocalypse Now from Robert Duvall's character, Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning," he says. "It smells like... victory.”
I am reminded of those lines during grape-growing season on my early-morning walks. You see, I live down the road from a vineyard, and from the very early spring through to the very late fall, an invisible barrier– the smell of pesticides– drifts across the roadway.
Needless to say, upon reaching the vineyard I do an about-face.
I’m always hoping I can continue in that direction since it is picturesque and adds variety to exercise, but it is only during the winter months that I may proceed and fill my lungs with healthful air.
That pesticide smell doesn’t make me think of victory. It makes me think instead of a needless assault upon the environment.
This conflict between the vintner and the natural world is expanding in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As more wineries open their doors and more vines are planted, more acres of soil become a repository for the abundance of chemicals necessary to achieve s...
Opre Gleasons Development LLC to Cooper W. Stewart & Louisa T. Bradford, 200 Garrett Street, Unit 402, $439,000
Ferdinand D. Harris, Jr., Sarah F. Harris, Reva L. Nowell, Leona E. Brown to Harriet Burns, 514 11th Street NW, $140,000
Federal National Mortgage Association to Matthew James Baldwin, 1604 Monticello Avenue, Apartment F, $80,000
Jonathan Carl Gatewood, Jr. to US Bank National Association, 576 Maxfield Road, $90,000 (foreclosure)
US Bank National Association to Michael Clayton Beasley, 5387 Murrays Lane, $116,900
Belvedere Station Land Trust to Geoffrey B. & Jennifer S. Springer, Trustees, Springer Family Trust, 870 Belvedere Boulvard, $307,460
Jet LLC to Slobodan & Vesna Todorovic, 1800 Jefferson Park Avenue, Unit 23, $115,000
Amy T. & Barclay S. Bright to Edward Eric Lamb & Pamela Marie Norris, 842 Village Road, $550,000
The TSRM Group LLC to CSSP Investments LLC, 140 Hessian Hills Circle, Unit 1, $84,000
Shiflett Farm LLC to NVR, Inc., 5580 Summerdean Road, $85,000
John P. Deyoung to Brandon & Sarah C, Black, 5520 Jamestown Road, $160,000...