If you've never been inside the Agnew Seed store in downtown Roanoke, you've never taken this unique opportunity to step back in time. Which is why it is no more.
The sad tale:
Farewell to growers: downtown Roanoke shop closesTo clarify, Agnew Seed is an old feed & seed store that catered to growers and farmers (successfully) back when the Roanoke area had a lot of growers and farmers. That's certainly the case no more.
By Jenny Kincaid Boone, Roanoke Times
A landmark downtown Roanoke seed shop opened its doors to shoppers for the final time Tuesday.
Pat Agnew has closed Agnew Seed, a family-owned business on Market Street.
Agnew Seed opened in 1897, and its Web site claims that it is the oldest seed store in Virginia. It was started by relatives of Frank Agnew, Kent Agnew's father, according to the Agnew Seed Web site. Frank Agnew took over the store with W.S. Connelly in 1946. [link]
Last time I was there, it was evident that the store management was trying its best to reach out to those urban gardeners in town, but it was a woefully weak attempt. And a miniscule customer base to be depending upon. It was a business model that was doomed to failure.
Still, to walk into Agnew Seed is (was) to step into a retail shop of a hundred years ago. It was a memorable experience. Sadly, memories are now all that remain.
But such is life.