Gold Leaf Gifts Closing in Berryville

The fragile downtown economy in Berryville is losing a longtime retailer as Gold Leaf Gifts closes on January 15th. After two years in their current location on West Main Street the iconic Berryville gift shop will close its doors as owner Betty Racer consolidates the operation with her Winchester store. Citing economic pressure and a disappointing Christmas season, Betty said she will close on January 15th in order to pack and prepare for the move. “Christmas this year was down. Typically customers will splurge a little at Christmas but consumers seemed to be very cautious about spending this year.” The economic realities of small town Main Street economies have forced the small business owner to adapt. “We will be relocating to another shop we have in Winchester called Christmas Treasures. Economically it no longer makes sense to have two locations anymore and we will be moving there February 1st.”

For many years the store was located in the Coiner Building on East Main Street across from Rose Hill Park. Two years ago the store was forced to move from that location and landed on West Main Street. Unfortunately that move coincided with the beginning of some of the toughest economic times the US has seen since the Great Depression. Since the store’s   merchandise falls primarily into discretionary spending the store has struggled throughout its two year tenure at the new location.

Betty’s store in Winchester, Christmas Treasures, was actually a spin off of Gold Leaf. For many years Betty would set up a Christmas shop on the second   floor of the Coiner’s building. Betty said, “The Christmas shop at Coiners grew and grew, so about nine years ago we opened Christmas Treasures in Winchester and my husband runs that.”

Located in the Delco Plaza off Route 50, Christmas Treasures is the largest year round Christmas shop in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

As the store marks its final days in Clarke County, Betty will be offering select items at significantly reduced prices. “There are a number of items that I carry at both places so I don’t have to liquidate, but other items that don’t really fit into our other location are on sale for 50% off.”


  1. What a shame! Nothing but two dollar stores now. (sigh)

  2. Patsy McFillen says:


  3. How very sad. I hope the town will continue to improve on it’s downtown activity schedule.

    Berryville desperately needs improve it’s business environment. A few simple enhancements such as – Signage at 340/Main St intersection; a street banner (for events); signage on Rt 7; annual town sponsored sidewalk sales, would go a long way.

    • Just sayin says:

      Still…you have a music store, an eyeglass place, a plethora of restaurants, 2 dollar stores, and ABC store, the pharmacy, the florist, 2 banks, a few lawyers and professional types, a small Radio Shack store, 2 barbers, an oriental rug place, a financial investment place…both a variety of shops, and a dearth of general retail options (most of the ones listed are niche market types or professional businesses).

      A lack of convenient parking, and evening business hours, generally hurt any sort of shopping experience in town, too. Add that to the small storefronts and narrow main streets (that impede truck deliveries).

      So much effort goes into maintaining a circa 1950s way of shopping, but nothing is really done to provide the infrastructure to support those stores.

  4. yousepeople says:

    If the town continues to roll up the sidewalks on Saturday afternoon, have only a “Food Lion” as the only (poor) choice for food shopping, charge high rents so that stores have to charge higher prices. refuse to have a simple drugstore, not even have a movie theatre…..well, the list goes on Everyone complains about no tax base, but who is going to do something about it? Signage would be useful, but I really pity any small business owner in this town. This will soon be a ghost town. Then even Food Lion will fail

    I’m sorry but charm and cute holiday parking meters just don’t cut it anymore.

    • Great points made! I would like to add for the anti-development crowd, the growth of a few needed businesses doesn’t necessarily have to be in Berryville. Put them on the outskirts of the county if you want to maintain your cozy little, country horse town feel. In between Berryville and Boyce somewhere or near Rts 50 and 340 or Rts 7 and 340. There are plenty of areas that can sustain SOME needed business development that would benefit all citizens of the county without ruining the small town quaintness or whatever we are trying to portray here. Gas prices are rising again. It sure would be nice to be able to shop locally and save going to Winchester or Charles Town a couple times a week.

    • livein22611 says:

      You can do something about it. Open a business.

      • The kind of business we NEED is beyond the usual mom and pop knick knack shop. We need us a good ole modern strip mall with one or two big name anchors such as a alternate grocery store and a chain drug store.

  5. I am sorry to see Gold Leaf go. I have loves the shop since moving to Berryville 10 years ago, and have many friends and family that would stop in while visiting! The unique merchandise was even better by the always smiling Mrs. Racer!

  6. What a shame. It’s been years since I have been there but I was enjoyed it.

  7. livein22611 says:

    Okay, who said we can’t even have a movie theater? Really?? Seriously?
    Before you talk about how terrible this is and how you will miss them ask yourself how many times you actually walked in there and purchased something. Businesses can’t survive unless you buy things from them. Thinking about how cute they are and how nice it is to have them doesn’t pay the electric company. Talk to the people who own the movie place in Front Royal or Leesburg and find out how many people they need to walk through the doors to keep the place open. Bet you’d be surprised and realize why that would never work here. Call Walgreens and ask them what demographics they look for when opening a store. For those who are complaining about not having any businesses for a tax base–fork over the cash and try it yourself. Gather tens of thousands of dollars and open a shop.
    (and yes, I did try this myself!)

    • Walgreens sell necessities. The Golf Leaf sells What-Nots. I’d say that is a pretty substantial difference right there. Just sayin….

  8. How many of you have spent more than $50 there in the last 2 yrs?

    Let’s be for real.

  9. Grew up there says:

    Speaking of a movie theater, I am old enough to remember going to the movies on Church St. in Berryville when I was a kid.

    • Allan "Bugs" McWilliams says:

      Grew up there, I also remember going there when I was a kid, also 2 clothing stores numerouis grocery stores & 2 drug stores. Just like us getting old things do change.

      • Donna Carper McDonald says:

        Yep. I remember it too! And the original A&P on Main Street. Oh fresh ground Eight O’Clock coffee!!!! YAY

        I’ll miss the Gold Leaf tremendously. I shopped there often for little gifts. So, is it really all the way to Winchester or Charles Town again???? Please let’s bring some businesses to B’ville that stay open past 5 oclock!

  10. Sharon Strickland says:

    Betty and family, I will miss seeing you at the Berryville store. I thank you for hosting many Berryville writers at wonderful book signing events. As an author, I loved meeting the children that came to buy my book. I look forward to again doing more book signings at the Winchester store. Where will I now go to buy my favorite candles, gifts, cards, specialty items, linens, Christmas decor, Easter decor, etc.? I will truly miss spending time in your store and chatting with you as time permitted. I wish you well at the Christmas Treasures and please know that so many of us will miss you and your lovely store.