When the latest sign for a new Main Street eatery popped up last week some people may have asked, “Does Berryville really need another restaurant?”
Kim Ragland doesn’t hesitate to answers that question.
“Of course it does!” says the owner and chef at Boyd’s Nest Family Restaurant located just east of the intersection of Main and Buckmarsh in Berryville, Virginia.
Ragland’s confidence for Berryville’s newest breakfast and lunch venue springs from several sources. First, she has lots of experience running restaurant and catering operations in competitive markets like Beaufort, North Carolina where Ragland says local expectations create high standards. Second, Ragland has lots of energy and drive which she unselfishly pours into the service and food that Boyd’s Nest delivers to its customers. (Ragland says that she makes a mean Reuben sandwich and that people have been delighted with her Scotch eggs breakfast specialty).
But, since good food is easy to find in Berryville, perhaps Ragland’s greatest asset is her innovative approach to doing business. Ragland doesn’t see her new restaurant as necessarily competing with other venues in town, rather, she sees Boyd’s Nest as adding to Berryville’s growing reputation as a great place to have a meal.
As that reputation for good food continues to grow, so will the number of people attracted to the town says Ragland.
“The reality is that Berryville can become known as a destination with excellent dining choices,” Ragland said on Monday. “I want Berryville to be known for good food and the more good food we have here, the better it is for everyone.”
Ragland isn’t satisfied with just adding her delicious meals to the list of other good places to eat in Berryville. Even though Boyd’s Nest is just two weeks old, Ragland is already working with other local businesses to generate synergies that she says will help build Berryville’s hospitality industry.
“I’ve worked out an arrangement with the Battletown Inn where I provide a complimentary beverage to Battletown Inn guests who come here for breakfast,” Ragland said “and the deserts that we serve come from Sweet Surrender just down the street.”
Ragland said that she is also working on other arrangements to provide meals on behalf of other local bed & breakfast providers.
Although Ragland’s enthusiasm for partnering with other local businesses is palpable as she speaks, it becomes quickly apparent that her underlying passion is to deliver excellent service and food to local customers.
Ragland wants to do it her way.
“Running my own restaurant has always been a dream of mine and now I am finally getting a chance to do it,” Ragland said. “So far, it has been everything that I ever expected.”
“I want a place where people feel like they’re coming to my house and can be comfortable while they eat,” Ragland said. “So far it has been just like that. Just last night there were two tables of people that didn’t know each other before they came in. By the end of the meal the people at the tables were talking to each other and having a fine time. I want Boyd’s Nest to be a place where people feel like everyone knows their name when they come in.”
Even though Ragland isn’t from the Berryville area – she grew up in Marquette, Michigan – her northern origins haven’t slowed kept her from putting down Clarke County roots.
After marrying a Clarke County native, Ragland and her husband returned to Berryville to raise their young grand-daughter. Soon after settling in Clarke County, Ragland learned that the Berryville Dairy Queen space was available. Ragland said that after meeting the previous owners and seeing the space she knew it was exactly what she was looking for.
In fact, Ragland has even decided to continue offering one of the most popular menu items from the previous owner as a way of honoring the previous owner’s many years in Berryville.
“Dolly’s specialty was two pancakes or French toast, two eggs, a choice of ham, bacon, sausage, or scrapple,” Ragland said. “That’s Dolly’s Country Boy Breakfast and we still offer it.”
After just two weeks in business it may be a little too early to predict whether Boyd’s Nest will develop a long-term local following or not, but given Ragland’s enthusiasm and commitment to providing excellent service in a comfortable environment, the odds seem to be in her favor.
Ragland beamed as she described Boyd’s Nest’s first week of business.
“We didn’t mess up one order today and everyone who walked in seemed to walk out happy so they’ll probably come back,” Ragland said after closing Boyd’s Nest’s doors at 3:30pm last Monday. “And we already have ‘regulars’! One lady has come in everyday and we already know how she takes her coffee.”
“This is really my dream,” Ragland said. “I’ve never been able to do it my way before.”