Meet John and Nancy, the proud owners of the CFO Trading Company and Yelping Dog Wine in Historic Downtown Staunton. The couple moved to Staunton in 2013 when they opened up Yelping Dog, a wine shop and restaurant. They found themselves in Staunton after leaving Northern Virginia. With their children involved in theater and the arts, their first love in Staunton was the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, a unique one of a kind recreation of London’s Globe Theater. These day trips sparked their deep love for the city and eventually led them to move down in 2013.
The CFO, named after John and Nancy’s three dogs Charlie, Franklin, and Oscar, fills a void in Staunton. Staunton has always had a lively downtown, but it has been missing a men’s clothing and gifts store. John decided that the CFO would carry traditional American vendors such as Pendleton Wool, Duck Head, and Clarks Shoes. But men’s clothing wasn’t the only thing Staunton was missing. John also wanted to create a store that offered an assortment of gifts and other products so shoppers can find the perfect gift for any man all under one roof.
The CFO Trading Company was the COVID-19 project of John. He had spent 40 years in big retail and started to notice changes in the way business was conducted. Big retail stores started to lose the person-to-person connection, the understanding of where the products came from, and little personal touches. But to him, what people really want and need from a store is a connection to the owners and where the products come from. Boutiques bring life to small towns. The stories behind the American companies carried by the CFO are steeped in tradition and the American Dream.
During the pandemic, Nancy and John decided the best time to open the CFO was now. Despite the pandemic, certain things just fell perfectly into place. Once the store located next to the Yelping Dog became vacant, they came up with a great idea of blowing out the wall and connecting both businesses. Now when you visit the Yelping Dog you are able to take your drink and walk next door to browse the CFO while enjoying fantastic wine and beer.
The main reason John’s dream of opening a men’s store in Staunton Virginia became a reality was because of the love and support from the Staunton community. While Staunton might be small, it makes up for it in its historic downtown center, the support for the arts, and most importantly, its love for each member of the community.
Come visit the CFO Trading Company and the Yelping Dog today!