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Last March Sheldon’s Restaurant and Motel celebrated 75 years in business. Now, this year Grover Shelton is handing the business over to new owner Jay Shah.
Shah, who currently lives in Chester, Virginia officially took ownership in February 28, 2017.
At a meeting with the staff this week, Sheldon and Shah, both told the staff no major changes were anticipated.
“I don’t look at this as an ending. I see this as the ending of the part that I can do. You (the staff) are the ones who make things happen.” said Sheldon.
Sheldon went on to thank employees for their service and encouraged them to continue with the same dedication for the new owners.
The new owner said owning a business is nothing new to him. Shah, the son of Indian immigrants, grew up in Raleigh, NC where his family operated a motel. “I grew up in this business.”
With the new ownership, a new general manger will also be added. Dee Patel of Richmond will now assume those duties.
Sheldon’s was the dream of Grover’s father, Buck, who purchased the building where the restaurant still operates today with his brother back in the early 1940’s. “When he bought the building it was his intent to open a restaurant and motel,” said Grover. “Back in the 1940’s, there were no roadside motels
in rural areas and In the 1950s and ’60s, we were the only restaurant around,”
Over the years, both Buck and his wife, Frances, worked tirelessly in the business all the while raising four children. “Four kids were all fed, clothed, and educated with this business,” added Grover’s sister Betty.
In 1980, Grover purchased Sheldon’s from his parents and in 1986 both Buck and Frances retired.
Today, Keysville has several restaurants and food options, but Sheldon’s is still the only restaurant offering a full buffet of southern home cooking. In fact, the restaurant is most famous known for its homemade rolls, pies, and ham which is smoked on site.
“We want to keep the character of the place. It has worked for 75 years and we want it to continue for another 25 years and more.” added Shah. “We are not looking for change. We want to continue the relationship with the community and with the employees.”