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Craig Smith

Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association.

J.L. Sousa/Register

Cheryl Richburg, owner of Napa Valley Traditions at Main and Pearl, thinks egg hunts should be for everybody, not just kids, and is hosting one at the store on Wed., April 12, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

She and the staff will hide at least 12 dozen eggs that will contain special prizes, whether discounts on merchandise or freebies.

“We’ll hide some of the eggs in mysterious spots,” said Richburg. Smiling, she added, “But they won’t be too difficult to find.”

Richburg would never leave out children – there will be eggs for them as well. Guests will be able to enjoy free coffee and iced tea all day, so the hunting should go down easy.

Prizes will include Napa Valley food products, paper products, teas, coffees, and more – just the things to make Easter Sunday’s family egg hunt easier.

For the past 40 years, the southeast corner of Main and Pearl has been home to women-owned businesses.

Ruth Witter opened Witter’s Tea, Coffee & Animal Crackers in 1976. A full coffee shop, featuring Peet’s coffee by the cup or pound (and pre-Starbuck’s by two decades), it was the first coffee shop to open in downtown.

Witter owned and operated the business until her unexpected death in 1983.

“She was a great employer and a role model for me as a woman,” said Vickie Easton, who went to work at Witter’s in 1981 as the bookkeeper, and bought the business in 1985 with Victoria Nelson, another Witter’s employee.

Peet’s coffee was dropped and replaced by Mountanos, a vendor more committed to ‘hand crafted’ coffees, which are still carried in the store today.

The name was shortened to Witter’s, and the slightly modified tradition continued. In 1993, Easton and Nelson sold the business, to Cheryl Richburg and Gail Laird.

A Napa native herself, Richburg knew that Witter’s had a great reputation as a gift and coffee shop. “Witters was a favorite with locals, and we’ve worked hard to maintain that tradition.”

The blending of those traditions resulted in a name change, to Napa Valley Traditions. Sole owner of the business since 1995, Cheryl expanded the store when she rented the space behind it at 980 Pearl Street, and knocked out the wall separating the two buildings.

Doing so allowed her to create a “seasonal showroom,” known most recently for a large selection of unique Christmas items.

Sadly, a significant rent increase makes it financially unsound to continue with these two spaces.

The store will be downsizing and consolidating, and will move into its former seasonal showroom space.

“You’ll see Napa Valley Traditions in transition, but we’ll still offer everything our customers have enjoyed for years,” said Richburg.

The new space will be a little cozier, but still the perfect place to buy Napa Valley food, gifts, and wine products, coffee, tea and the wonderful muffins for which they are known. Open daily.

Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association. Reach him at 257-0322 or