“I’m completely shocked by this award,” said Regina Petit, owner of the Mole Hole, a unique gift shop in Williamsburg. Petit reacted to the news that The Virginia Gazette readers voted her store Best Gift Shop.
“I have the best customers. I’ve gotten to know several of them over the years,” she said.
The Mole Hole opened in Williamsburg about 20 years ago. Petit said the idea came from a similar shop in Petoskey, Mich., that was in a basement. “We are not in a basement. I decided our moles here live above ground,” she said.
Although it started as a franchise, Petit put her own spin on the store. It started with collectibles and then she added handbags, clothing, estate jewelry, a Christian book area and, in October, the Gathering Place Café opened for business.
At one point, Petit owned five additional stores — two in Virginia Beach, two in Newport News and one in Hampton. All but one of the Newport News stores are closed and she will be closing that one after the first of the year.
“I’m going to focus all my energy on the Williamsburg store. I’m scaling down because I am not as young as I used to be,” she said.
The Williamsburg store is so successful, according to Petit, because of the great variety of gift items. “There is something for everyone. Something appeals to someone,” she said.
But also because of great customer service. “Retail has lost that art. We try to give the best customer service. The number one thing I tell my people is to take care of the customer.” And that includes the companion who may not want to shop.
“We even have a television. We hand the remote to the male companion, give him some wine or beer and let him watch a program while his spouse is shopping,” she said.
The Mole Hole
Where: 1425 Richmond Road, Williamsburg.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday–Saturday.