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Want a Backpack? How About a Sandwich? This Combo Gear Store-Deli Will Sell You Both.

We appreciate a good post-hike (or pre-hike, or mid-hike) sandwich. Soon you'll be able to find one—plus a pair of hiking boots, a stove, or whatever else you need—at The Happy Goat.

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You’ve heard of the combination Dunkin Donuts-Baskin Robbins. You’ve heard of the combination Pizza Hut-Taco Bell. But, a new combination will soon hit the streets of Tazewell, Virginia: a hiking gear store/deli called The Happy Goat.

The business will offer items like Camelbak hydration packs and bottles, Komperdell trekking poles, Farm to Feet socks, ENO hammocks, and other hiking accessories. For hungry hikers, The Happy Goat will offer sandwiches, traditional deli sides, salads, soups, grab-and-go snacks, and drink options.

According to The Happy Goat’s website, the business is “all about community connection” and wants to celebrate the Tazewell, hiking, and Appalachian communities. The Virginia town has many hiking trails nearby and is also an hour or two drive to several Appalachian Trail trailheads.

After purchasing the brick and mortar on Tazewell’s Main Street in January 2021, business owners Vince and Lucie D’Amato got to work on renovations. They replaced the roof, upgraded the electrical and plumbing systems, installed new floors, and added new exterior windows and side windows to the building.

With a $10,000 boost from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development (VCEDA) Seed Capital Matching Grant, The Happy Goat will open later this year, according to an announcement from the VCEDA. It was one of 13 businesses in the state to earn a grant of this amount.

The D’Amatos say the funds will help them make their business grow and become a place for both locals and tourists to hang out. Also, according to the D’Amatos, naming the business was an easy decision. The name The Happy Goat got stuck in their heads, and they like the connection to the Virginia town.

“Goats like to eat and hike; Tazewell is a livestock community, so the thinking was let’s open a deli and hiking gear store,” Vince told the VCEDA in the announcement. “It can also be a great place to use your computer, meet friends, or catch a football game.”


From 2022