WISE, VA – February 1, 2023 – From cheese-stuffed burgers to brisket melts, Philly cheese steaks to club sandwiches and soups, Just Melt It provides its customers with a variety of lunch to early supper dining options prepared at its food truck and served to go, or eat on the spot at the new business’ outdoor seating area, aptly nicknamed the “Mountain View Oasis.”
Just Melt It was a recent recipient of a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Seed Capital Matching Grant.
“Just Melt It is a food truck with a twist in the way it is approaching its operation as a stationary truck with seating available outdoors on-site, serving both locals and tourists in the Wise County area,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “The business is projecting seven full-time jobs within five years as it grows, according to its application.”
“We serve a variety of gourmet specialty sandwiches and offer craft beers and wine,” McDermott said. “We’re a stationary food truck with a beer garden and we strive to offer high quality, fresh and healthy food to clearly stand out from the competition.”
Special events are held and planned — from Sip and Paint events to a “Salsa Under the Stars” night. Karaoke and cornhole are also offered.
“There are not a lot of entertainment places in the area and this fills a void for those looking to come to a relaxing and fun environment,” McDermott said, adding a unique fact about the business is that 10 percent of the proceeds from it are planned to go to the Zion Ministries Food Bank to help address hunger issues in the area.
As for the food offered at Just Melt It, McDermott said it’s all about being high quality and affordable. Menu options change seasonally and new gourmet sandwiches are added to the menu from time to time.
McDermott has more than 20 years management and customer service experience, having previously owned his own restaurant in Harrisonburg and through building of his family’s winery, Marceline Vineyards, also in Harrisonburg. He has managed food trucks and restaurants in Asheville, NC, but moved to Wise County in 2020 to be closer to his wife’s family in Wise County, Va., and decided to open the new business.
McDermott noted as Just Melt It, which officially opened last June, continues to grow, plans call for sealing in the outdoor seating area to allow for the space to be heated. Two roll-up garage doors will seal in the space and offer the ability in the warmer months to raise them to allow fresh air to circulate freely.
Currently, 25-30 can be seated there, but as he adds bathroom facilities, the capacity for seating will grow to be up to 125-150. Ultimately, he hopes to establish a brick and mortar location.
“The VCEDA grant has definitely helped to really get everything going,” McDermott said. “With inflation, it’s been more expensive to develop the space, but the grant has helped to cover the cost of materials and labor. It really gave me a leg up and gave me the ability to think outside the box.”
He noted that having the grant took some stress off of him as a business owner to be able to focus on spending the funds wisely and in the best way possible.
Just Melt It winter hours are Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The business is closed on Sundays and Tuesdays. McDermott said as warmer temperatures arrive, hours will extend to 10 p.m.
McDermott worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) in developing his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Wise County Industrial Development Authority.
“Micah came to Mountain Empire Community College’s SBDC to pitch his new business with passion and energy,” said Becki O’Quinn-Purdie, director of the SBDC at MECC. “Micah continues to create a business that is different in style and form. Just Melt It offers great food along with a fun atmosphere. The VCEDA Seed Capital Fund will allow Micah to continue to develop the business location. The SBDC is looking forward to seeing the next phase of Just Melt It.”
“Micah has taken the mobile food truck to a new level with his work on this venture,” said Wise County IDA Executive Director Brian Falin. “He has found an effective way to redevelop a previous restaurant space into an attractive outdoor seating area that is a great accent to his food service operations. Combining great food with a busy and growing location gives ‘Just Melt It’ a great opportunity to be successful and the Wise County IDA was proud to provide support for this application.”
The business is located at 132 Plaza Road SW in Wise, Va. and may be reached by calling 276-870-8114. It may also be found on Facebook.
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.
About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses, within qualifying business categories, one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.