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The Colonial Inn named Merchant of the Month

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David Whitley, second from right on back row, owner of The Colonial Inn, and his team of chefs — Robert Jones, Raymond Baker and James Joyner — cater a bridge party recently for Diane Warren, Ann Lancaster and Sue Hardy, seated from left.

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Angela Harne
The Farmville Enterprise

Monday, November 28, 2016

One of two businesses that kept Farmville on the map when the tobacco industry shut down is the Farmville Chamber of Commerce’s November Merchant of the Month.

“These two iconic businesses in Farmville brought people to town and saved Farmville, and they are The Colonial Inn and Farmville Furniture Co.,” Judy Gidley, director of the Farmville Chamber of Commerce, said as she presented the award to David Whitley, owner of The Colonial Inn. “Without a doubt, that is why Farmville is known. They put Farmville on the map.”

Whitley, a native of Rocky Mount, opened his restaurant on Nov. 1, 1977, at 3776 W. Wilson St., a block from downtown.

He worked at A.C. Monk Tobacco Co. after completing college, then went from an accountant to a chef.

“I have always had a passion for cooking,” he said.

Whitley’s grandmother was a dietician and introduced him to the career field.

“I love what I do, and I truly appreciate the support throughout the years,” Whitley said.

Whitley semi-retired in 2014. He closed the restaurant side of The Colonial Inn, but continues to cater events throughout the community and at the inn.

He said he has no plan to completely retire any time soon.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Farmville community. I have always loved this town,” he said.

The catering business employs three chefs — Robert Jones, Raymond Baker and James Joyner.

For more information about The Colonial Inn’s catering or to book an event, call 753-2142.

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