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Tax Prep Services, Rhonda's Gems open in downtown Farmville

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Lorraine Ruffin (center, left), owner of Tax Prep Services, and Rhonda Ellis (center, right), owner of Rhonda’s Gems, cut the ribbon at their official opening surrounded by family (from left) Anthony Pulley, Teri Whitley, Tonya Hagan, Jasper Ellis, Adam Joseph Abeja, Deborah Ellis and Jasper Ellis Jr.

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Angela Harne
The Farmville Enterprise

Monday, February 20, 2017

Two businesses in one have found their home in downtown Farmville.

Rhonda’s Gems and Tax Prep Services opened their doors in late December. The Farmville Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed the entrepreneurs recently with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Lorraine Ruffin worked seven years as a tax preparer for Jim Lambert, who had an office in Farmville. When Lambert retired, Ruffin opted to go into business for herself.

“I enjoyed what I did, and most of Jim’s clients were from Farmville,” Ruffin said.

As Ruffin was making plans to venture out on her own, her sister-in-law, Rhonda Ellis, was laid off from her career in pharmaceuticals. Ellis and her husband, Jasper, began handling estate sales. The three agreed going into business together would be ideal.

Rhonda’s Gems specializes in vintage items and antiques.

“I always wanted a shop of my own. God led me here,” Ellis said.

The two women contacted Doug Henry about his vacant property that once housed a tobacco store.

“Doug has worked with us and allowed us to create what we wanted,” Ruffin said.

Renovations attempted to recapture the original look of the store at 3724 N. Main St., which housed a bank that closed during the Great Depression. The original shelves from the bank remain in the front of the store, Ellis said.

“These women were so excited to have a business in Farmville and renovated this space with such enthusiasm,” Judy Gidley, director of the Farmville Chamber of Commerce, said. “I know they will be a success and great asset to our community.”

Rhonda’s Gems and Tax Prep Services are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tax Prep Services is open past regular business hours throughout tax season.

For more information on Tax Prep Services, call Ruffin at 245-0515. For more information about Rhonda’s Gems, call Ellis at 289-7360.

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