Ryderﾒs filmed as part of reality pilot
In a country where chain stores are taking over the landscape, mom and pop shops are becoming few and far between. With the economy taking its toll on everyone, there are a few mom and pops that have remained standing as the dust settles.
Metal Flowers Media of Hollywood, California, is working on a reality show project to highlight those mom and pops, including Ryderﾒs Restaurant and Convenience Store in Arbovale.
MFM producer Kristi Russell began the project in November 2010 and brought her crew to Ryderﾒs this week to film a pilot for the show.
The project began the same way as any project, with research.
ﾓWe picked out areas in the country that we wanted to go visit and we got the yellow pages and information on the Internet about small businesses,ﾔ Russell said.
Armed with a six-inch binder full of small businesses, Russell and her crew took to the phones and dialed their hearts out.
ﾓWe called every single place that we could and about 80 percent of the people we called hung up on us,ﾔ she said. ﾓThe folks who did take our calls, we just start talking to see if they were interested in talking about small town America and what it takes to keep a family-run business thriving in these hard economic times.ﾔ
With Ryderﾒs on their ﾓyesﾔ list, MFM packed up their cameras and headed to Pocahontas County. The crew spent several days at the restaurant and store, as well as with owner Violet, her son Jimmy and their family.
The crew settled in and became part of the family as they shadowed the Ryders and met their customers.
ﾓI love it here,ﾔ Russell said. ﾓThe place is wonderful, the food is wonderful, the people that weﾒve met have been wonderful. We went to church this morning and weﾒre staying at the motel [Boyer Motel] across the street. Itﾒs smaller than I thought, but it doesnﾒt feel small. Itﾒs a big, warm, welcoming committee.ﾔ
Although the show hasnﾒt been bought by a network yet, Russell is hopeful.
ﾓWe are gathering information and presenting it to a variety of networks and production companies in hopes that they will create a show,ﾔ she said.
Russell is hoping the pilot will become a series, where each mom and pop will have a season, highlighting their store and community.
If the series is picked up and Ryderﾒs is chosen as a subject, MFM will return in the next few months to shoot the show.
Ryderﾒs was opened as a service station in the 1940s by Jimmyﾒs grandparents. Violet became owner in 1967 when the service station was rebuilt by Grover Taylor. The building was in the right-of-way and had to be moved. The restaurant was added in 1974 and was built by Jim Ryder, Sr.