PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – With the snip of the scissors the city of Portsmouth welcomed their newest business.
“Presidential Funeral Services is here and they’ve opened today for business and we look forward to supporting them,” said Portsmouth mayor Shannon Glover.
Business owners Deborah Vines-Epps and Lateacia Sessoms opened up Presidential Funeral Services on High Street in the growing Innovative District section of Portsmouth.
It’s a business with a twist.
“Teaching people about life and death, more importantly teaching about how to live, how to love, how to have hope,” Sessoms said.
It’s a funeral home with services to assist grieving family members with a wide range of services.
“It is important to reach out to the community and let them know about the opportunities of what comes with life before and after death,” Vines-Epps said.
Vines-Epps and Sessoms put up $25,000 and the city’s Economic Development Department matched that with a dollar-for-dollar grant for minority- and women-owned business.
“It allows everyone to have access and participate in the local economy of the city of Portsmouth,” Glover said. “And traditionally, that may not have been the case, but we want to let women and minorities know that the city of Portsmouth is here to help you.”
And about that twist.
It is the only funeral home in the area with a drive-through.
That’s right – a drive-through window.
“It is for people that do not want to come in or can’t,” Vines-Epps said. “Or some people say, ‘No, COVID, viruses, illnesses. I do not want to.’ We are giving you that opportunity to come through our drive through.”
There is also in the works a program called “Scared to Death,” which will focus on youth and gun violence.