Highland Profiles is a series that aims to highlight West Virginia’s exemplary outdoor adventurers, business owners, and community innovators. If you’ve got someone in mind worthy of a profile, drop me a line: email@example.com.
Some kids rebel against their parents by choosing the opposite path, others rebel against their parents by following in their footsteps. For Fayetteville’s dynamic mother-daughter duo of Wendy and Cassidy Bayes, it was the latter.
Wendy first came to Fayetteville in 1992 to teach horseback riding lessons at Babcock State Park. Upon arriving in March, the state parks were still closed for winter and a friend convinced her to embark on the training journey to become a whitewater raft guide. Although Wendy had never been rafting before and the frothing water initially terrified her, West Virginia’s world-class rivers quickly calmed her nerves and stole her heart. Wendy would eventually leave the river, become a mother to two children, Cassidy and Kyle, and become the owner of one of Fayetteville’s most beloved eateries in the Cathedral Café.
Cassidy was raised in Fayetteville and grew up watching Wendy juggle the duties of mother and business owner. She witnessed the challenges of running a business in an erratic, seasonal tourism economy, and even helped manage those challenges by working at Cathedral. But she also saw her mother’s passion for the community and for raising her family in the mountains and on the rivers of West Virginia.
When her mother tried to steer her away from getting involved in the food industry in Fayetteville, Cassidy, like a stubborn child rebeling against parental directives, dove in headfirst. She opened Raw and Juicy Juice Bar in the upstairs portion of Fayetteville’s charming downtown cathedral, and then soon team up with her mother to open the Southside Junction Tap House.
What drew you to Fayetteville?
Wendy Bayes: The river, the people, the community, the mountains, the trails, the history—everything drew me here. It fit. I fit. This place wraps its arms around you like a warm hug, and even though I was not from here originally and I have no extended family here, the people in this town include me as one of their own.
What made you decide to come back to Fayetteville after college, rather than pulling away like many of your peers did?
Cassidy Bayes: I just don’t want to see this place fail. I want this place to thrive and I think it has the ability to. Most of the time when people come here it’s to go down the river or go rock climbing, but you need places to go when you get off the water or off the rock. I’m interested in creating these places and getting more people like me to come here and hopefully start businesses, too.
How has Fayetteville shaped who you are as a person and business owner?
WB: This little town has embraced me in a way that I’ve never known before. I’ve got ladies I call mom, and there are several kids in town that call me mom as well. I sincerely enjoy and cherish the people in this town. I’m a better person here. I enjoy helping people, and I’ve gotten better about asking for help when I need it.
CB: The people of Fayetteville are my family and have shown me what it is like to be around people that genuinely care about you and want to see you succeed, and by seeing that it made me want to see Fayetteville succeed. It’s just such a cool town and there is so much to do here and I want people to enjoy it as much as I do.
You’ve lived in Fayetteville your whole life. You know what this town needs, how did you settle on a smoothie bar and a tap house?
CB: It’s just diversity. If you look around your town you notice things that other towns have that yours doesn’t, and I think that we should have those things. There are ample opportunities and the more businesses that you bring here, the more jobs and it just keeps building on itself.
Did you expect Cassidy to pursue business in Fayetteville?
WB: Lord no. I expected her to flee to some big city as soon as she graduated. But instead, she opened up Raw & Juicy Juice Bar upstairs within two weeks of graduation. It all happened so fast; I couldn’t have been more proud of her.
Would you consider yourself following in your mother’s footsteps?
CB: Totally. My mom has been a role model to me my entire life. I think she is super mom. She has the cafe, she’s a real estate agent, she was doing bail bonds for a little while, and now we opened the Airbnb. If I could be half as cool and accomplished as she is at her age, I will feel very lucky.
How does it feel to have your daughter following in your footsteps?
WB: The restaurant business is hard—any self-employment is hard. I honestly thought that I had effectively steered her away from food service. Evidently, I was wrong. So I’m careful to not let her get burned out, and she is much better than I am about taking time for herself and I’m glad. She continually teaches me things. The fact that she thinks I’m cool enough to look up to, well, that’s a feeling that there are no words for.
If you ever get a day off, how do you spend it?
WB: Well, I’ve given up on cleaning house, but give me a day outside any day with my kids, with friends, with critters. Hiking these trails has been my therapy for 26 years. I also still get out on the river, the lake, the rocks—anything to get some fresh air therapy.
CB: Even on my days off I usually end up here, maybe not working but to have a beer. But I try to get out on the river or go rock climbing. I try to experience Fayetteville just like everybody else does.
Swing by Cathedral Café, Raw and Juicy, or Southside Junction for a meal, a drink, or to give Wendy and Cassidy some high fives. Odds are you’ll see one of them somewhere in downtown Fayetteville, and you can bet they’ll welcome you into town.