My name is David Hawks, new owner and head baker for Paw Paw's. I am a Virginian, born in Galax and raised in the Roanoke Valley where I lived until my graduation from Salem High School in 1981. After that, I moved to Richmond, Virginia to continue my education at Virginia Commonwealth University where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design. During my college years and for quite a while after that, I made my living in the restaurant industry beginning as barback, then bartender in a local night club, moving up to waiter, and finally ending up as manager of several local Richmond restaurants...with Bill's Barbecue being one of them. My last position in food service was as the manager of the Food Service Division for Atlantic Rural Exposition...known by most folks as "The State Fair of Virginia". I worked extensively with the Department of Health to insure food quality and safety and during that time was "Serve Safe" certified by the Henrico county Health Department.
Over the years, I have worked in several Richmond Design Firms as well as freelancing on my own as designer of temporary exhibits, themed events and holiday decor with my most well known and exciting project being the Dixie Caverns Haunted Cave. In addition, I had the great fortune to be taken under wing by on of Salem's best floral designers, Bill Burtch of Marizels Flowers and can list Floral Designer as one of my talents. When I am not designing and Installing art projects, I work on a variety of things and have become known by family and friends as a "Found Object" artist. I enjoy taking old things and finding new ways to use them...both artistically and functionally. my current projects include the re-purposing of old iron beds into garden benches, iron rings from wagon wheels and oak kegs into outdoor candle chandeliers and creating lavish one of a kind crazy quilt picnic blankets out of high end fabrics.
Since 2010, I have made my home in Palmyra, Virginia..located just a short drive outside of Charlottesville where I had the good fortune to find a 139 year old farm house in need of just my kind of love. I am slowly bringing her back to her former glory while at the same time leaving behind many of the things the modern world offers in favor of a simpler, more rural lifestyle. I spend my time creating art, gardening extensively in what I hope will become a self sustaining garden, cooking and preserving the gardens bounty in the kitchen (a life long passion of mine) and baking Paw Paw's Wholesome Homemade Dog Treats.