Thursday, October 3, 2013

Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op is Business of the Year

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce and Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center have named Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op the 2013 Small Business of the Year.  The food co-op that offers nutritious food choices and earth-friendly products for its customers was recognized at the Chamber’s 27th Annual Small Business Awards dinner held October 3 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  The annual awards program showcases the accomplishments of the small business sector which is composed of 95 percent of the area’s business community.

Founded in 1975, Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op recently opened a new retail location in downtown Roanoke and operates Heritage Point farm, the largest contiguous urban farm in the United States.

“As in years past, the selection committee was faced with a very difficult decision because of the number of outstanding companies represented in the competition,” said Joyce Waugh, president of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Waugh continued, “The Small Business Awards selection committee was impressed with how Roanoke Natural Foods has shown constant and continual growth during its years of existence. We were especially impressed with the opening of the new downtown store this year and the co-op’s long-term plans for growth.” A committee of local business people evaluates nominees in terms of increased sales, employee growth, staying power, innovativeness, and contributions to the community.  To be eligible, companies must meet SBA small business standards and be at least three years old.

Awards winners by category:

  • Small Business Advocate: Wendy J. Jones, Williamson Road Area Business Association
  • Small Business Veterans of the Year: Nancy Harms and William Holmes, Patriot Drug & DNA Testing
  • Construction/Real Estate: MKB, REALTORS continues to show growth even during uncertain economic times in the housing market.
  • Micro-Business (five or fewer  employees): American Biosystems has discovered its niche market of sales of microbial enzyme products to the international market.
  • Technology:  JPI is an information technology and program management consulting firm specializing in support services for its federal government clients.
  • Business-to-Business Services:  Devine Building Services opened in 2002 and has grown into the region’s largest building services company.
  • Business-to-Consumer Services: East Mental Health helps their patients foster independence while managing symptoms of mental illness through a holistic approach.
  • Wholesale/Retail: Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op.
  • Manufacturing: Tecton Products designs and manufactures custom fiberglass pultrusions that are durable and weather-resistant.
  • Legacy Award (in business for 50+ years):  Wood’s Service Centers has provided automotive services, repairs and towing to the citizens of the Roanoke Valley since 1957.
  • Not-for-Profit Arts & Culture: Center in the Square is a unique cultural complex dedicated to serving the community as an active participant in economic development.
  • Not-for-Profit Health & Human Services: DePaul Community Resources works with other non-profit organizations in the region to transform the lives of special needs clients.

 Previous small business of the year winners include EHS Support Services (2012), Interactive Achievement (2011), Magnets USA (2010), Home Instead Senior Care (2009), Virginia Prosthetics (2008), Luna Innovations (2007), and  Blue Ridge Medical Imaging (2006).

The Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, established in 1889, has over 1,200 member firms.  The Chamber serves its members with advocacy, networking, information, and business assistance programs that maintain a strong business climate in the Greater Roanoke Region.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Business, Community, Local Events



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