2018 Small Business of the Year: Top to Watch

The Award

The Hampton Roads Chamber and the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads are proud to provide special recognition to the Hampton Road’s small business community by presenting an award to one  upcoming business from the Hampton Roads region. Small businesses are the backbone of our local and national economies, representing more than 95 percent of all employers, creating three-fourths of all new jobs, and accounting for more than one-half of the nation’s gross domestic product. For more than 30 years, the Hampton Roads Chamber has recognized one exceptional small business owner for his or her tireless work and embodiment of the spirit of enterprise. Click here to vote.

Top to Watch Nominees

About Array:
We help grow businesses through custom software, websites, and digital marketing. Based in Chesapeake, VA, we are a tight knit team of elite software developers and project staff. We've been creating web and mobile apps since 2009 using the best tools available in the industry.

Why We Should Win?:
We are a well known local company serving both local and national clients. We're growing and hiring. We were recently awarded a Best Place to Work (CoVaBiz). We have an open PTO policy and focus on quality and on time delivery - not hours worked. We host an annual giveaway of a website to a deserving charity that the community votes for. Vote for me here.




About Candie's Treats Bakery & More:
My name is Carmen Curry and I am the Owner/CEO of Candie's Treats Bakery & More. I am a new Hampton Roads Chamber member, and I serve as the Vice President of Education and Programs for the International Live Events Association Hampton Roads Chapter. My company was founded in Chesapeake, Virginia in May of 2015 as a full fledged sweets and wedding bakery. Everything that comes out of our shoppe is made with”Love & Sugar”! As a business we strive to help the Hampton Roads community by supporting and/or donating to multiple non profits during the year. Some of the activities we support include; The American Cancer Society, Shrinemen of Chesapeake, Chesapeake Care Clinic, The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Annual Food & Clothing Drive Events for the Homeless, Educational Events for Schools and the Spartyka Foundation. We also invite groups to have events in our space to organize leadership, business development or social events in the shoppe. One of the most rewarding parts of our job is being able to give back and support our community by doing things near and dear to our hearts which always includes; “Baking With Love and Sugar”!

Why We Should Win?:
Candie's Treats Bakery & More should be selected as a Winner of the Top 5 to Watch because we truly believe that although we are a smaller bakery, we are dedicated to helping spread happiness and joy “One Sweet Treat At A Time Across Hampton Roads”. As a small and newer business in Hampton Roads, we have literally overcome each obstacle that has come our our way and turned each into a positive experience. In under 3 years time we have more than tripled our sales, bookings, and corporate accounts and increased our marketing and visibility to clients online, in person and through our customized Candie’s Treats Delivery Vehicle. Although I am thankful for all of these blessings I wouldn't be anywhere without my amazing staff, my supportive family, our wonderful clients, my astonishing friends and business colleagues in Hampton Roads and beyond. Each of them have helped to make Candie's Treats Bakery what it is today.

Candie's Treats Bakery & More should win because we believe that with a little sugar, a lot of love and a few sprinkles of magic, you can make anyone’s dream come true!   So stop by our shoppe, grab a treat and let us help you make your day a little bit sweeter...You won't regret it! Vote for me here. 






About Commune:
In French, the word Commune translates to the smallest territorial division. In English, it means people coming together. This is what we are all about. Sourcing the vast majority of our ingredients solely from our territory, and bringing people together through that food. Our restaurant serves local, seasonal and sustainable fare in an open setting with community style seating.

Commune is founded on the philosophy that the best tasting food just also happens to be the freshest and healthiest food both for the eater and our environment. To that measure, we have made our daily menu flexible and based on what local producers can provide throughout the seasons.
We know how to do this efficiently through our founder’s experience as a local sustainable farmer who worked directly with chefs and restaurant owners for years before deciding to open Commune. Sourcing ingredients locally from farmers we know ultimately leads to a better tasting meal and at the same time mitigates the environmental damage done by the commercial food system. Our finished product speaks for itself; when food is grown with respect, picked at its peak, served close to its source, and prepared with care, the finished plate is a culinary experience that nourishes and satisfies on many levels.

Why We Should Win?:
We would be honored to be named among the best business to watch in Hampton Roads. As the only farmer-owned restaurant in our area, Commune is truly a unique business. We strive to foster change in our community through our mission of sustainable and local food. By sourcing over 90% of our ingredients from local vendors, we are directly supporting Virginia farms, fishermen, and producers. When customers come to eat at Commune, not only do they get to enjoy a delicious meal, but they are taking an active part in this movement towards local, sustainable agriculture. Vote for me here. 





About Productive AV:
From our founding in 2010 to our recent inclusion in the Inc 5000 list, we at Productive AV have had one primary mission: to positively impact the lives of those around us.

The best way that we have found to accomplish this is to provide design, installation, service, and rental of technology systems that are simple to use, reliable in operation, and a complete solution for the task at hand. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with offices across the nation, including Norfolk, we aide organizations of all types and sizes meet their technological needs.

Why We Should Win?:
Our commitment to flawless events and technology integration is reflected in our exponential growth over the last 8 years. Our whole team strives for excellence in all that we do and takes pride in their work. We are an emerging leader in the Audio Visual industry with many decades of combined experience, while staying on top the bleeding edge of the ever changing world of technology. Vote for me here





About Suffolk Executive Offices:
Suffolk Executive Offices is all about the entrepreneur, freelancer, small business, consultant, professional or remote worker who is serious about growing their business in a productive working environment. We believe that supporting small business success is important to our local community.  We provide fully furnished private office spaces, a co-working space, a conference room, a meeting room, virtual office and a day office that are designed to help entrepreneur achieve their business goals. We are positioned in the heart of downtown Suffolk.

Why We Should Win?:
We are looking to win Top to Watch in Hampton Roads because we are bridging the gap between small business and the community by providing affordable fully furnished office spaces to startup business at a reasonable price causing them not to have to spend all of their startup capital. We attend a lot of Chamber events, finding them to be a useful resource for businesses to connect with one another and helping to build partnerships in Hampton Roads. We also host events to build partnerships with the community and to help bring spotlight to great small businesses in our local area.

Also, Suffolk Executive Offices donates and give back to the community helping local charities and nonprofit organizations, like this past fall we helped raise money for ForKids. We look to remain a big component of partnerships in the community as well as providing resources and tools to help grow other businesses as we look to not make ourselves successful but the business around us as well. Vote for me here. 





About Wasserhund:
Wasserhund’s mission is to encourage those around us to eat, drink, and enjoy good company by doing the following three actions: being a conduit of good times with those around us over excellent pizza and beer, providing an example of German drinking culture by crafting (mostly) German beers, blessing other as we have been blessed by giving 5% of Wasserhund’s taproom revenue to charity (regardless of company profits).

Why We Should Win?:
Wasserhund Brewing Company is one of the Top 5 to Watch in Hampton Roads because we are always looking for new ways to grow and put our mark into Hampton Roads. We have expanded operations from a 2 BBL brewhouse to a 15 BBL brewhouse in the first year, we have grown our brand through distribution across popular restaurants and venues around Hampton Roads, and we have started packaging our product to reach an even larger customer base. As we have expanded our operation, we have continued to focus on how we can take care of our customers and the community around us. Through our Charity of the Month program, we partner with a different charity each month and donate 5% of our taproom revenue to that charity, we have donated close to $100,000 to local charities since opening in August of 2015. Wasserhund's focus is on great products, great experiences for our customers, and great impact to our surround community... that's why we are a Top to Watch. Vote for me here