News

Certificate in Retail Operations Now Available to All Gloucester Businesses

Retail Alliance’s educational arm, the Center for Retail Excellence, has partnered with Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust to launch a Certificate in Retail Operations, available to all retailers in Gloucester and surrounding areas.

“We are excited that our partnership with Retail Alliance helps our Main Street retailers develop the skills and knowledge necessary in achieving long-term success in their entrepreneurial and retail career journey,” said Jennifer E Crittenden, Executive Director of Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust.

“The Main Street Preservation Trust is offering scholarships to their existing business owners who take the Certificate in Retail Operations program as a whole (seven classes offered throughout the year) as well as for those who wish to take individual classes,” Crittenden said.

“The scholarships are on a first come, first reserved basis and can cover up to 50 percent of the costs. We encourage the entire curriculum but want to offer the flexibility as well where needed. This is a great opportunity for our existing business owners to take a closer look at an expansion plan or just hone their skills in certain areas. We also wish to spur new entrepreneurial pursuits on Main Street and that begins with vetting a concept fully and learning how to run a business. This program is perfect for that person who is ready to fully explore a business idea.”

For those new entrepreneurs who take the entire curriculum and decide to move forward and open a business identified as a need on Main Street, scholarships will be available to them as well.

For information on reserving a space for a scholarship, please call Executive Director, Jenny Crittenden at (804) 824-9614 or email to director@mspt.org.

“When we launched the Certificate for Retail Excellence in 2016, we had seen the need for a competency-based training for aspiring and existing retailers that didn’t exist in Hampton Roads,” added Ray Mattes, President/CEO of Retail Alliance.

“People coming out of the military and the corporate world may have previous specialized experience but, no matter how much passion they have, unfortunately they may not have all the tools required to open and run a successful business. There are also many existing retailers that are struggling to stay afloat with the ever-changing retail environment and challenges such as online shopping and national competition. Our aim is to give a leg-up to those smaller retailers to level the playing field.”

Commencing in late 2017 and continuing through 2018 in Gloucester, the Certificate offers training in seven key must-haves for operating a retail business, ranging from business planning and financial management, to merchandising and marketing. The program is taught partly online, for convenience and accessibility, and partly face-to-face, for networking, mentorship and support. The first class of the Certificate in Retail Operations, Run with It!, will begin Monday, October 16, 2017. The opening session, called First Night, runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and will be held in the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust training room (6882 Main Street, Suite G, Gloucester, 23510.)

For more information concerning the Certificate or the individual classes, please contact Susan Moore at smoore@retailalliance.com or by phone at (757) 455-9319.

###

About Retail Alliance

Retail Alliance is a non-profit trade association serving the interests of local retailers in Hampton Roads. The organization promotes and supports the healthy growth of retail businesses and trade through education, networking, advocacy, discounts, local first program, and other benefits.

About Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust

The Main Street Preservation Trust (MSPT) administers Main Street Center and other Trust assets for the benefit of the community of Gloucester, Virginia. Funds generated by the Trust’s assets are intended to be used to attract new and additional business to Main Street in Gloucester by enhancing the economic and business environment, preserving historical landmarks in the Gloucester Court House Village area, and promoting civic and cultural activities. The Main Street Preservation Trust works with the Cook Foundation and is a supporter of the Gloucester Main Street Association. The Main Street Preservation Trust is a 501c4 organization, and as such donations are not tax deductible.

 

User StephCertificate in Retail Operations Now Available to All Gloucester Businesses

Launch Gloucester Entrepreneur Development Program highlighted at Governor’s Summit on Rural Prosperity

Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director to the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust, gave a presentation to approximately 150 attendees at Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Summit on Rural Prosperity at the Tides Inn Resort on September 26 and 27.

The conference, presented by the Center for Rural Virginia, was widely attended by Virginia General Assembly senators and delegates; local politicians and elected officials and business owners and community leaders.

Crittenden was asked to be a part of a panel discussion on entrepreneurism and gave an opening presentation that highlighted her and her husband’s business, Heart 17 Produce, Inc., an 150 acre produce company that ships to major food chains and to also share about the growth and services provided by the Main Street Preservation Trust to local entrepreneurs.

A memorable moment during Crittenden’s presentation was when the entire audience applauded as she relayed that Gloucester’s Main Street program, due completely to the vision and generosity of Edwin & Adrianne Joseph, is the only financially self sustaining model in the nation.

“I am just the one who is lucky enough to get up every day and enact their vision and work with our entrepreneurs.”

Crittenden’s presentation ended with highlighting the very successful Launch Gloucester Program that was initiated in 2015 that yielded six new or expanded businesses in the downtown providing seven full time jobs and 21 part time jobs, as well as more than $454,000 in public/private investment.

The program was made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Department of Housing & Community Development that was awarded to the Trust after a state wide competitive process.

User StephLaunch Gloucester Entrepreneur Development Program highlighted at Governor’s Summit on Rural Prosperity

Launch Gloucester Businesses Celebrate First Year With Celebrations, Specials

This time last year, a bakery and café, a pet boutique, a village blacksmith, a massage studio and a kitchen with a juice bar became the newest business residents along Main Street in the Gloucester Village thanks to the county’s most successful entrepreneur contest – Launch Gloucester.

Starting this weekend, those businesses will celebrate their first year of business with a series of events, promotions and giveaways.

Sweet Tooth Café & Bakery

6655 Main Street

Saturday, Sept. 24

  • First 50 customers will receive a free cupcake of their choice.
  • Cupcake coloring contest for children 10 and under. Winner will be selected Sept. 30. Their picture will hang in the café for one month and they will win a four-count box of cupcakes.
  • 10 a.m. to noon: balloon and face painting
  • 3 p.m.: pie-eating contest. The person who eats their first pie wins a four-count box of cupcakes.

Throughout the Week

  • For every $25 spent, customer name will go into a raffle for a chance to win a door prize. Winner will be selected Sept. 30.

The Nines Pet Boutique

6582 Main Street

Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25

  • Raffles for a leather collar and pet photography session.
  • Giveaways and celebration “birthday” cake for pet lover and pets themselves.
  • Sales, to include 50 percent off all bedding and carriers and 30 percent off remaining summer items.
  • Chance to win 10 to 30 percent off any item purchased.

Sept. 27-30

  • Sales, to include 20 percent off t-shirts and 20 percent off pet ice cream.

Good Life Kitchen

6558 Main Street

Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24

  • Healthy Party Foods Sample Party

Tuesday, Sept. 27

  • Bring a friend to lunch day and both will be entered to win a $25 gift certificate.

Throughout the Week

  • Stay tuned to Good Life Kitchen on Facebook for a contest to win a free cooking class in October.

The Village Blacksmith

6641 Gloucester Street

Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25

  • Tours of the blacksmith shop that include forging demos.

Heart Felt Touch Massage

7282 York Ave.

Throughout the Week

Schedule with four different practitioners and receive your fifth service free. The goal is to allow new clients to find the practitioner that’s right for them.

Sponsored by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Launch Gloucester awarded the winning businesses $95,000 in goods and services and start-up capital to open up on Main Street. It was one of three in the state as part of the Community Business Launch initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and locally overseen by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association. Additional funding, support and value of the program in Gloucester came thanks to regional business support, the Gloucester Board of Supervisors, the Gloucester Economic Development Authority and the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce.

As part of the terms of the competition, the businesses were required to open in September, thus the exciting flurry of new businesses cutting ribbons exactly one year ago this month.

User StephLaunch Gloucester Businesses Celebrate First Year With Celebrations, Specials

The Nines Pet Boutique Opens On Gloucester Main Street

Look no further than The Nines Pet Boutique at 6582 Main Street in Gloucester for proof that the county’s historic village area is not only thriving, but also growing.

Earlier this month, on September 26, The Nines hosted its grand opening, officially welcoming customers into the boutique, which also offers pet photography by owner, Karin Fary.

Fary’s business was the second-place winner as part of the Launch Gloucester entrepreneur contest, one of three in the state that’s part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch Initiative. Through the program, The Nines secured a prize package valued at $30,000 to include $10,000 in start-up capital, $1,200 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package worth $13,000.

The program was administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association served as the local overseer of the grant in Gloucester.

“We love Gloucester, the local shops and restaurants and what they do for our community and we really want to be a part of that,” said Fary.

The Nines offers upscale clothing and accessories, collars and leashes, toys, bedding, grooming supplies, and nutrition products for your canine and feline companion. In addition, the Nines features pet lovers breed-specific merchandise to include housewares, clothing, and other accessories as well as photography services.

“My goal with the business is to enrich the human-animal bond by providing pet owners a specialty boutique to pamper canine and feline companions, as well as create treasured memories through photography,” Fary said.

Fary’s vision for her business is a place where pet lovers can treat their companions and find products locally rather than online. Pet photography will be offered and within two to five years she hopes to expand to pet grooming, training and wellness coaching.

The Nines Pet Boutique is located at 6582 Main Street in Historic Gloucester Village. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 6 p.m. Photography services are available by appointment only.

For media inquiries or to learn more about The Nines Pet Boutique, call 804.824.9625, email info@theninespetboutique.com, or visit www.theninespetboutique.com.

 

 

User StephThe Nines Pet Boutique Opens On Gloucester Main Street

State Secretary of Trade and Commerce Visits Gloucester Main Street, Helps Launch New Businesses

When it comes to showcasing the power of investing in helping launch small businesses in rural towns across the Commonwealth, the proof is in the pudding. Or, in the case of Launch Gloucester, the proof is in the numbers.

Just look around what’s happening in the Gloucester Village this fall, Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust told a crown gathered at Friday’s grand opening of Crystal Burton’s Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery. Burton is the first business in Gloucester to open after winning nearly $50,000 in start up capital and prizes during an entrepreneur contest – Launch Gloucester – sponsored by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and led by Secretary of Trade and Commerce Maurice Jones’ Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“This is actually what Virginia needs as much as anything,” said Jones, who visited Burton and helped cut the ribbon for her grand opening Friday. “We want to see a community realize an audacious vision, pull together the team and work hard and realize it. That’s really what today is. Today is a celebration of the work of everybody who’s here.”

Up until now, Virginia focused heavily on the defense contracting industry for economic growth. Where Virginia hasn’t been as aggressive, Jones said, was in building the ecosystem needed for the small businesses and entrepreneurs who create the jobs that transform an economy.

That changed with the Community Business Launch program that fueled Launch Gloucester, inspiring “local communities coming together as a team helping the Crystal’s of the world realize their entrepreneurial dreams,” Jones said.

Now back to the numbers.

Burton was among 43 total applicants to the Launch Gloucester contest. Eighteen entrepreneurs were accepted to the program to build their business plans. Ten completed the program and six moved forward in opening their businesses.

Nearly 10 businesses total will open along Gloucester’s Main Street by the end of the year, spurred and inspired by the energy created from the contest.

“The proof is in the pudding,” Crittenden said. “The program works.”

About the Launch Gloucester Program

The contest, fueled by a $100,000 grant from the state and an additional $100,000 from local groups and businesses, awarded the winning businesses a grand total of over $95,000 in goods, services and start-up capital to launch their business on Main Street in the Gloucester Village.

In addition to the bakery and café, Launch Gloucester specifically helped fund the start up of a pet boutique, a village blacksmith and a kitchen with a juice bar.

The Launch Gloucester program was one of three in the state. The program was administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and locally overseen by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association.

In Gloucester, additional funding, support and value of the program came thanks to regional business support, the Gloucester Board of Supervisors, the Gloucester Economic Development Authority and the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce.

Ribbon Cuttings and Secretary Jones’ Visit To Gloucester

As part of the terms of the competition, the businesses were required to open in September, thus the exciting flurry of new businesses cutting ribbons this month and prompting Jones’ visit.

In addition to helping Burton cut the ribbon to her new bakery and café, Jones visited three other Launch Gloucester winners, including Karin Fary’s The Nines Pet Boutique and Photography, George Cramer’s Village Blacksmith and Lorraine Walsh and Rachel Cuba’s Good Life Kitchen, which also features a juice and smoothie bar.

“Small business is the backbone of communities around the Commonwealth,” Jones said earlier this year. “They provide jobs, they provide talent, and they end up leading our civic organizations and help our children to pursue their dreams.”

After his visit to Gloucester, he said simply, “it all begins in places like Gloucester. And I’ll be back.

User StephState Secretary of Trade and Commerce Visits Gloucester Main Street, Helps Launch New Businesses

Launch Gloucester Award Recipients Plan Grand Opening Celebrations

A bakery and café, a pet boutique, a village blacksmith and a kitchen with a juice bar will be the newest businesses residents along Historic Main Street in Gloucester this fall thanks to Launch Gloucester.

The business owners were part of the Launch Gloucester program, an entrepreneur contest sponsored by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe that awarded the winning businesses a grand total of over $95,000 in goods, services and start-up capital to launch their business on Main Street in the Gloucester Village.

“The new businesses will help make Gloucester Village a destination to live, work, and play while increasing economic activity,” said Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust.

The Launch Gloucester program was one of three in the state as part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch initiative and empowered entrepreneurs with the tools they needed to launch their businesses in Gloucester, Va., creating jobs and fulfilling dreams. The program was administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and locally overseen by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association.

Additional funding, support and value of the program in Gloucester came thanks to regional business support, the Gloucester Board of Supervisors, the Gloucester Economic Development Authority and the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce.

As part of the terms of the competition, the businesses were required to open in September, thus the exciting flurry of new businesses cutting ribbons this month.

The first-place winner, Crystal Burton of Sweet Tooth Parlor and Café, is holding a grand opening celebration on Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. As the Launch Gloucester winner, Burton secured a prize package valued at $48,000, including $20,000 in start-up capital, $1,800 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package worth $19,000.

Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery is located at 6655 Main Street in Gloucester. To mark the occasion, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones will help cut the ribbon.

Event guests will enjoy a complimentary mini-cupcake with each meal purchase and t-shirts will be given away throughout the day.

Karin Fary, Owner of The Nines Pet Boutique and Photography, won second place in the contest. Through the program, The Nines secured a prize package valued at $30,000 to include $10,000 in start-up capital, $1,200 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package worth $13,000.

Fary is opening her doors to welcome furry friends and neighbors on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. The boutique is located at 6582 Main Street. The first 30 customers welcomed into the store during the grand opening will receive a special gift from The Nines team.

Two businesses, the Village Blacksmith and Good Life Kitchen, were the co-recipients of the $18,000 third-place award. It included $5,000 in capital, $600 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package valued at more than $9,000.

George Cramer’s shop, the Village Blacksmith, will feature custom metal work, blacksmithing, bladesmithing, reproduction, restoration, repair, welding, fabrication training and consulting on low- to high-end custom metal work. Cramer is planning a soft opening date for Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. This will include a forge lighting ceremony. The shop is located at 6641 Gloucester Street.

The Good Life Kitchen, run by Lorraine Walsh, is planning a grand opening for Oct. 7. Walsh’s business will marry her passion for food and cooking with hospitality and healthy foods. She will offer home-style foods that are healthy and feature organic and pesticide-free ingredients.

The Good Life Kitchen hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The grand opening celebration will be held Oct. 7 and she is offering 25% off all day.

She is joined by Rachel Cuba, another Launch Gloucester participant. Cuba will sell juices and smoothies and “grab and go” breakfast items.

Good Life Kitchen is located at 6558 Main Street in the rear of the Morgan Building.

For more information about the Virginia Community Business Launch, visit http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov. To learn more about the Gloucester Main Street Association, visit http://www.gloucestervillage.com or follow the group on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust, visit http://www.mspt.org.

User StephLaunch Gloucester Award Recipients Plan Grand Opening Celebrations

Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery Gearing Up For Grand Opening Celebration September 25

Main Street in Gloucester Village is about to get a little sweeter – and more savory, too.

Launch Gloucester winner Crystal Burton will open Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery on Sept. 25, becoming the first business in Gloucester to open after winning nearly $50,000 in start up capital and prizes during an entrepreneur contest sponsored by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery, located at 6655 Main Street in Gloucester, will host a grand opening celebration at its Sept. 25 launch from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To mark the occasion, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones will help cut the ribbon.

“Small business is the backbone of communities around the Commonwealth,” Jones said. “They provide jobs, they provide talent, and they end up leading our civic organizations and help our children to pursue their dreams.”

Burton said she’s humbled that Jones will attend her grand opening.

“I think I’m most excited about the grand opening because we’re going to do some really cool things and make it up to be a cool, fun day that introduces the business,” she said.

Event guests will enjoy a complimentary mini-cupcake with each meal purchase and t-shirts will be given away throughout the day.

Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery is the first place winner as part of the Launch Gloucester program to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses. Launch Gloucester was one of three communities who won a $100,000 grant to host an entrepreneur contest with McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch Initiative.

The program was administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust served as the local overseer of the grant in Gloucester. A total of four new businesses will open on Main Street this month as part of the program.

As the Launch Gloucester winner, Sweet Tooth secured a prize package valued at $48,000. Her package included $20,000 in start-up capital, $1,800 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package worth $19,000.

Specializing in vegetarian, gluten free, low carb and healthy choices, the café is taking a farm-to-table approach with as many goods as possible grown and bought locally. The menu features classic and grilled sandwiches, wraps, customizable salads and seasonal soups.

Burton is offering an array of “made from scratch” desserts including warm cinnamon rolls, specialty cheesecakes, our signature banana pudding, cakes and cupcakes, all with natural gourmet ingredients. Additionally, Burton will continue offering the custom cakes and cupcakes she is known for. Customers can also order from Burton’s boxed lunches with free delivery to Main Street businesses.

Burton is no stranger to business on Gloucester’s Main Street, with Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery representing an expansion of a business she started seven years ago when she started baking cakes out of her home. Her business grew quickly, so she combined a lease with a fellow business owner and sold cupcakes at a small shop on Main Street. When the opportunity arose earlier this year to compete for start up capital through the Launch Gloucester program, Burton applied and landed first place in the program.

Burton is proud to be among so many successful businesses along Main Street.

“I love the relationships that I have with all of the other businesses,” Burton said. “We all kind of collaborate really well and I feel like I fit in. I like it being this little town that people drive through, and to me that’s kind of where bakeries stand out.”

For media inquires or questions about the event, call 804.824.9898. To learn more about Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery, visit http://sweettoothcafeandbakery.com.

User StephSweet Tooth Café and Bakery Gearing Up For Grand Opening Celebration September 25

The Nines Pet Boutique To Celebrate Grand Opening September 26 In The Gloucester Village

GLOUCESTER, Va. – The Nines Pet Boutique will open its doors on Main Street in Gloucester to furry friends and neighbors on Sept. 26, becoming the second business to launch as part of an entrepreneur contest sponsored by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The Nines Pet Boutique is located at 6582 Main Street in Historic Gloucester Village, with a grand opening celebration planned from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. The first 30 customers welcomed into the store during the grand opening will receive a special gift from owner Karin Fary and The Nines team.

Fary’s business is the second-place winner as part of the Launch Gloucester program, one of the three in the state that’s part of McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch Initiative. Through the program, The Nines secured a prize package valued at $30,000 to include $10,000 in start-up capital, $1,200 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package worth $13,000.

The program was administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust served as the local overseer of the grant in Gloucester. A total of five new businesses will open on Main Street this month as part of the program.

The Nines will offer upscale clothing and accessories, collars and leashes, toys, bedding, grooming supplies, and nutrition products for your canine and feline companion. In addition, the Nines will offer pet lovers breed-specific merchandise to include housewares, clothing, and other accessories as well as photography services.

“My goal with the business is to enrich the human-animal bond by providing pet owners a specialty boutique to pamper canine and feline companions, as well as create treasured memories through photography,” Fary said.

Fary’s vision for her business is a place where pet lovers can treat their companions and find products locally rather than online.

Pet photography will be offered and within two to five years she hopes to expand to pet grooming, training and wellness coaching.

With 24 years in the veterinary medical field, Fary has extensive experience with pets. She’s also a co-founder of the “Giving Garden Foundation,” which assists cancer patients in Gloucester and Mathews and has distributed $70,000 in assistance since it’s founding in 2008.

A love of Gloucester and the local shops and a desire to be a part of the community inspired Fary to compete for the start-up capital in the Launch Gloucester program.

“We love Gloucester, the local shops and restaurants and what they do for our community and we really want to be a part of that,” said Fary.

For media inquiries or to learn more about The Nines Pet Boutique, call 804.824.9625, email info@theninespetboutique.com, or visit www.theninespetboutique.com.

The Nines hours of operation will be Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 6 p.m. Photography services are available by appointment only.

User StephThe Nines Pet Boutique To Celebrate Grand Opening September 26 In The Gloucester Village

Launch Gloucester Winners Move Forward With Business Plans: June 2015 Update

It’s safe to say that the winners of the Launch Gloucester program have been busy. Really busy.

The three winners were among 10 businesses whittled down from an original field that exceeded 40 when the program began last year. The entrepreneurs vied for a combined value of $95,000 in goods, services and start-up capital to launch their business on Main Street.

And now, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

The Launch Gloucester program was one of three in the state that are part of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch initiative. The Launch Gloucester program is overseen by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and the Gloucester Main Street Association.

As part of the terms of the competition, the businesses must open in September, leaving just three months to complete all the necessary paperwork, hiring, location scouting and ordering.

Here’s an update on where they are in a month after earning their winnings!

First Place Winner, Sweet Tooth Parlor & Café

Crystal Burton, the first-place winner who secured a prize packaged of more than $48,000, has been working non-stop to make sure everything will be perfect at opening, she said.

Her business, “Sweet Tooth Parlor & Cafe,” will offer fresh baked breads, cinnamon rolls, pastries, soups, salads and café sandwiches.

“I really am going to strive to give customers the best product,” she said. “We’ll have the best atmosphere and the best customer service, and will serve affordable, fresh foods.

And one thing she’s really looking forward to? The grand opening.

“I think I’m most excited about the opening because we’re going to do some really cool things and make it up to be a cool, fun day that introduces the business,” she said.

Sweet Tooth Parlor will be located at 6604 Main Street in Gloucester Courthouse.

Second Place Winner, The Nines Pet Boutique and Photography

The second place winner, Karin Fary of “The Nines Pet Boutique and Photography,” will open her business to include stylish clothing, accessories, collars and leashes for pets, as well as pet photography services.

Since learning she won second place, Fary has been busy finalizing her lease, meeting with the marketing team and designing her floor plan. She and her husband have also been doing a photography apprenticeship to advance their skills to be able to offer high-quality photography to their clients.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m so fortunate that Launch Gloucester has prepared us with a plan and timeline,” she said. “Everything is written, I just have to follow it through.”

The Nines Pet Boutique and Photography will be located at 6584 Main Street in Gloucester Courthouse.

Third Place Winner, Essential Wellness and Bodywork

Jill Reece and Ginger Platsis walked away as third place winners and are working towards opening “Essential Wellness and Bodywork,” which will offer massage and holistic wellness services. It’s about healing and wellness, from the inside out.

“Lately we’ve been integrating online scheduling software, writing contracts, closing on our space and making sure we have all the service providers needed to make this happen,” said Platsis.

Their business will support the balance of body, mind and spirit through exceptional service and a variety of products and workshops that advocate wellness.

“Of course it’s been really time consuming, but watching it all come to fruition will incredibly be satisfying,” she said.

And for Platsis and Reece, it’s all coming together quickly. The two recently signed the lease for their new space and will move on July 1, well ahead of the September deadline.

Essential Wellness and Bodywork will be located at 6506 Main Street in Gloucester Courthouse.

User StephLaunch Gloucester Winners Move Forward With Business Plans: June 2015 Update

Launch Gloucester awards more than $95,000 in prizes to three new or expanding Main Street businesses

Local foundation awards $5,000 to a fourth business.

A bakery and cafe, a business catering to pets and pet owners and a massage and wellness clinic will be the newest businesses to open or expand on Main Street following Tuesday night’s Launch Gloucester awards ceremony.

Participants in the entrepreneur contest that launched earlier this year also got a surprise element Tuesday night when when the Cook Foundation granted a $5,000 award to the sole business in the competition with an arts component.

The three winners, and the fourth that won the Cook Foundation prize, were among 10 businesses whittled down from an original field that exceeded 40 when Launch Gloucester got under way last year. The entrepreneurs vied for a combined value of $95,000 in goods, services and start-up capital to launch a business on Main Street.

The businesses are on a schedule to open in September, although at least one tandem of business owners said they will be ready to open sooner.

The Launch Gloucester program was one of three in the state that are part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch initiative. The Launch Gloucester program is overseen by the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association.

Crystal Burton secured a first-place prize valued at more than $48,000. This includes $20,000 in capital, $1,800 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package worth $19,000. In addition, Burton will receive a 60-second commercial and a grand opening party.

Burton operates the Sweet Tooth Parlor in the current Wild Rabbit Cafe and plans to expand her business into a full bakery and cafe. Specializing in vegetarian, gluten free, low carb and healthy choices, Burton said she will have something for everyone.

Burton plans to take a farm to table approach and buy goods locally, such as eggs, fruits and vegetables, and use them in her recipes. She not only wants to make her meals as fresh as possible, but also wants to support local farmers in the area.

Her café menu will include items such as sourdough bread bowls, seasonal soups, sandwiches and customizable salads, all made from scratch. Burton will also offer a boxed lunch service with free delivery to Main Street businesses.

When she was announced as the winner, Burton said she went through a range of emotions: “Shocked, surprised, excited.”

Add stunned. “I didn’t know it was my name,” Burton said. “I had to think about it. Then I started crying my eyes out.”

Karin Fary won the second-place prize valued at more than $30,000, which includes $10,000 in capital, $1,200 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package valued at $13,000.

Fary will open a business offering stylish clothing, accessories, collars and leashes for pets called “The Nines Pet Boutique and Photography”. The business will offer pet photography and several products such as grooming supplies, organic treats and cat and dog products.

When her name was called, Fary said it was surreal. “I realized I won something,” she said. “I’m ready to go.”

Jill Reece and Ginger Platsis were the third-place winners for their business to be called “Essential Wellness and Bodywork.” Reece and Platsis are already operating just off of Main Street but will be moving onto Main Street.

Their prize is valued at more than $18,000 and includes $5,000 in capital, $600 in rent and utility abatement and a marketing and communications package valued at more than $9,000.

Reece and Platsis intend to touch lives from the inside out, offering massage and holistic wellness services. Platsis said she was happy and amazed they won. Reece said they intend to open before September.

“We know we’re moving forward and to have the support makes it more accessible,” she said.

In addition to the awards, each winner will receive one-year memberships to the Gloucester Main Street Association, business resources and continued education from Margie Johnson of ShopTalk, who coordinated the eight weeks of business classes for the Launch Gloucester group. The winners will also receive priority status with the Gloucester Revolving Loan Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

George Cramer, operating “The Village Blacksmith,” received a $5,000 prize from the Cook Foundation prize for a business with an arts element. Cramer’s business will provide custom metal work, blacksmithing, bladesmithing, reproduction, restoration, repair, welding, fabrication training and consulting on low- to high-end custom metal work.

Jenny Crittenden, Executive Director of Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust, said the new businesses will help make Gloucester Village a destination to live, work, and play while increasing economic activity.

For more information about the Launch Gloucester program, and to learn more about the entrepreneur training they participated in for eight weeks, the judges who heard the business plans and ideas and the event’s partners, visit www.LaunchGloucester.com. Also read more on each business idea that was part of the program.

User StephLaunch Gloucester awards more than $95,000 in prizes to three new or expanding Main Street businesses