Author: Shelley Basinger

DAUGHTERS AND SONS PIZZA

Jason Arbusto is rolling in dough at his newly opened Daughters and Sons Pizza. Both literally (we’ll explain their unique dough-making process in a moment) and figuratively, as the restaurant is celebrating a ton of success in an area that’s finally seeing revitalization—the Fifth Street corridor. Arbusto, formerly the head chef at the Manor House at Locust Thicket (now the Stone Hearth & Manor House Kitchen), says he was the city’s first building permit of 2018. In three months, 522 Fifth Street was transformed from a run-down space into a renovated pizzeria. “We did quite a bit of work...

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EDITOR’S LETTER JUNE/JULY 2018

My favorite type of beer is anything stout. The darker, the better. (Although I haven’t sipped on one in seven months due to the impending arrival of our second child.) My husband—he’s an IPA guy. The hoppier, the better. My Lynchburg Business art director— you’ll often find him ordering a red ale. The roastier, the better. Odds are you are voicing your craft beer opinion in your head right now. “Shelley—stouts? Really?” or “Her art director sounds like a guy I’d get along with.” Craft beer has that way about it, doesn’t it? In recent years, it’s become a...

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Food Truck Thursdays

Your midday solution? Food Truck Thursdays. Starting April 5, every Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., make Miller Park a weekly lunchtime destination with your co-workers. It’s tough to spend those warm, beautiful days in the office. Be honest—you’ve been there: Longingly staring out the window just waiting for 5 p.m. so you can enjoy some time outside with family or an al fresco meal with friends before the sun goes down. “You can break up the monotony of lunch choices, while developing a sense of community,” said Maggie Mace, Recreation Services Manager at Lynchburg Parks and Rec....

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Editor’s Letter April/May 2018

If you’ve ever sold a home, you’ve heard this little phrase thrown around before: curb appeal. Maybe your realtor suggested you “boost curb appeal” with a fresh coat of paint on the front door or possibly said your house has “great curb appeal” because of your landscaping. What curb appeal is, in a nutshell, is the first impression a potential buyer forms the moment they pull up in front of your property. It can make or break a sale. And in the business world, first impressions are just as important. From a supervisor who is searching for the right...

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La Villa Italian Restaurant

The Experience If anyone can say they run a true Italian restaurant in Lynchburg, it’s Michele DiGiovanni. “Our cooks are all Italians. They come straight from Italy and make 90 percent of our food right when you order it,” he explains. Not only that, but serving authentic Italian food is in his blood. DiGiovanni was born and raised in Italy—most of his family still lives there. He moved to the United States when he was 16 and met his wife in Delaware, where they owned a couple of restaurants before turning their sights to piece of property in Lynchburg....

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Isabella’s Italian Trattoria

What to Expect: House made Italian favorites, sophisticated setting, no detail overlooked The Experience: Anyone in the restaurant business will tell you—starting your own, and keeping it afloat, is tough work. The locally-owned places come and go in the Hill City, but there are some with true staying power. Isabella’s, now in its 18th year, is one of them. “Our first 9.5 years were on Old Forest Road, and we have spent 8.5 in the Boonsboro Shopping Center,” says owner Cheri Barauskas. The restaurant’s incredible attention to detail is one big reason Lynchburg locals have been faithful—little touches such...

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Editor’s Letter August/September 2017

A glimpse behind-the-scenes: As we worked to create guidelines for our 2017 Millennials on the Move campaign, I sat in front of my computer one day to determine the appropriate age cutoff for this generation (which became the largest generation in the workforce in 2015). It wasn’t a simple Google search. Here are just a few dates I found: Pew Research Center – born after 1980 The Center for Generational Kinetics – born between 1977-1995 Iconoclast (consumer research firm) – born after 1978 Surprised that someone as old as 40 could technically be considered a part of the millennial generation? I was too. That goes against the typical “mental picture” or stereotype of a millennial (an entitled 20-something, standing in line at Starbucks, sending a selfie on Snapchat). Another interesting piece of information that goes against what you may have assumed about millennials is, according to The Center for Generational Kinetics, their biggest strength is passion. Meaning, they don’t want to just clock in and out—they want to make a difference. You’ll find just a hint of that passion starting on page 31 when you read about our 2017 Millennials on the Move. Due to the differing dates you saw above, we decided anyone under 40 could be nominated for this honor. Then, a panel of judges helped choose this year’s exceptional group of 25 young professionals. You won’t...

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Fire and Hops Taphouse

What to Expect Elevated pub fare in a bright and airy neighborhood restaurant The Experience Fire and Hops Taphouse opened its doors in April, adding another dining spot to the Wyndhurst community. This area boasts a unique downtown-like vibe; street parking is available within walking distance of the restaurant’s front doors, and you’ll see people strolling by on the spacious sidewalks. Inside, the exposed ductwork and modern furniture and decor choices set a classy, but comfortable, tone for your visit. There are lots of windows letting in natural light, which is refreshing for your lunch hour. “We’re kind of...

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Charley’s Restaurant

What to Expect: Traditional dishes served with TLC The Experience Before you even get a menu, you’ll be glad you chose to grab a bite to eat at Charley’s Restaurant. After being cramped in an office all morning or staring at a computer, the two-story, bright atrium is the perfect place to relax and refuel between meetings. Formally located in River Ridge Mall, owners Rob and MJ Pearson moved the restaurant to its Graves Mill Road location in 1996. Since then, they’ve continued building this business that operates more like a big family. “There is a lot of longevity...

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Trio Brick Oven Eatery

What to Expect Your favorite comfort foods in a casual atmosphere (with a modern twist) The Experience Located in the heart of Forest on Route 221, Trio Brick Oven Eatery is one of the newer restaurants to join the up-and-coming area. And since it opened in May 2015, the place has stayed busy from lunchtime through Happy Hour and beyond. While on the outside, you may dismiss Trio for being “just another business” in a strip mall, once inside, you will be truly impressed. From the hardwood floors to the modern décor, you will feel like you are in...

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Editor’s Letter April/May 2017

You’ve likely heard “The Tale of Three Bricklayers” before, in some variation or another. When asked what they were doing, the first bricklayer said, “I’m laying bricks,” the second one answered, “I’m putting up a wall,” and the third said with pride, “I’m building a cathedral.” The moral of the story is about the power of a positive attitude and focusing on the big picture—especially in your place of work. Do you feel like you are just “laying bricks” every day at your job? Or are you proudly “building a cathedral” with your co-workers? While the burden of this outlook does fall on the employee, I believe the employer also plays a huge role in making sure there are more “cathedral builders” than “bricklayers” in their workforce. In this issue for our 2nd Annual Best Places to Work on page 28, we are profiling 15 businesses who were nominated by their employees as being a place where they “build cathedrals” so to speak. From team building to community development and beyond, read what each business is doing to make their workplace among the “best” in the region. We are also taking an in-depth look at company culture. On page 40, find out some of the secrets of being a place where everyone wants to work. And our Human Resource columnist Colleen McLaughlin focuses on how negativity can impact your...

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Editor’s Letter Feb/March 2017

I love a good underdog story—it’s such an uplifting feeling to root for “the little guy” as he goes up against the odds, wins the big fight or beats the undefeated team. In our economy, small businesses are the underdogs. Their founders and owners are, many times, putting everything on the line to pursue their life-long dream. And it’s a tough road to take. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) says about half will survive five years or longer and only a third will make it past the 10-year mark. But small businesses are worth rooting for. The SBA also says between 1992 until the third quarter of 2013, small businesses accounted for 63.3 percent of net new jobs. In this issue, we are honored to bring you our 3rd Annual Small Businesses on the Rise feature. The nine, local small businesses we chose are unique, offering different services, products and skills to our local community. But they have one thing in common—a passion that, so far, is setting their business apart from the rest. From building expansions to major new contracts, read about their successes starting on page 24. Also, in our Legal department on page 35, two attorneys from Woods Rogers highlight a legal checklist every potential owner should use before launching their small business. While it’s easy for businesses to focus on staying out of the...

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Editor’s Letter Dec/Jan 2017

For a very fleeting moment during my college years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I wanted to be a lawyer. Although I fell more in love with journalism, I’ve always had an admiration for the legal profession. And after working for a decade as news reporter in this area (and being inside the courtroom for plenty of cases), I gained a lot of respect for lawyers too. More often than not, when you need to find a lawyer, it’s not for something good. From divorce to bankruptcy, lawyers are there to help people and businesses through some of their most difficult times by navigating through a very complex system of paperwork and/or court appearances. If that time comes for you, who do you call? Do you Google “lawyers in Lynchburg” or just rely on your friend’s experience with his or her lawyer? Lynchburg Business is kicking of a brand new campaign to help you get a jump start: Top Lawyers of Greater Lynchburg 2016. Lynchburg Business contracted a company called DataJoe to do a peer-to-peer survey; lawyers in the region were asked to nominate each other for this contest. Starting on page 21, find out who received the most nominations to become this year’s Top Lawyer and see the full list of lawyers in over 30 specialties. This section also includes an in-depth look at...

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The Briar Patch

What to Expect: A homemade meal, cozy setting, friendly service. The Experience: If you always stay on the beaten path of Lynchburg’s restaurant scene, you may want to consider veering off to The Briar Patch in Amherst, located 15-20 minutes from downtown. This family-owned establishment has been a place “Where Friends Meet” for decades. The restaurant was built in 1948; Joan Lingerfelt bought it in 1986. “It’s just comfortable. People love the décor…the wood makes it feel cozy,” said Lingerfelt. Also adding to the comfortable experience—the Briar Patch servers and staff. “I get a lot of great comments on...

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Editor’s Letter Dec/Jan 2015-2016

When I was a sophomore in high school, our teacher tasked us with the arduous chore of reading in its entirety The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Between the colonial language and small font, many of my classmates never made it through. I, however, for some strange reason, was taken with the audacity Franklin displayed. He seemed bent on the attainment of moral perfection and shared in detail his methods for doing so. But even Franklin eventually realized the futility of such a goal and decided instead to appreciate the improvements he made despite never achieving “perfection.” And that’s the real lesson, isn’t it? Improvement is the goal, not perfection. In looking ahead to 2016, there is much to consider. On a local front, we wanted to provide a number of resources that can assist you in working towards both personal and professional improvements. I would suggest starting with our regional economic forecast on page 18 where several local experts share their observations on where the region is headed—the good and the challenging. Then, turn to page 34 where regional leaders offer insight on coming developments for the Greater Lynchburg community. Finally, our annual construction focus brings us an in-depth look at the commercial market, along with a “cheat sheet” of real estate resources, courtesy of resident commercial real estate expert Billy Hansen. G In terms of business ownership, who...

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