Winchester cafe fails to claim No. 1 spot in national small business competition

Despite advancing to the final 10, Winchester’s Hideaway Café failed to win Small Business of Year Award from the organization Independent We Stand (IWS). IWS announced Wednesday that Carr Hardware from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, claimed the No. 1 spot.

Victoria Kidd, co-owner of the Hideaway Café, was pleased her company made it as far as it did in the national competition.

“We’re still pretty astounded by how many people reached out to us, shared posts, tried to participate in this competition to help us get to the top 10,” Kidd said. “It’s very, very humbling, honestly, because we’re just a little, tiny business, not even in our third year yet, and here we are now — what is it — top 10 finalists for a national award.”

After the 25 quarterfinalists in the competition were selected, IWS asked people from across the country to visit their website and vote for their favorite business. Companies that received the most votes advanced to the top 10.

The Hideaway Café is in the process of transitioning from its underground location on Braddock Street to the south end of the downtown pedestrian walking mall. The national competition’s grand prize of $50,000 would have helped with the transition, Kidd said, but the café is still scheduled to open by New Year’s day.

“There can only be one winner, and I’m sure the judges made their selective choices very methodically and we accept it, and we look forward to being able to compete next year,” Kidd said.

This year marks the 7th annual nationwide Small Business of the Year Award competition conducted by Independent We Stand, a Virginia Beach-based organization devoted to encouraging people to shop small and shop local.