Winchester café moves to final round for $50,000 grand prize

The sponsoring organization of the Independent Small Business of the Year Award, aka “The Indie,” announced Monday that the Hideaway Café in Winchester and nine other small businesses from across the country have advanced to the competition’s final 10.

The winner will be announced Wednesday at 10 a.m., based on whichever company received the most online votes during the previous round of voting.

“I high-fived everyone that I met,” said Victoria Kidd, co-owner of the Hideaway Café, after hearing her coffee shop had advanced to the final round. “I’m so grateful to all of the supporters that we have that, you know, followed this contest and voted … I’m super excited. Nervously excited. I mean I think it’s pretty great to have gone from 250 (nominees) down to 25, and now to the final stretch.”

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 transition includes moving machinery and furniture, getting the necessary inspections, and a host of other issues involved in transitioning between locations.

“All of that cost an awful lot of money, so a cash price of this nature is very helpful,” Kidd said.

The grand prize, valued at $50,000, is broken down into a $5,000 cash prize; a branding, advertising and public relations makeover; a three-day/two-night stay at a beach resort hotel in Virginia Beach; and various connections to small business groups, among other prizes.

Kidd appeared in national headlines in 2013 when she and Christy Berghoff challenged Virginia’s ban on gay marriage in federal court, a case that was one of several lawsuits that ultimately led to a landmark court decision upholding overturning a ban on gay marriage in Virginia.

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.

Of this year’s top 10 small businesses, five are from Virginia, three are from Pennsylvania, and the remaining two are from Montana and Massachusetts.