Local Entrepreneurs’ Proudest Moments

Born from our passion to connect with like-minded small business owners, our R&A Business Spotlight has given us the opportunity to learn from thriving local entrepreneurs in the community.

Along the way, some of the entrepreneurs have shared their proudest moments with us — each uniquely profound and motivating. We have recapped their highlights for you in hopes that you will find inspiration and courage from their experiences to instill into your next endeavor.

Local Entrepreneurs Proudest Moments

Bay Local: Adrian and Whitney Colaprete

When asked about their proudest moment while owning a business, Adrian and Whitney are quick to share the same sentiment: Raising their daughter, Teal, and being able to spend time together, slow down, and prioritize family.

“It’s so easy to get wrapped up in it. Prior to having Teal, we were living in our roles within the restaurant and barely coming up for air, but as the business has grown, we’ve been able to enjoy one another and our family more,” Whitney tells us.

Adrian continues, “You learn to step back, find the right balance, and trust the team you’ve put in place. Honestly, this team is what creates our success. They’re responsible for it. We put the tools in front of them to do it, but they’re the heart of the business.”

Bay Local Eatery


Corner Gallery: Anne Temple Smith

“I am most proud that I did not quit when things got really hard. I have kept a business journal over the last four years and so many times, the conclusion would just become, ‘I am not going to give up yet.’”

Anne adds, “I have also been able to build really sound relationships with those around me, which absolutely pays off. It takes time, but I totally get why people say that is such an important part of being a business owner.”


Bobo’s Fine Chicken: Bo Midgett

“It’s hard to describe that feeling of finally seeing it all come together and being in operation. It also feels good to know there’s really nowhere else that offers what we do around here,” Bo adds.

Bobo's Fried Chicken


Spruce Home + Design: Allison Whitmore

“When someone tells me that I helped make their house a home, that’s the biggest compliment I could ever receive because to me, your home is your sanctuary.” Allison continues, “I know it sounds cliché, but if you pursue a career related to something that you are passionate about and truly believe in, you’ll find success and fulfillment.”


The Annex Collaborative Studio: Megan Hogan

When asked what her proudest moment owning her business has been, Megan is quick to point to the two 2018 CoVa Biz Best of Business (BOB) award plaques perfectly displayed on the nearby pegboard.

The Annex was also recently awarded a city grant for the forthcoming painting of a large mural. Megan is proud that through such a detailed financial process, she can report that there are no other loans or investors involved. “We’re doing this all on our own with real money!” Megan laughs.

The Annex


80/20 Burger Bar: Jamie Summs

“Local economies can’t survive without support from other local businesses,” states Jamie Summs, co-owner of 80/20 Burger Bar. “When we started, we wanted to do something we can be proud of, that has an influence in our community and for us that starts by partnering with local farms.”


Four Eleven York: Malia Paasch

“Right now, I’m most looking forward to the Inn officially being open, taking people on tours, and hosting an Open House for the neighbors,” Malia says with a confident enthusiasm.

Four Eleven York


Method Infrared Sauna & Wellness: Debralee Letchford

Sarah says, “Despite the everyday challenges, there have been a few proudest moments for me. Definitely the day of our official opening and seeing so many people come out to support our event. Hitting goals we’ve set since opening feels good, too, and of course, the feeling of pride in talking to and helping the people that come into our space. Those moments of connection and sharing in each other’s journey to better health is really my favorite part of it all.”

Method Sauna


Lorak Jewelry: Anna Lorich Akers

“Despite the natural challenges involved, I am proud to make a living off of my ideas and hard work. That’s very fulfilling,” says Anna.


STAY by Cori Samuel: Sam and Cori Werrell

“We’d psyched ourselves out of even applying to the Selden Market. But then, while checking my email during a conference at our church, we received an email from Selden’s Director, encouraging us to apply based on referrals she’d received. We then jumped at the opportunity. When we later found out we got in, we were on cloud 9 for weeks,” Cori recounts.

“We really felt like it was a door that God had opened for us,” Sam adds.



Wandering Petal: Nicole Turkenkopf

“The year after my first wedding season was definitely my proudest moment. It allowed me to realize that I could do this and it felt so good to know that my brides and clients were happy. Weddings can be a lot of pressure and I proved to myself that I could handle it,” Nicole expressed.

Wandering Petal


We hope this collection of proud moments have left you feeling encouraged and motivated to set out and accomplish your next feat. We’d love to hear your proudest entrepreneurial moment. Share it with us in the reply box below!

-The R&A Team

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