Another day of highlighting some of our favorite small businesses, and today Deborah Smith chose to talk bout Boboko! Boboko Indonesian Cafe serves Indonesian food with a twist of Southeast Asian spices, they pride themselves on providing several delicious vegetarian and vegan options! So of course it is no surprise why it is Deborah’s (the office vegetarian) favorite! But you don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy these delicious dishes, omnivores alike can find plenty of options.
Boboko is also a favorite small business because of their unique dishes, some of Deborah’s favorites being the fried noodles and spring rolls. We of course couldn’t write a blog about Boboko without mentioning their life-changing macaroons, with several different flavor combinations and the perfect crunchy shell it is no surprise that they have become our office go-to for this french pastry. Aside from having amazing dishes and pastries, they make every customer feel at home with their welcoming staff and cozy environment.
Another bonus point to add to the long list of factors that make Boboko amazing is their food blog, Rice and Coconut, which explores several different unique recipes from spiced sesame salmon to Nutella sponge cake roll. These recipes are not only delicious but incredibly helpful for breaking down complex dishes such as macarons and cream puffs.
As a small business owner myself, I can tell you, these last 2 years have been tough. We have faced unprecedented challenges from people objecting to doing simple practices to keep us safe to figuring out how to work remotely. We have adapted, changed, pivoted, and transformed to survive. In an effort to celebrate the other businesses in our community that has faced these same challenges over the last 2 years, our team wanted to celebrate some of our favorites in Harrisonburg.
There are so many businesses in our community that I love that are owned by our neighbors and friends and they all deserve to be highlighted and supported. However, I need to pick just one for this post. I picked Rocktown Kitchen to highlight for my small business because Mira and Kristo are amazing owners, community members, and hosts. With their restaurant’s proximity to my office, I frequent them for business lunches and often will send clients to see them. Recently I sent clients over for a late lunch, not knowing the restaurant closes between lunch and dinner, and as first-time visitors, my clients were welcomed in and the kitchen was reopened to serve them. Each time I visit Mira, Kristo, Anya, and their staff I always feel welcome and enjoy incredible food and the best service anywhere.
I asked Mira about doing a post to celebrate Rocktown Kitchen and she asked me to mention Wine Down Wednesday. These special nights each week features selected wines for 1/2 off and even some for $15. While wine is not my thing, I can tell you that the wedge salad with salmon is the best I have ever had and the fried chicken sandwich is my go-to staple. In fact, I have never had a less than awesome meal at Rocktown. As a former line cook, while I was at the University of Virginia, I know how challenging it is to keep a restaurant viable, and with these difficult times, the challenge is even greater. I encourage you to visit, parking is easy across the street in the Farmer’s Market parking lot and there is outside seating for warm days and fresh air. Please tell Mira and Anya that I sent you.
The show was excellent according to Charles’s summary, saying “as always the students at EMU have shown that they have exceptional acting skills and musical talents.”
We could not be more proud to have been a sponsor of this amazing performance and thrilled to sponsor many more art-focused events such as First Friday, featuring Matty Tesch and Andrew Stronge. Supporting the arts community is a primary focus for our firm as we believe beauty in all forms builds a better community for all.
While you might have missed out on viewing this season’s performance, community members know to expect another amazing theatre experience next year featuring Eastern Mennonite University’s talented ensemble. For those yearning for an immersion in the arts, stay tuned for the upcoming EMS High School Musical, Alice in Wonderland, the SVCC Choir Christmas performance, and for those seeking a little more adventure, the Any Given Child as we root for Nathan May (who has an amazing singing voice that he will not get to use in this competition).
Books and Brews is an event that is very near and dear to our hearts and something we believe needs to be incredibly crucial not only for authors and creatives but for entire communities. This event allows authors to speak about their works and encourage community connection through reading. These past few months have been strictly digital but this upcoming November 9th event will be the return of in-person books and brews.
This event is amazing because we not only have the opportunity to support authors and local businesses but we get to support our local radio station WMRA. Supporting local radio is not only beneficial for staying up to date on community events and news but keeps us connected as members of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Public radio also doesn’t discriminate, it is a major form of media that is accessible to almost everyone. At a time when prices are rising and certain forms of media are less and less accessible, local public radio remains a key factor for inclusive connectivity.
This month the Gaines Group had the opportunity to sponsor an event very near and dear to our hearts, Noche de Salsa 2021. This event was held by the Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) featured a drive-through Latin dinner with margaritas along with a park and watch a salsa dance performance. SLI strives to create college opportunities for local Latinx students currently in high school through leadership coaching and academic mentorship. Scholars Latino Initiative also assists students financially by assisting in scholarship searches and dual enrollment programs through high school.
Since its founding in 2012 SLI has found that donation amounts have tripled allowing the program to grow and incorporate even more families into their organization. As of now, SLI has a grand total of 118 alumni that have moved through the program and continued on to higher education, their alumni have attended 21 universities such as Harvard, James Madison, Virginia Tech, and many more.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY1UYo2zDNQ
Those who attended discussed the feeling of community involvement as everyone gathered in a way that was not only safe but allowed us to feel a little bit of normalcy again. We could not be more proud of our community for coming out, having fun, and supporting SLI.
This past weekend we had the pleasure of sponsoring the 2021 Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale. This all-volunteer event attracts around 10,000 people a year and raises money for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) which works to ease a variety of issues such as oppression and poverty. The MCC also heads natural disaster response efforts and works with local organizations to distribute supplies and encourage peace throughout affected communities. Aside from sponsoring this event hundreds of people supported this effort through purchasing food, crafts, running a 5k, and participating in the auction! Did you see those quilts? Talk about beautiful!!!
Our very own architect, Deborah Smith, volunteered her time at the breakfast booth serving up omelets, Hannah and Sophie Hendricks (Charles’ girls) also volunteered, and our marketing executive, Matty Tesch supported the event by stocking up on (the world’s greatest) donuts.
We were thrilled to not only support this amazing event this year but three years prior as well!