Small Business Week: Boboko

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.

Small Business Week: Rocktown Kitchen

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.

Support small business for a healthier community

Remember to like, share, and repost your favorite small business on Facebook today. Many of us small business owners rely on social media as a low-cost way to market our companies. However, social media platforms are constantly changing and creating more limits on who sees posts from businesses. We don’t have the budget to create a controversy that goes viral like the big shoe companies. We struggle to find consistent interesting content that you will like and share. We work hard to be relevant and creative so you will continue to follow our page. It is hard work for sure. So, I am asking that you like, share, and repost something from a locally owned small business today.
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Social media is not all I do for marketing of course, but it may be the most important because it is your endorsement that gets me my next job. I can run ads all day, but your endorsement is what really matters. When you tell a friend that you trust me, it carries more weight than any advertisement. When you tell a friend to give me a call, it changes their perception of me. When you tell a friend to hire me, it gives me the next opportunity I have been working hard to find.
Old Trail Golf Course
Here is an example: I was called to a home last week to do an energy audit. I do them for free for anyone that wants one. The home owners were told to call me by someone who knows and supports our business. Thanks for that. They were concerned about the air quality in their home that was being prepared for a renovation. I was able to lay out the building science case for how to approach the renovation as part of the energy-audit. This gave them confirmation on research they had already done. We figured out through our conversation that they had been reading my blog in the past, but did not call me to design their renovation. They viewed the blog as a huge resource, but not enough to hire over the recommendation from a friend to hire another architect. It was the personal endorsement of one of their friends that convinced them to call me. That personal connection telling them to trust me makes all the difference. 
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The power of social media is not what I post. It is not the content I create. The power of social media is that your friends trust your recommendations. If you recommend me for a job it is highly likely that I will get the job. I am asking you to support me, but also support other locally owned small businesses on social media. Ads and marketing will only do so much. Please like, share, and repost for me or some other small business today. Please write a review online on google, facebook, or LinkedIn.
Thank you so much for your support. Reading my blog is also a great way to support my business. I really appreciate you taking time to read.
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Get to know “Harrisonburg Bikram Yoga”: Friday Featured Local Business

About Harrisonburg Bikram Yoga: Opened in February of 2013, this business is one of a new trend of health focused expansions in Downtown Harrisonburg. 


Kendall, give us some background on your company. What do you do and why do you do it? 

Bikram Yoga Harrisonburg offers yoga classes in a traditional Hatha yoga sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises performed in a room heated to 105 degrees and 40% humidity. We opened the studio with the dream of bringing the yoga series and its many healing benefits to the Harrisonburg community and surrounding areas.


Do you have an ideal client? If so, what do they look like? 

Our ideal client is human. 😉 Seriously, though, anyone can do Bikram yoga. As Bikram says, “It’s never too late, it’s never too bad, and you’re never too old or sick to start from scratch once again.” Bikram yoga gives you control over your own body and health. Anyone interested in doing that is an ideal client.

What is your favorite success story in the past few years? 

Our grand opening weekend was packed! We had lots of new and experienced yogis and they all came out with smiling, happy faces. I consider that success!

What do you like to do for fun? Favorite restaurant? Favorite place to spend a Saturday afternoon? 

When I’m not in yoga on Saturday afternoon, I love to spend my time watching movies, going for beautiful hikes, or eating good food at local restaurants like Local Chop, Clementine, or Little Grill (where I can get delicious vegan food).

What is on your (iPod, radio, phone) while you work? 

I have a Pandora station I’ve created with Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra. It comes up with some really interesting song choices. This is probably my favorite thing to listen to while I work. When I’m driving, I love “This American Life” podcasts or “Ted” talks.

What is your favorite book? 

Fahrenheit 451

What is your favorite app for your phone or iPod? 

Pinterest. I love browsing around for recipes, new ideas, and yoga posture pictures!

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

the beaches and rain-forests of Costa Rica (my husband’s country)

What historical figure would you most like to have dinner with and why? 

A toss-up between Alan Watts and Andy Warhol. Both extremely intelligent and I admire their work for different reasons. I would want to soak up the philosophy of Mr. Watts and absorb the curious creativity of Mr. Warhol.

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After Construction

Before Construction

Before Construction

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During Construction


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Get to know “Universal Design Partners”: Friday Featured Local Business

This week’s featured local business is Universal Design Partners.



About: Universal Design Partners is run by Scott and Sarah Pruett; both of whom are health care professionals who specialize in Universal design and accessibility. Their passion is helping businesses design things that are functional for the greatest amount of people.

So, Sarah, give us some background on your company. What do you do and why do it?

We both have a background in physical rehabilitation and made a decision to apply our skills in the community instead of in a clinical setting. I’m an occupational therapist and Scott is a therapeutic recreation specialist. Back in 1999 Scott was in a skiing accident, broke his neck, bruised his spinal cord, and has been using a wheelchair ever since. It wasn’t really one of those things he planned for and life changed quickly. Lesson learned: life isn’t predictable. I know we’re not alone in realizing that.

We’ve each worked with people whose lives have been turned upside down by some sort of physical issue, whether age, injury, or illness – speaking very generally here – that has affected ways they interact with nearly everything in their homes and communities, and we see tremendous opportunity to help make life easier for them.

We’ve chosen two things to focus on:

  1. Encouraging widespread use of universal design, which is about the design of things that are highly accessible and highly usable for the greatest amount of people, regardless if a health condition exists or not.
  2. Consulting with businesses and organizations to help make the things they offer more accessible and usable. Not only does this increase value of what they offer, but if enough businesses and organizations get on board with the idea of universal design, it will ultimately will make communities more “welcoming” and easier to access for people who live in them, again regardless if health-related needs exist or not.

There are places that people want to go and things people want to do on a regular basis that are more difficult than needed, simply because of the design. When things are designed well, whether a place, product, or program, all sorts of stuff in life becomes easier and less stressful. Who doesn’t want that?

Do you have an ideal client? If so, what do they look like?

Yup. We ideally want to work with businesses or organizations who are designing, building, or creating new things. This can include everything from residential homebuilding, commercial construction, product development, leisure service, and all sorts of things in-between. We want to work with clients that value the intellectual capital that we can provide as healthcare professionals to increase the functionality of their products and/or services.

What is your favorite success story in the past few years?

We love to travel; two years ago we were able to move to a small mountain town in Colorado for 4 months as Scott was finishing his graduate degree in Parks and Recreation Management. We rooted ourselves in Crested Butte while Scott worked at The Adaptive Sports Center – an outdoor adventure organization that specializes in providing opportunity for people with disabilities to participate in outdoor adventure sports. These sports, activities, or programs offer tremendous therapeutic value through increased physical skills, confidence, and other context-specific benefits. It was a wonderful change of pace and gave us the time to challenge ourselves both physically and vocationally. We also worked with local lodging providers to increase accessibility for participants of the center, and we saw firsthand that all that’s necessary to catalyze big results in people’s lives is a little problem-solving. It was rewarding personally and professionally as we saw positive changes as the result of our efforts.

What do you like to do for fun in Harrisonburg? Favorite Restaurant? Favorite place to spend a Saturday afternoon?

Well, Strite’s Donuts isn’t really a restaurant, but we live downtown and they conveniently park their donut truck within easy walking distance on Tuesdays and Thursdays; we love their hot and fresh awesomeness. Union Station and Dave’s are also downtown favorites. We enjoy getting away from the quick pace of everyday life and getting outdoors, whether taking a walk around the neighborhood or taking our Subaru or Jeep up into the mountains for a little off-road adventure. If we stay in for something low-key, it often includes Netflix, coffee, and maybe a dark craft beer. We’ve also developed some close friendships through our church community, and regular evenings with them provide entertainment and some borderline unhealthy amounts of laughter. I play volleyball once a week too.

What is on your (iPod, radio, phone) while you work?

It depends. Sometimes we need to work in silence, but usually Pandora is streaming something in the background. I typically work best with music from film scores or other classical music without words so I won’t get distracted by the lyrics and start singing. However, when doing mindless data entry you’ll probably hear either oldies, folk, contemporary bluegrass, or acappella music of all kinds coming from my computer. Scott’s music preferences are a little different from mine, but again dependent on what he’s doing. It’s typical to hear everything from acoustic folk/bluegrass/americana to bass-heavy uptempo stuff.

What is your favorite book?

I’m not a big reader these days, but I read Real Simple Magazine often. Scott’s a nerd and reads mostly non-fiction. His recent recommendations for business-related stuff are “The Personal MBA” by Josh Kauffman, “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip & Dan Heath, and the book of Proverbs from the Bible.

What is your favorite app for your phone?

Haha, other than Facebook and Pinterest? When out-of-town I use “Around Me” to locate places to eat or get gas. I’m definitely known to play several games of “Ticket To Ride” on long car trips. Scott’s are Any.Do, Buffer, Catch, and Flipboard.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

I like the mountains and the beach. My favorite trip was a Caribbean cruise (our honeymoon). Scott doesn’t have a favorite, but he’d likely gravitate to the mountains for something quiet. Or, on the total flip side, he’d suggest a road trip to a big city for a bit of culture change and entertainment.

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