By Madison Fisler Lewis
Nov. 21, 2014. Last night, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a special Business After Hours event at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace in Boone. At this month’s meeting, aside from the live music provided by Almost High Standards, food provided by Red Onion, artist demonstrations and the awesome giveaways, the organization announced Boone Bike and Touring and U.S. Buildings as the winners of this year’s Business of the Year Award.
Each year, the chamber of commerce seeks nominations from the community to consider for recognition of outstanding local businesses. This year, there were so many submissions that the committee decided to give out two awards, one to a large businesss and one to a small business.
The winners were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Staying power
- Growth and number of employees
- Increase in sales and unit volume
- Innovations of products or services offered
- Response to adversity
- Evidence of contributions by nominee to community oriented projects through the use of employee time or resources
- Use of local resources
“For 35 years, people have enjoyed the selection and service of Boone Bike and Touring,” said Dan Meyer, president and CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce.
“November 2014 marks the Browns’ 10 year anniversary as Boone Bike’s shopkeepers…Congratulations to Shaw and Sarah Brown of Boone Bike and Touring – 2014 Watauga Business of the Year, sponsored by the Watauga Economic Development Commission. Homegrown is always better!”
In addition to the Business of the Year award, another business was awarded the Large Watauga Business of the Year award, which is awarded to a homegrown company which has expanded to national prominence.
“Who would have thought that a young ASU student who operated a sub shop could rise to the top?” Meyer said. “As a sophomore, he opened Yogi’s Sub Shop which operated for 14 years- selling it and then moving to the next logical step – a steel building manufacturing!”
U.S. Buildings has expanded into multiple companies including U.S. Buildings (manufacturing steel arch buildings), U.S. Chemical Storage (manufacturing safety compliant and explosive storage facilities), Commercial Real Estate, Elephant Structures (straight wall garage, barn and commercial buildings), Harmony Timberworks (dedicated to award-winning mortise and tenon manufacturing, design and construction) and U.S. Safe Rooms (above and below ground tornado shelters, bunkers and community shelters).
“Tommy Sofield has come a long way since Yogi’s Sub Shop!” said Meyer. “The Sofeilds are active members of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church and huge supporters of ASU athletics – remember the Sofield Indoor Practice Facility? Congratulations to Tommy and Debbie Sofield and family for their leadership in manufacturing in the High Country – winners of the 2014 Watauga Business of the Year Award, sponsored by the Watauga Economic Development Commission.
Photos by Ken Ketchie
Boone Bike and Touring