Raving Fans

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Won’t you be our Raving Fan?

Simply refer us one person who needs real estate services. Over 75% of our business is by referral from either friends, family, former clients, or allied resources that know what a high quality experience we provide. As our Raving Fan, we want to REWARD YOU ALL YEAR LONG and hope that you would think of our team for all your referrals year after year as well. Our goal is simple: Delight and surprise you and the people that support us.

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SHINING SOL CANDLES - Light a candle on us!

Welcome to our eighth issue of our Raving Fans Rewards Program celebrating Manassas,  an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The city borders Prince William County, and the independent city of Manassas Park, VA. It’s known for the Manassas National Battlefield Park, site of 2 major Civil War battles and a landmark stone bridge, rebuilt in 1884. The town offers wonderful museums, cultural events and a plethora of shops and restaurants.  It has a population of more than 43,000 people and there are more than 1,500 businesses.  One of the many small businesses that operate in this cute town is Shining Sol. 

Shining Sol Candle Company was founded in 2012 by award winning musician, producer, and author Pete Evick who has worked alongside music Icon and TV reality star Bret Michaels as guitarist and music director for the last 17 years. Pete had the desire to create something new and different with the timeless art of candle making.

 

Additionally, he found that he could take part in helping stimulate the American economy and contribute to the American farming industry by using soy wax as opposed to the common candle making wax known as paraffin. 

It wasn’t long after that Pete called on longtime friend Sara Rodriguez for her artistic vision and passion for unique candle ideas. Together, they quickly created a buzz in their home state of Virginia and rocked the boat in the online candle community. The demand for a stronger online marketing presence was needed as the company grew. Pete was fortunate enough to know just the guy, childhood friend Deron Blevins. Deron’s 25+ year background in graphic/web design and marketing had successfully helped turn several small businesses into multi-million dollar companies. Deron had already developed great interest in what Shining Sol was doing and joined the team. Shining Sol continued to grow to even greater levels.Shining Sol decided to launch its first brick and mortar store in the Historic Downtown district of Pete and Deron’s hometown of Manassas, Virginia. Since the store opened in 2016 it has placed in the coveted “Best Gift Shop” award (Northern Virginia region) in Virginia Living Magazine’s yearly “Best Of” issue (2017-2022) as well as “Business Of The Year” in 2018 by the City Of Manassas.  Since then, they have opened two more locations in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Their creative team works non-stop to come up with new and exciting scents and designs all while remaining a handmade product of the USA.  They also added on and off-site workshops to share their candle making techniques with anyone that wants to learn.

We hope you will check them out.  Their quality candles and friendly staff are sure to keep you coming back for more. You can read all about their company, products, services and special events by visiting https://www.shiningsol.com.  Included in this month’s package, is a scented Shining Sol candle.  With fall right around the corner, we thought it would be cozy to have the warm glow of candlelight as the cold weather sets in.  We hope you enjoy it as the days get shorter..  THANK YOU FOR BEING A RAVING FAN!

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MERRIFIELD GARDEN CENTER – Enjoy a Plant On Us!

Welcome to our seventh issue of our Raving Fans Rewards Program celebrating Merrifield, VA a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County and has a total area of 2.7 square miles. It is a convenient neighborhood between Falls Church and Fairfax and easily accessed from the Metro Orange line at the Dunn Loring/Vienna station. It has become a vibrant community with a small-town feel that makes it a prime destination for those looking for a fun trip to the area. Merrifield is home to the Mosaic District, an outdoor mall and urban village that is attracting some of the region’s most noted chefs, boutiques, and businesses. This is also the home of the Merrifield Garden Center, a staple landmark in this area for decades.

The beginnings of this business started in 1962, where Bob Warhurst and Buddy Williams formed a friendship and business partnership. As the suburbs of Northern Virginia began growing, Bob founded the Warhurst Trash Company. He observed that people were getting rid of things that weren’t necessarily trash so he opened The Tradin’ Post, where he resold the usable items he collected. Eventually, Bob decided to add plants to The Tradin’ Post product offering.

Bob found the plants he sold at The Tradin’ Post to be much more interesting and profitable than the second-hand items, subsequently opening a nursery and adding Buddy to the venture. Bob saw a huge potential in a weedy, junk-strewn lot filled with scraggly brush and abandoned, rusty cars that was next to an Exxon gas station at the very busy intersection of Lee Highway and Gallows Road in Merrifield, Virginia. On April 9, 1971, Bob and Buddy opened Merrifield Garden Center with a quaint red barn, a small store and less than an acre of plants.

Merrifield Garden Center started out incredibly small, but with the highest of standards. Their approach proved to be successful and customers began visiting from far and wide to purchase quality plants. Throughout the 1970’s, Bob and Buddy slowly expanded their business by adding more land to the original footprint in Merrifield, Virginia. Since then, Bob and Buddy have opened two additional Virginia locations in Fair Oaks and Gainesville, making their nursery business one of the largest garden center facilities in the region with state-of-the-art stores and greenhouses.

We hope you will check them out. The quality products, eco environment and friendly staff are sure to keep you coming back for all of your plant and landscaping needs. You can read more about this cool place and their products, services and events by visiting www.merrifieldgardencenter.com. With the return of spring and new life, we thought we’d share some of their lovely products with you. Included in this month’s package, is an air plant surrounded by its ornamental home that can be hung in any sunny spot. As the warm weather settles in, we hope you enjoy this bit of magical green life that spreads a lot of joy with minimal maintenance. Thank you for being a Raving Fan and part of our supportive community!

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FC DISTILLERS – Have a Drink On Us!

Welcome to our sixth issue of our Raving Fans Rewards Program celebrating the City of Falls Church, a unique and historic city just 9 miles west of Washington, D.C. Falls Church dates back to the late 1600s as an early Colonial settlement shared with Native Americans. The community was established around The Falls Church (Episcopal) that was founded in 1734. Falls Church became a township in 1875, and an independent city in 1948 with an independent municipality, separate from the surrounding Arlington and Fairfax Counties with its own school system. The City is one of the two geographically smallest cities in Virginia, at only 2.2 square miles. With a population of almost 14,000, the city is known for its urban village community, nationally ranked school system, and endless community activities. Besides featuring quick access to renowned museums and art galleries in nearby Washington, D.C., almost every neighborhood is a treasure of its own with a variety of restaurants and shops that reflect the city’s great ethnic and cultural diversity. One local hot spot is Falls Church Distillers.

Falls Church Distillers is a veteran owned, family operated craft distillery and produces a range of small batch ultra-premium spirits including vodkas, gins, rum, brandies and whiskies. And uniquely in Virginia, The Church is the only distillery that also boasts a full bar restaurant in the middle of their premises. Beyond their award winning spirits and unique house cocktails, their restaurant and bar offers a great range of dining variety and a nice selection of tap & packaged beers and small vineyard artisanal wines.

The Paluzzi family founded Falls Church Distillers with the goal of honoring their heritage by producing premium craft spirits that appeal to the senses. Michael and his oldest son, Lorenzo, opened Falls Church Distillers to follow a heritage passion. Michael grew up in the NorthEast part of the Country in a small town that was predominantly populated by Italian immigrants whose customs do not only include great food and art, but also the making of wine and liquors.

Beyond the ethnic roots, Michael has taken his lifetime of acquired business skills and experiences (including his tour in the USAF), added in Lorenzo’s chemistry knowledge, and applied them to the building of a craft spirits manufacturer.

This progression to making uniquely smooth tasting spirits is a natural and common sense one if you consider a maturing and more discerning taste, market growth bell curve, and the opportunity to enter a burgeoning market opportunity at an amazing inflection point.

We hope you will stop by and check them out. You are invited to stay awhile, enjoy a wonderful meal, plentiful and varied libations and all in the craft environment that is a small batch distillery, and listen to some live music. You can also read more about this cool place and their events by visiting www.fcdistillers.com.

With the return of small gatherings during this holiday season, we thought it festive and fun to leave you with a bottle of their popular vodka to share with family and friends. We have included a list of the FC Distiller’s favorite house drinks as well. Cheers and thank you for being a Raving Fan and part of our supportive community!

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RIVER ROAD HONEY – Sweeten Your Life On Us!

Welcome to our fifth issue of our Raving Fans Rewards Program celebrating Dickerson, a small town in Montgomery county, Maryland. It is located on MD Route 28 between Sugarloaf Mountain and the Potomac River in a community near Poolesville, MD. Dickerson was officially founded in 1871, named after its first Postmaster, William H. Dickerson, who served from 1873-1897.

One small business that has been thriving in this rural environment is River Road Honey located at 23300 River Road, Dickerson, MD 20842 within Montgomery County’s agricultural reserve adjacent to the C&O Canal towpath. River Road Honey which started in 2015 operates from a self-service box just a few feet from their beehives. In the owner Mio’s own words, “We did not start producing honey as a business but as a way to recapture taste and the flavors I missed from my parent’s farm. My nephew and I are from former Yugoslavia in a country now called Montenegro. There I was raised in the countryside on a subsistence farm without electricity or running water. My great grandfather, grandfather, father, brother and nephew all kept honeybees. Every year while I was growing up, at the end of July our family would come together and my father would select a son or two to help him bring in the honey, and we would all help harvest it and then share it with friends and family days later. I clearly remember how sweet and rich a spoonful of honey tasted.”

In 2016, they began with just two hives and an impatient curiosity to find out if their honey would taste as wonderful as the honey remembered. They felt that their location was perfect for raising bees because their farm is surrounded by woods and undeveloped land with wildflowers and plenty of fresh water, giving confidence that the bees would not be exposed significantly to pesticides or pollution. Today, the honey is flowing and the farm now has 20 hives. They were joyful to discover that the taste of the honey was unbelievably similar to the taste they remembered. Mio continues, “People often ask us what gives our honey its deep rich flavor and whether it comes from a particular flower. We respond that our bees are ‘free-range’ as they go where they wish and draw pollen from a variety of wildflowers, trees and our gardens. The honey itself is raw. It goes from the honeycomb, through a strainer and into jars. We do not process the honey in any way. Honey doesn’t need it and it lasts, perhaps, forever. No matter what is happening in the world, the honey brings joy – not only in its flavor, but as a hopeful family project.”

River Road Honey can be reached at RiverRoadBees@gmail.com or visit their self-service box at the end of their driveway.

Thank you for being a Raving Fan and part of our supportive community.

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WILD ROOTS – Boost Your Immunity On Us!

Welcome to our fourth issue of our Raving Fans Rewards Program celebrating another vibrant community on the outskirts of Northern Virginia. Sperryville, VA is located in the western section of Rappahannock County, near Shenandoah National Park.

Sperryville, VA consists of a village with two main streets along the two branches of the Thornton River, together with surrounding pasture and farmland. According to Wikipedia, “Sperryville continued as a small rural town with modest amenities until the opening of Skyline Drive in the late 1930s. The area became saturated with gasoline stations, roadside businesses, restaurants, and motels. Modern Sperryville continues to cater to tourists and locals alike, but has reinvented itself with chic restaurants, bars, artisan shops, artist studios, bed and breakfast accommodations, and antique stores. The village and its environs also have wineries, a brewery, a distillery, and a 9-hole golf course. Roadside stands have given way to family farm and community-supported agricultural markets. There is an annual Sperryfest that celebrates the vibrant community.”

Among these successful businesses in the ‘reinvented city’ is Wild Roots Apothecary. Wild Roots Apothecary makes herbal products using organic, local and sustainably wildcrafted herbs to uphold quality and are stewards of plant medicine. They believe that the energy of plants is the sacred connection to promote wellness and well-being. It is a women-owned business that supports local and regional farmers, medicine and handicraft makers and herbalists through their products and plant magic.

As we all progress through Covid, we thought it timely to introduce you to a small business whose products are made to bolster the longevity of good health through natural remedies. Enclosed is a sampling of their most popular products. Please refer to the inserts to learn more about the company and product directions. We also encourage you to visit their website at https://www.wildrootsapothecary.com to view their full array of creations and classes.

Thank you for being a Raving Fan and part of our supportive community.

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RELISH – Have a Cookie On Us!

This time around we have chosen to highlight a small business from afar but too good of a secret not to be shared. Nestled in the quiet, residential neighborhood of Provincetown’s west end on Cape Cod, MA, RELISH is a scrumptious deli and bakery. The best part of RELISH is their delectable baked goods and cookies, which are masterful works of art and almost too pretty to eat.

Owner and chef Frank Vasello, a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, infuses his considerable talent and experience into every aspect of RELISH and placing an emphasis on quality and freshness.

To kick off the holiday season, enclosed is a taste of his gorgeous individually hand-crafted iced sugar cookies. We invite you to further explore RELISH’s dizzying assortment of festive and sophisticated, small bites of sweet things, a playful symphony of color, texture, and taste custom-designed to suit your dessert buffet for all events and occasions, which are sure to delight you and your guests. Although out of state, please consider reaching out to RELISH to put in your order for these marvelous festive goodies.

You don’t have to be a local to enjoy these wonderful treats.

Visit http://www.ptownrelish.com and be sure to call for orders at 508-487-8077.

Nothing is safe from the Sweet Table!
Thank you for being part of our supportive community.

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LEBANESE TAVERNA – Have a Meal On Us!

Welcome to our second issue of our Raving Fans Rewards Program celebrating another vibrant community in Norther Virginia, Tysons Corner.

Tysons or Tysons Corner, is nestled between McLean and Vienna. Originally known as Peach Grove, Tysons was formerly a quiet rural intersection during the Civil War – centuries later it has become a modernized “mini city.” Being within the Washington Metropolitan Area, Tysons has a vibrant environment that makes it home to a plethora of successful businesses and super-regional shopping malls. Additionally, its location near the Capital Beltway, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Metro makes transportation simple and efficient. Currently, Tysons is labeled as an “edge city” as the 40-year old area has modernized with the influx of new developments and reconstruction. Many investments have been made within Tysons, as the community is full of potential and has begun to take off with many successful businesses.

Among these successful businesses and one of our favorites in the ‘edge city’ is the critically acclaimed Lebanese Taverna, established, owned and operated by the Abi-Najm family since 1979. The story has it that in 1976, Tanios and Marie Abi-Najm along with their their five young children, Dory, Dany, David, Gladys and Grace, boarded a cargo ship in the middle of the night to escape the Civil War in Lebanon. Bound for Arlington, VA, where other family members had already been living, Tanios, Marie and their children set course for their new life. In 1979, after having worked in several local restaurants, the family saved enough to purchase a humble corner restaurant in the Westover neighborhood of Arlington. Being practical, they kept the original sign, “Athenian Teverna”, but changed one word, and thus the “Lebanese Taverna” legacy was born. Now, after nearly 4 decades and numerous locations in the national capital region, the Lebanese Taverna has won the hearts and taste buds of foodies all over town, including ours. It has been recognized by numerous media outlets and publications as a staple in the local region for the very best Mediterranean cuisines.

Our efforts this time are two-fold. We wanted to help support our local business community in these financially difficult times, and also help you, our Raving Fan, with dinner plans by ordering your next meal at Lebanese Taverna. Enclosed is a gift card, which can be used at any of their 12 locations.

Visit their website at https://lebanesetaverna.com to view the options.

Thank you for being part of our supportive community.

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GREENBERRY’S COFFEE CO. – Have Coffee on Us!

Since McLean is home to the SK Group office location, we thought it only fitting to kickstart our Raving Fans Rewards program celebrating this vibrant and warm community in Northern Virginia as our feature this season. McLean is a family-friendly suburb and also home to many diplomats, businessmen, members of Congress, and high-ranking government officials partly due to its proximity to Washington, D.C. It is the location of the famous Hickory Hill, the former residence of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. Downtown McLean offers a wide variety of small businesses adding flair to this welcoming community. One such business is Greenberry’s Coffee, Ltd.

Greenberry’s Coffee Co. started in 1992 as a small coffee shop and roasting company in Charlottesville, VA. Greenberry’s has been looking for ways to distinguish themselves from your typical cookie cutter shop. They’ve never forgotten their roots. They continue to hand roast every batch of coffee and their winning combination includes great coffee, outstanding products and superlative service. The store location in McLean, VA at 6839 Redmond Dr. Is owned and operated by Sunny Ivey, a longtime McLean resident herself. Sunny’s vision and high standards of quality, she has put into practice Greenberry’s mission of creating a “home away from home” environment for people to enjoy quiet moments or fun social gatherings over great coffee.

Greenberry’s also offers a wide selection of baked goods, light food fare and other refreshments as cutting edge coffee products such as nitro and cold brew. With winter in full swing, what a better way to warm up with a cup of Greenberry’s coffee…to bring delight to even the dreariest of days. We hope you will love Greenberry’s as much as we do and meet us for a coffee there sometime.

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