1. Wind Up Bird
Fall in Love With Your Food Again
Sandra and John Fedowitz first came up with the idea for Wind Up Bird when they saw an opportunity to provide fresh, healthy lunch options to the Fredericksburg working crowd. Operating primarily as a mobile food service, they prep their food on their own and deliver to their customers.
Wind Up Bird is Fredericksburg’s “take everywhere food option.” They only use super fresh, all natural ingredients—no GMOs and low sugar. (Even their containers are 100% compostable.) They offer a variety of menu options, including sandwiches, salads, muffins, dips & spreads, crackers, vinaigrettes, pesto, cookies, and vegan dark chocolate. John’s Pimento Cheese Sandwich is a best seller. “People love it,” he says. And Sandra made the chocolate used in Red Dragon’s Imperial Stout.
“The original idea was to deliver our orders ourselves . . . on bikes,” says John. They’ve quickly moved beyond that and now partner with local breweries and coffee shops. “Our biggest successes have been selling our food at Red Dragon Brewery and Hyperion Espresso,” says Sandra. “And we sell our dips at City Vino and our vinaigrettes at Ellwood Thompson’s.” They love working with local businesses, and they shop locally, too. The couple are now expanding even more. They recently rented out a kitchen in Richmond to cater for a wedding (a truly family enterprise, John employed his sons as servers), and are looking into partnering with businesses all over Virginia.
Their mission is simple: “We want people to fall in love with their daily food.”
Contact them at facebook.com/lovewindupbird!
2. Professional Tire
One Entrepreneur Brings His Vision to the Fredericksburg Area
Mike Brown has been in the tire business for years. “It all started right after high school,” Mike says. “I went to work for a large, independent tire dealer named Les Schuab Tire Center,” where he basically did grunt work. “Sweep[ing], mopping . . . doing all the part time responsibilities that a shop needs” to run. He was promoted to Assistant Manager in 2002, and moved to Carson City, NV in 2005. With Les Schaub, Mike learned how to run a business; how to take care of customers and “just how to sell tires and get familiar with the industry.”
During a Thanksgiving discussion with his uncle, Mike brought up the possibility of joining the police force. His uncle said, “Well, I hate to see you throw twenty years of experience in the tire industry out. What do you think about doing your own store?” Mike decided right there to come back to Virginia to be close to his brother and start his own tire store.
“One of the biggest complaints in a tire store is that customers don’t want to be there,” he said. “They’re there because they have a flat tire, or they have to open their wallet to put tires on their car.”
In looking for a way to improve the experience, Mike came up with his mobile tire service. “I was looking for a way to make [it] easier,” he says. “Nobody in this area that I could find does passenger, light truck, performance, and wheels on site.” One of his most interesting jobs included changing the tires on a customer’s jeep while the customer played golf. The customer needed the tires as soon as possible because he was going on a trip.
“He said ‘I’m golfing Sunday at 7 a.m.,’ and I said, ‘I’ll be at the country club at eight.’”
When he was done changing the tires, he texted the customer, borrowed a golf cart, met him out on the fifth green, and settled up.
He fixes flats, does tire rotation and rebalancing. He even offers optional service plans. If you need new tires, just contact him at professional-tire. com or call 1-800-Pro-Tire.
3. The Wholesome Pet
Delivering High Quality, Healthy Food For Your Furry Friends
Ivey Godfrey was inspired to create her Wholesome Pet food delivery service by her own interest in healthy eating.
“I have always tried to eat healthy food myself,” she says, “So I figured why not for my dogs too? I started feeding [them] healthy food from a similar company in North Carolina when we lived in Wake Forest.”
Having her pet food delivered to her was so convenient (“and the customer service so excellent”) that she decided to start her own business using a similar model.
And thus, The Wholesome Pet food delivery service was born.
“[My husband and I] started it in 2013 by educating ourselves by researching and learning from other [pet food delivery services],” she says. “I happen to be a graphic artist so I was able to make our branding myself.”
Many pet owners tend not to consider the quality of the ingredients in the food they serve their cats and dogs. They make their purchases based on the marketing: the images on the bag or the gimmicky advertising. Unfortunately, a lot of commercial dog food “is made of corn, wheat hulls, and rotten tissue that has been colored red or green to make you think it’s made of healthy meat and vegetables.”
The Wholesome Pet delivers food that uses high quality ingredients.
“Our meats are antibiotic and hormone free,” Ivey says. “We remove the water from meats before cooking the kibble, resulting in a high quality meat meal which makes it 300% more protein dense than whole meats. Our blends are tested three times before they arrive at your door.”
In addition, their pet food contains probiotics, prebiotics, glucosamine, chondroitin, flaxseed, yucca schidigera, and plenty of vitamins from fruits and vegetables.
To ensure the greatest savings for her customers, Ivey and her husband don’t pay for big commercials or send their representatives on expensive trips to market their food.The savings are passed down to their customers, who get excellent pet food at an affordable price.
Besides, relying on word of mouth marketing works better.
“Our customers spread the word to their friends, and they tell their friends . . . and service spreads!” Ivey says.
The business has been a success, too. With a zero recall history, it offers free delivery and superb customer service. “We want our customers to say, ‘My dog loves the food, and I love the service’.”
The Wholesome Pet delivers to the Fredericksburg area on Mondays, and Richmond on Fridays. You can contact The Wholesome Pet online at wholesomepetfood.com.
4. RockIt Repair
High Tech Goes Mobile to Fix Your Broken Gear
Jim Einhorn’s interest in computers and technology started when he was in school. “I just fell in love with it,” he says. “I just started working and getting better at it.”
He became certified in Microsoft in 1999, and got his first job working for EDS (Electronic Data Systems—now bought out by HP) on a government contract as desktop support. He worked in an office with 170 employees, and “if they had any problem with their computers, they would call me.”
Jim worked for Prince William County as a contractor for twelve years doing desktop support before starting his own computer repair company. It was then that he met his business partner, Jon.
“We were trying to figure out something we could do together,” he said. “We decided to do cell phone repairs and it just took off.”
Jim and Jon started RockIt Repair in 2012. At the time, they were working out of a closet space in George Washington Executive Center. One of their customers was so impressed with their business that he offered them a lease at their current storefront on Lafayette Dr.
“Within four months, [business] took off.”
All of this experience benefited him when a customer brought in an iPad that had been nearly demolished.
“The tablet fell off the top of the car on Route 3 and sat there all night,” Jim says. “It had been run over several times before they found it. I thought ‘No chance’.”
The screen was cracked, the frame was bent, and the only thing that worked was the logic board. But he was able to repair the entire thing. It was an entire rebuild of the tablet, but “at the time it was still less expensive than buying a new one.”
Now serving 500 customers a month, RockIt Repair offers a variety of in-store and mobile technology services. They fix all of the usual problems associated with technology: cracked phone and tablet screens, malware addled desk and laptops, broken game consoles, in addition to failed network connections and data recovery.
“People have years and years of pictures and documents on their computers, and if they’re not backed up, they will lose those files,” Jim says.
The focus on customer service has paid off. RockIt Repair has won The Free Lance Star’s 2016 and 2017 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Cellphone Repair Shop in Fredericksburg, and they’ve expanded to a new storefront in Stafford. Eventually, he’d like to franchise. Even with all of that success, Jim’s main concern is with his customers.
“We love hearing how happy and grateful they are.”
Learn about their full line of services at RockitRepairs.com.
6. City Soup
Delivering Fresh Food Right to Your Door
If there’s one thing Kelly Pawlik knows how to do, it’s how to run a business. In addition to her many office administration jobs (including stints at Geico, Property Management, and the United States Post Office), she currently helps run her husband’s painting business. Having spent half a decade in the restaurant industry, she also knows food. That’s why during the holiday season of 2013, she put up a Facebook post asking if “anybody want[ed] a pie?”
“I got eleven orders from that one post,” she says. “And it took off from there.”
At first, her customers could order at any time and came by to pick up the pies from her house, but that soon became burdensome.
“I didn’t have a good system at that point,” she says. “To get [the pies] to people while they were still fresh, [and] while not interrupting my next baking schedule,” she moved to delivery.
Kelly soon found that pies, however, are time consuming and difficult to make, so being the astute business woman that she is, she changed her model from sweet to savory. It is more organic than it sounds. One day, after making too much soup, and “nobody wanted pies anymore,” and she posted a quick, “Hey anybody want some soup?”
She hasn’t looked back.
Since that point, Kelly has perfected her cooking and delivery model. First, On Thursdays, she posts the menu for the week on the City Soup Facebook Page. Orders for Tuesday deliveries must be placed by Sunday at 6 p.m. Orders for Thursday deliveries must be placed by Tuesday at 4 p.m. She cooks in between, using fresh, local, seasonal vegetables. Then on Sundays, she recycles and cleans the delivery jars, and the process starts all over again.
Even though City Soup is now much more successful than she initially intended (“I started out making ‘egg money,’ now I make slightly more than that”), Kelly is not at all interested in opening up and running a restaurant. She’s satisfied with keeping the business small and manageable.
“This is now a six day a week job, and I’d like to maintain and manage the business from my home,” she says. “I like being a small, niche business. We already own a small mom and pop. This is just a mom.”