Business

Sheetz expanding in Bristow, Manassas, Stafford

sheetz ashton avenue

The popular gas station and convenience store Sheetz is expanding in the region.

A new store at the corner Sudley Manor Drive and Ashton Avenue outside Manassas is nearly two weeks on September 18. Company spokesman Allen Stevens said the new store will have:

— Expanded inside and outside seating
— A larger selection of freshly brewed coffee and iced tea
— Ice cream
— An aisle of beverage options including many frozen beverages
— A drive through window

The Pennsylvania-based company will also begin construction on a new store at the intersection of Balls Ford and Wellington roads in Bristow. Construction will begin this month, and the store should open in March.

A Sheetz at 8504 Centreville Road in Manassas Park will also get a makeover in the coming months. Prince William County officials are reviewing plans for a new Sheetz at the intersection of Route 28 and Bristow Road, added Allen.
A new Sheetz is under construction at the intersection of Garrisonville and Furnace roads in North Stafford.

Sheetz was founded in the 1950s, and today offers low-priced gasoline and cigarettes to its customers. The chain is also known for its made-to-order food that includes submarine sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, wraps, and chicken wings.

Other Sheetz locations in the region include Dale City on Prince William Parkway and Hillendale Drive, and on Route 15 and Washington Street near I-66 in Haymarket. There are also two Sheetz locations in Fredericksburg and one in the Ferry Farm section of Stafford County.

Grab a bite at Duck Donuts in Bristow Center

A Duck Donuts location opened in Bristow this week.
They make all of their donuts fresh to order.
People lined up outside for their store opening on Monday.
They have 10 coatings and five toppings to choose from.

There’s a new donut shop in Bristow.

Larry Scherer and his business partner just opened the doors this Monday, of their first Duck Donuts franchise location at Bristow Center – on the corner of Route 28 and Linton Hall Road.

“I’ve lived in Prince William County basically my whole life, and had been looking for a business to open locally, and be a [bigger] part of the community,” said Scherer.

Duck Donuts started with their first store in Outer Banks, North Carolina, according to their website.

When looking at what business to pursue, Scherer said he chose Duck Donuts for several reasons.

“We were looking at different franchises, and we settled on Duck Donuts when we saw how popular it was, down in the Outer Banks [of North Carolina]…we knew there was a void for a breakfast spot in the Bristow area where we were looking…we really felt that Duck Donuts was young enough in it’s franchising that we could have some kind of impact on the company itself, and the operations of the company…and we love the product. The donuts speak for themselves,” said Scherer.

Duck Donuts are all vanilla cake donuts, that are made fresh to order, and come with 10 coating choices, including chocolate, maple and peanut butter, and five topping choices, according to Scherer.

“We fry all of our donuts made to order. So we don’t start frying donuts until people start ordering them…the donuts are actually fried on site – in front of your eyes. So you get a hot, fresh donut every time,” said Scherer.

According to Scherer, there will be more Duck Donuts locations in the area, in the future.

“We actually have the rights to four more franchise [locations] in the Northern Virginia area,” said Scherer.

The Bristow location is currently looking for 10 to 12 additional employees. According to Scherer, some positions require applicants to be 18 years or older, and they are currently looking for day shift workers, both full and part-time.

Principi: It will be January before we hear from Trader Joe’s

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Supervisor Frank Principi is back from his trek to Trader Joe’s HQ.

According to a release, Principi visited the niche grocery store’s headquarters in Monrovia, California, last week with a 1,700 signature petition, data and lease proposal information.

Prior to his trip, Principi met with area residents at his office, to talk about his plan to bring Trader Joe’s to Woodbridge.

Principi stated that his office will not hear back from Trader Joe’s until January 2016, according to a release.

A survey conducted by Principi’s staff showed that Woodbridge residents that visited area Trader Joe’s locations spent up to $200 a visit, stated a release.

Drive throughs proposed at Aquia, Stafford office complex

Construction is underway at the site of the North Stafford Office Complex at Garrisonville and Furnace roads.

The Stafford County Planning Commission will a series of public hearings Wednesday.

There are two proposals to bring new businesses with drive-through windows. Two are in Town Center at Aquia — a pharmacy with a drive-through window and a grocery store with a drive-through window. The second is a food store that would be built next to a new Sheetz gas station under construction at the intersection of Garrisonville and Furnace roads.

Official documents don’t provide the names of the businesses that wish to locate to Stafford. Several calls to planning commissioners in the respective districts where these new businesses would be located went unreturned.

Town Center at Aquia

A conditional use permit is required for both new businesses to have a drive-through window inside Town Center at Aquia.
The pharmacy would be located near the front of the shopping center, closest to the entrance to Route 1. A new grocery store with a drive-through window is shown next to an existing movie theater near the rear of the plaza.

A Rite Aide pharmacy already exists inside the plaza. Shoppers Food Warehouse was once located inside the shopping center when it was known as Aquia Town Center. It moved to nearby Stafford Marketplace in 2004.

Much of Aquia Town Center was demolished in the mid-2000s. All that remains of the original complex is the movie theater and Rite Aid. A 5-story office building was added in the late 2000s.

North Stafford Office Complex

Next to where a Sheetz gas station is under construction, planners must review an application for a “retail food store” that needs a drive-through window.

The proposed 42,000 square-foot development would face Garrisonville Road. Much of the front of the property would be parking spaces.
A drive-through window would be located on the east side of the building, according to documents.

The North Stafford Office Complex was rezoned from agricultural land to urban commercial land in 2004. Until construction on the gas station began this year, the site remained untouched.

Another commercial development diagonally across the Sheetz gas station location has gone widely underutilized. Aside from government offices in the rear of the development and a new fitness center, many of the storefronts in the center are empty.

The Stafford County Planning Commission will begin the public hearings at 6:30 p.m. inside the Board of Supervisors Chambers at the Stafford County Government Center located at 1300 Courthouse Road.

Dumfries barbecue joint moves to Quantico gate

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The Lazy Pig has moved from Dumfries to Triangle.

The roadside barbecue joint has been on Waters Lane in Dumfries for more than two years, but decided to expand into a bigger space on 18723 Fuller Heights Road – just outside the Quantico Marine Corps Base gate.

“We smoke all of our meats on location – brisket, pork, ribs…and we do Southern-style cuisine, as far as your collared greens. Everything we do is homemade,” said Lazy Pig owner Ken Harris.

Harris realized that as the business had grown, they didn’t have enough space to serve their customers at the Dumfries location.

“What we found is that our customer base has grown so fast…and we were actually missing just as many customers as we were servicing because of the parking and we didn’t have any inside seating,” said Harris.

The new location has 40 inside seats and 20 seats on the deck area outside.

“We wanted more space to be able to serve our customers,” Harris said.

As part of the business’ expansion, the Lazy Pig is now offering lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will soon be offering a kid’s meal, according to Harris.

Incoming Manassas trampoline park to hire 70 employees

Sky Zone Trampoline Park is coming to Manassas next month.

In advance of their September opening, Sky Zone is hosting a job fair August 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and August 22 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The job fair will taking place at the park at Sudley Manor Square Shopping center at 7807 Sudley Road in Manassas, according to a release.

More from a Sky Zone release:

Sky Zone will soar to new heights with its newest park providing local residents and visitors the perfect gravity defying experience. The all-walled trampoline courts are designed for maximum high-flying fun with popular activities such as Open Jump, offering a court of connecting trampolines where the sky is the limit, Ultimate Dodgeball, for a fresh new take on that favorite childhood game, and Sky Slam, which offers a new and innovative way to dunk a basketball. Freestyle flyers can also practice their moves as they soar into the giant 10,000 cubeFoam Zone. Sky Zone is available for every kind of outing; from birthday parties, dodgeball tournaments and fundraising events, to corporate team building and memorable class field trips. Everyone is invited to have fun, fly safe at Sky Zone!

“We are looking for team members who will to bring the excitement and energy to Sky Zone,” said Sean Knapp, owner of Sky Zone Manassas. “Sky Zone offers an unmatched, out of this world experience with the help of our dedicated team members. We look forward to bringing the Active Fun to the Manassas community.”

Habitat for Humanity bringing new jobs, ‘Restore’ to Woodbridge

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Habitat for Humanity is opening a new Habitat Restore in Woodbridge.

According to President of Habitat for Humanity Prince William County Traci DeGroat, the new store will be opened at Noblewood Plaza in Woodbridge, in a portion of the former Food Lion building.

“It actually raises funds to help us with our construction projects that we do. The Woodbridge store is just an expansion into a second location,” said DeGroat.

Habitat for Humanity has been running a successful Restore in Manassas for 11 years, according to DeGroat.

The new location in Woodbridge has been talked about for a long time, but after acquiring a special use permit from the county, Habitat for Humanity was able to move forward with the expansion.

“They require the special use permit, because we’re receiving donated materials, so they consider it a donation center,” said DeGroat.

DeGroat said that one of the motivations for opening another location, was to make it easier for residents to donate.

“We’re opening a store [in Woodbridge] to be closer to the donors on the eastern end on the county, to make it more convenient for them. Not only that, but we’re hoping to have enough profit from it to be able to improve the number of families we serve…in order to enhance our real mission, which is to provide affordable and safe housing for everyone in the community,” said DeGroat.

The store is expected to open at the end of December or beginning of January, said DeGroat. They’re also planning to hire between eight and ten employees, according to DeGroat.

Once the store is open, they will be able to take donations.

“Just like in our Manassas store, we will accept furniture, building materials, tools, household goods – anything to do with the home. Once we have that fully stocked and open, the general public is welcome to shop there,” DeGroat said. 

‘Neighborhood’ coffee shop coming to downtown Manassas

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There’s a new coffee shop coming, across from the train station in downtown Manassas.

Jirani Coffeehouse, located on 9423 West Street, is named after the Swahili word for neighborhood.

The goal for the owners is for Jirani to be a local hang out spot that’s much more than a coffee shop, according to store manager Connie Mosemak.

“We’re just people who really thought the community could use a coffee house that wouldn’t be just a coffee house – it would be a community center. It would be a place for people to gather, it would be for people to be comfortable and calm – where we’d have live music,” said Mosemak.

Mosemak said that they to offer band and open mic nights with their full stage, a projector screen for film screenings and a space in the middle of the shop called the ‘Bean Box’ that can be rented out for meetings and events.

“You have work that you go to all the time, you have home when you’re not at work – but this would be a ‘third’ space that you can feel comfortable in,” Mosemak said.

Jirani is getting their coffee from One Village Coffee, a company based out of Philadelphia, and their food from two local bakeries – Pies and Petals and Wow Bakery.

“It’s really important for us to try and support local businesses,” said Mosemak.

On the menu, they’re planning to offer a range of coffee beverages, breakfast foods, sandwiches, desserts and pastries. They’re also planning to incorporate gluten free items and organic ingredients into the menu, according to Mosemak.

Jirani Coffeehouse is set to open at the end of September.

Plato’s Closet off to good start with Woodbridge grand opening

A new Plato's Closet location opened in Woodbridge today.
The store offers trendy secondhand clothing for young men and women.
The line was almost out the door at the store this afternoon.

If you love a good deal, and you’re in Woodbridge, you’re in luck.

A new Plato’s Closet location had its grand opening at 13293 Worth Avenue, near Potomac Mills Mall, just in time for back to school shopping.

The Plato’s Closet chain, which is a secondhand clothing store for teens and young adults, has several locations in the Northern Virginia area, including one in Manassas and Fairfax, according to their website.

The store offers clothing for both men and women, and allows customers to sell their own clothes to the store. According to the Plato’s Closet, each store varies in what they will purchase, but they prefer trendy and designer clothing items.

The line was almost out the door this afternoon, with shoppers laden down with their purchases.

Could rising temperatures impact the area’s data centers?

UntitledFacebook, Google, Amazon.

Chances are these are names you know well. But what you may not know is that companies like these own large data centers across the U.S., including Northern Virginia.

Data centers, used for storage, backups and communications, use a lot of power for both powering their equipment and for keeping their facilities cool.

But a report titled ‘Risky Business’ completed by the Paulson Institute, asserts that climate change and rising temperatures – over time – will negatively impact these data centers and the electrical infrastructure.

Rising temperatures will make the infrastructure less efficient, and harder to keep the data centers cool.

There are about 25 data centers in Prince William, according to Prince William Economic Development Executive Director Jeff Kaczmarek.
Stafford has several data centers, but they won’t disclose the total because of confidentiality reasons.

For Kaczmarek, the data centers, which invest $3.7 billion into Prince William, will be able to combat rising temperatures.

“Data center companies are looking both at conventional as well as alternative energy systems…it’s a problem that can be solved. I don’t think it would cause [companies] to pull back in wanting to build data centers…the power and cooling problems will have to be solved, and they will be – it’s just a matter of how they’ll do it,” said Kaczmarek.

Manassas doesn’t have a data center, but their Economic Development Director Patrick Small asserted that during the coming years, data centers would be able to drastically change their technology in order to combat any possibility of increased temperatures.

“There are huge power consumers that are all over this state…I would think that the temperature would have to rise so significantly that it would be as uncomfortable for us to walk outside, as it would be for the data center to exist. The equipment in these [data centers] goes obsolete every two to three years, the useful life of the building is 30 years…over the next 100 years, technology’s going to change an awful lot,” said Small.

According Dominion Power spokesman Dan Genest, Dominion accounts for increased power usage and infrastructure strain in their planning, and would be able to replace equipment without a major issue for customers.

“As we move several decades out, ‘current’ equipment would either be replaced or augmented with more new power stations, transmission lines and distribution systems,” said Genest.

According to the report, during the last 30-years, on average in the Southeastern U.S., there have been nine days over 95 degrees per year.

By about 2050 there will be on average 17 to 53 days over 95 degrees each year, and 47 to 115 days over 95 degrees by the end of the century.

Why Supervisor Principi is wearing a Trader Joe’s shirt

Principi met with residents before his upcoming trip to Trader Joe's HQ.
Principi is visiting Trader Joe's in California on August 17.
A store location could take years to be built in Woodbridge.

Supervisor Frank Principi wants a Trader Joe’s grocery store in Woodbridge.

And to prove that point, Principi will be taking a trip in a Trader Joe’s shirt he bought on eBay to the store’s headquarters in Monrovia, California on August 17.

At the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo building in Woodbridge, Principi hosted a reception last week with residents to talk about the campaign for a Trader Joe’s location to come to Woodbridge.

The privately-owned specialty grocery chain was started in 1958 by Joe Coulumbe, according to the Trader Joe’s website. The chain currently has more than 400 locations in the United States.

“I grew up in Southern California…when I was growing up we had a Trader Joe’s on what seemed like every corner…[and] as I was growing up my family owned a chain of grocery stores,” said Principi.

Currently there are three Trader Joe’s locations in Fairfax, but none in Prince William.

In order to appeal to Trader Joe’s, Principi and his staff have started a Facebook page and a petition that will be used as verification of community support when he visits their headquarters.

Additionally, Principi said that he has been meeting with individuals that are involved in selecting Trader Joe’s locations and retail site owners that could offer space for a new Woodbridge location.

“We have been meeting with developers who own and operate commercial centers, and we have three of them who have agreed to provide us confidential proprietary lease packages that add a lot specifics for the decision from Trader Joe’s to relocate here. I will be bringing with me ‘my homework’…the demographics of the three locations we’re looking at…the lease packages are part of it…a cover letter on ‘why Woodbridge’ to make the case for us,” said Principi.

Principi noted that the trip he is taking to California, as well as an additional trip to a broker for Trader Joe’s in Boston, will be paid for out of his own pocket.

Trader Joe’s makes their decisions about new locations each January, and it would take at least one to two years before a retail location is open, said Principi.

“Woodbridge is changing. Frankly, not as quick as we’d like, but it is changing and the new Woodbridge is becoming a reality…we need a Trader Joe’s to help brand our community,” Principi said.

Stop commuting to DC! SRA is Hiring!

SRA is seeking qualified professionals who currently hold a DoD TS/SCI clearance to work in the Stafford, VA, area in support of the newly awarded contract, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Information Technology Directorate Services (ITDS)

If you are cleared and have one of the following skillsets, we would like to meet you at our recruitment invitational which will take place multiple days next week.  Visit us at www.sra.com/careers where you can create a candidate profile against opportunity 5053: NCIS Event Requisition.  After receiving your resume, a SRA Recruiter will contact you within 24 hours.

We are looking for highly motivated people to fill the following positions:

Information Assurance Engineers Network Engineers
Systems Administrators Business Systems Analysts
Content Administrators Geospatial Engineers
Field Computer Specialists Software Developers
Systems Integrators Software Testers
Requirements Analysts

Database Administrators

User Support Specialists

VOIP Engineers

About SRA International, Inc. 

SRA International, Inc. is a leading provider of sophisticated information technology and professional services to the U.S. federal government. Our services help our government customers address complex IT needs in order to achieve their missions. We are inspired by our customers’ missions and strive to provide the best people, working together to generate the best ideas, to deliver the best possible performance – all driven by our enduring values of Honesty and Service®. SRA was founded in 1978. We are headquartered in Fairfax, VA and employ approximately 5,600 professionals.

Bakery in Woodbridge offers European, New York desserts

Mario Rubio opened Bellash Bakery in Woodbridge.
The bakery serves New York and European style desserts.
According to Rubio, European baking ingredients can be difficult to get.
The bakery serves, cookies, cupcakes, pastries and more.
Rubio also does custom cake orders.

In the mood for some European-inspired deserts?

Bellash Bakery’s owner Mario Rubio, opened the New York and European style bakery a few months ago in Woodbridge.

“I saw there were no Italian or European bakeries around. So I thought it was something that the neighborhood would want,” said Rubio.

Rubio, who owned a bakery in New York for 30 years, wanted to bring residents a way to try European baked goods you couldn’t find elsewhere in the area.

Bellash Bakery offers an assortment of European desserts including butter cookies, Italian biscuits, French pastries, European tortes, cupcakes and Rubio’s custom cakes.

“A lot of people think that with a European bakery, they expect that all of our products come right from Europe. And around here, you aren’t really able to get those ingredients. But in New York, we are able to get those ingredients. So we are able to do a combination of the European tastes, with the American style bakery. You’re going to get the original taste from Europe, but you can imitate it with American ingredients,” said Rubio.

The bakery is located at Station Plaza on Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge.

The pollo guizado is great, at Woodbridge bakery

Guadalupe Castro immigrated to the United States from El Salvador decades ago.
She has owned a bakery in Falls Church for more than 30 years.
Her new location is near the Potomac Mills Mall.
They serve El Salvadorian food, desserts and custom cakes.
Castro makes many of the custom cake orders herself.
They typically sell more than 100 cakes a weekend.

Guadalupe Castro has been baking and cooking up classic El Salvadorian food for a long time.

Castro, who is the owner of Castro’s Bakery in Falls Church, recently opened the doors at her new location in Woodbridge, near Potomac Mills Mall.

Castro has owned the Falls Church location for 30-years, and after requests from customers, she decided to expand.

“She was thinking about opening a second location, and we came down a couple of times…and then when she saw this location – next to the [El Salvadorian embassy] – she thought ‘well okay, I’ll open it,’” said Pam, the Woodbridge bakery’s manager.

Castro immigrated to the United States from El Salvador decades ago, and built her businesses up from scratch.

“Her whole experience – how she worked herself up to where she is now – she’s amazing. She just has this gift about her with cooking,” said Pam.

The Castro’s Bakery location in Woodbridge offers not only baked goods and custom cakes, but traditional El Salvadorian food as well – like enchiladas, pollo guizado, and paselito de carne.

The bakery is located at 14556 Potomac Mills Road, and is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Restaurant promises ‘sweet’ burritos in Dale City

A new burrito joint is opening up in Dale City.
They promise fresh ingredients, every day.
The All American burrito.
Their Rise and Shiner breakfast burrito.
Sweeto Burrito will open August 17.

Try some unconventional eats at Sweeto Burrito in Dale City.

From their luchador theme to their unconventional menu, Sweeto Burrito will be one of the coolest places to eat in Dale City at the Staples Mill Plaza at the intersection of Minnieville Road and Spriggs Road.

The burrito franchise got its start as a food truck in Idaho in 2011, by owner Jon Pierre Francia.

“It was really a blue collar story, where a guy went and borrowed money from his family to start a food truck, and the market came to him to start franchising,” said Virginia’s Sweeto Burrito franchise owner Mike Sarago.

Sarago first got involved with the company after seeing them on the Travel Channel program ‘Food Paradise’. Shortly after the program aired, Sarago flew out to Arizona to meet with Francia.

“I went out with the intention of buying a two or three franchise unit package, and by the end of the weekend, I had bought the rights for the state of Virginia,” said Sarago.

There are currently plans to open 25 Sweeto Burrito locations in Virginia in the next 10 years. The first location will be opening on August 17.

While the Sweeto Burrito will offer traditional TexMex style burritos, they also have plenty of unconventional fare on their menu.

“The food is very unconventional, but it has a complex flavor profile that you wouldn’t expect to click in the way that it does. You’re combining things into these TexMex burritos and it really creates these new and original things, with all these flavors that just clash together in a very positive way,” said Sweeto Burrito manager Max Haddad.

Haddad mentioned two burritos in particular – the ‘Buff Chick’ and the ‘White Chick’.

The ‘Buff Chick’ includes Buffalo wings, tater tots, cilantro ranch dressing and cheese. The ‘White Chick’ has grilled chicken, black beans, pepperjack cheese, sour cream, rice and cilantro ranch dressing, said Haddad.

According to Haddad, they also offer breakfast burritos, including the ‘Rise and Shiner’ – with steak and eggs, cheese, tater tots, cilantro ranch dressing and sriracha sauce.

Once the location is open, Sarago plans to work with community groups to host fundraisers.

“We want to do a partnership in the community, and do fundraising, and donate to the schools. That’s something I’d like to be involved in,” said Sarago.

The restaurant will have its grand opening ceremony on August 22.

Abrakadoodle expands to Prince William

It’s thumbs-up in Crayola color “Tickle Me Pink” for Eileen and Troy Moore (seated) with Abrakadoodle founders and managing executives Rosemarie Hartnett and Mary Rogers.

Abrakadoodle is bringing its award-winning creative, mobile art programs to benefit children and adults with the addition of its newest franchise unit in Prince William County.

Abrakadoodle, with its global franchise headquarters in Sterling, welcomes this latest unit in Prince William County that joins Virginia locations in Loudoun County, Northern Virginia and Norfolk/Virginia Beach.

Dave Buck, a Business Coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source, introduced the Moore’s to Abrakadoodle. New owner Eileen Moore will be providing a wide range of art programs to include visual arts classes, camps, workshops, in-school field trips, special events and arty parties at schools, community centers, and other sites that serve children. Fall art classes will be offered via Enrichment Matters at Ashland Elementary and The Nokesville School.

Abrakadoodle also offers creative art programs and social art parties and events through its Art Splash program, which is designed specifically for adults. Abrakadoodle will be establishing programs at schools and sites throughout Prince William County to include Woodbridge, Manassas, Dale City, Lake Ridge and Quantico.

 

MOM’s Organic Market opening in Woodbridge late August

MOMs Organic Market to open in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Update

Koetz stated that the opening has been pushed back to September.

Original post

MOM’s Organic Market is opening a new location in Woodbridge at the end of August. 

According to MOM’s spokesman Christine Koetz, the 12,000 square foot store will be opening on Smoketown Road in the Prince William Square Shopping Center.

MOM’s is a regional chain of organic grocery stores, with 12 locations in the Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia area, according to their website. They got their start in 1987.

MOM’s central office is located in Rockville, Maryland, said Koetz.

According to their website, MOM’s has a preference in their selection focusing on organic foods or non-GMO (genetically modified organism) foods. They do not sell any products with artificial colors, preservatives, sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, antibiotics or growth hormones, bleached flour, sulfates, or nitrates.

 

Local business honors fallen soldier with memorial bat

Baret Bats created a special baseball bat for a fallen Army soldier.
The homemade custom bat company is based out of Lake Ridge.
Baret decided to create the business after learning he could no longer play baseball.

An Air Force veteran was able to honor a fallen Army soldier using skills from his side business – Baret Bats.

Juan Baret, a former Air Force sergeant and current office engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Fort Belvoir, started his business, Baret Bats, from his home in Lake Ridge.

Baret stated that the company started when he learned he could no longer play baseball due to chronic pain.

“It was crushing blow to know that I could no longer do something that I loved so much, especially at a relative young age of 33… But rather than focusing on the things I could no longer do, I focused my energies on my strengths. My strengths are passion and determination. So once I made the decision to get back in the game, I looked into making baseball bats at home,” said Baret.

According to Baret, one of the main goals of the company is to provide players with customized bats that make them feel like a professional.

“For most of my baseball playing life I used a wooden bat for practice and to play in games. Using a wood bat felt more comfortable and I performed much better when compared to using aluminum bats…the best wood went to the professional baseball players while the amateurs were left with little options but to swing subpar bats,” said Baret.

While he’s made bats for several baseball players across the country, an order that was close to him was one placed for Sean Cutsforth, an Army specialist that was killed serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

Cutsforth grew up in Prince William County, and was an avid baseball ball player.

The Brentsville District High School actually renamed their baseball field Army Specialist, Sean Russell Cutsforth Memorial Field in his honor, following his passing.

Baret was approached by Andrew Widiker, a family member of Cutsforth, and asked to make a special bat in honor of Cutsforth.

“[Widiker] found me thru my Instagram account after looking at several bat makers and decided that he wanted an actual person not a machine to make such special bat to honor his cousin Sean,” said Baret.

Baret created a custom design for the bat, titled ‘Swinging for Sean’, which featured an image of a soldier and red, white, and blue details.

Currently Baret takes orders for the bats via email or in person, but will be launching his website in August.

Baret stated that customers can order custom bats from T-ball for $35, and adult bats in the $75 to $85 range.

Principi goes to Trader Joe’s HQ in California to petition for Woodbridge location

Woodbridge district Supervisor Frank Principi is going to the Trader Joe’s headquarters in California.

Principi is going to their headquarters to petition for a Trader Joe’s location in Woodbridge at his own expense, following consistent feedback from residents.

In a survey he sent to Woodbridge residents, 85 percent of respondents said that they typically spend $100 or more when visiting Trader Joe’s, according to a release.

The “Bring Trader Joe’s to Woodbridge” Facebook page is very active, with more than 1,900 ‘likes’.  

Currently, the two closest locations are in Springfield and Centerville, which means that the money spent by area residents at these sites is leaving Prince William.

According to Principi, he hopes to get a meeting with one of the Trader Joe’s officials, and is willing to wear the company’s trademark Hawaiian shirt to do so.

“If it will help me get the meeting – definitely,” Principi stated in a release.

Residents in Woodbridge have not been shy in expressing their desire to have a Trader Joe’s location in their area.

“Trader Joe’s has unique items that are not available at other stores…They have reasonable prices and their selection of foods tend to have much healthier choices. The food is high quality and tasty and the personnel that work there are some of the friendliest and most helpful of any store, grocery or other,” said Woodbridge resident Harry Winnik in a release.

“We love Trader Joe’s, and right now it’s a once a month treat, only because it’s not close enough for us to go more often…We would shop twice a week if it was closer,” said Lake Ridge resident Erika Estrella in a release.

Principi stated that he would like to collect a signature with 2,000 signatures before he leaves for Trader Joe’s headquarters.

Principi formerly attended school and lived in California.

Mr. Postal holds ribbon cutting at North Stafford store

Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.
Mr. Postal ribbon cutting.

Mr. Postal held a ribbon cutting at its location at 2769 Jefferson Davis Highway in North Stafford.

Now under new ownership, retail center was formerly known as the Pack N Ship Store.

Several members of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce were in attendance. Margaritas, wine, and champagne was served at the event.

OPTiMO opens 8,500 square foot facility in Manassas

072914-First-on-plOPTiMO Information Technology – a software and technology solutions provider – have opened a new 8,500 square foot facility in Manassas.

OPTiMO, which was founded in 2008, works within federal, defense and commercial markets, and decided to make the move to serve customers in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia area.

According to OPTiMO’s CEO Michael Miguelez, the company chose to open their new location on Battlefield Parkway in Manassas because of its accessibility and commuting time.

“We’re delighted to be in Prince William County. We established our first Virginia location in Vienna in 2012 to better serve our federal clients, but we rapidly outgrew that facility.  We wanted a location with easy access to Washington, DC that is supported by a solid internet infrastructure, with room to support our growth, while supporting a manageable commute for our engineering teams – Prince William County has it all,” said Miguelez.

20 engineers are currently working at the new facility.

Additionally Miguelez stated that the young professionals coming from nearby universities influenced their location decision.

“Prince William County was a clear winner in our site evaluation. We gain direct access to a talent pipeline of young professionals with both Northern Virginia Community College and the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus nearby,” said OPTiMO’s vice president of engineering Jarrod Norton. 

According to the Prince William County Economic Development department, the county’s IT sector is growing rapidly.

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