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Success Stories

Oscar Warmerdam emigrated to the United States from The Netherlands in the 1990s and he is now a U.S. citizen. He feels lucky to have landed at a forward-looking company that provided lots of on-the-job training and farming knowledge that he has used in running his own companies, Moerings -USA, LLC (MUSA) and Moerings Green Roof Maintenance, LLC.  He describes farming as “a business of hope,” and feels farmers need a certain amount of cleverness and perhaps “foolishness” to succeed in an industry with so many inherent challenges.

Moerings -USA, LLC (MUSA) was founded in Georgia in 2003 focusing on the aquatics plant industry.  In 2005, MUSA moved to Culpeper County where it maintains a nursery on a 160-acre farm.  In 2007, the company began growing and selling green roof products.  MUSA sold their aquatics plant division in 2010 and has since focused entirely on the green roof business.

MUSA and Moerings Green Roof Maintenance, LLC (MGRM) sell green roof solutions to... Read More

Heather Coiner and Ben Stowe own Little Creek Hat Farm in rural Roseland, Virginia.  Sitting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the farm produces vegetables, breads and baked goods that it sells via farmers markets throughout central Virginia. Even before getting married and moving to Virginia, the couple had discussed going into business together. Ben had considerable vegetable farming experience and Heather had run a bicycle-delivered bread subscription program in Toronto, Canada. Heather notes, “from the very beginning, we wanted bread and vegetables to be hand in hand… we were really clear on the products we wanted to focus on.” The couple started the business in 2013, renting land from an already operable farm. Heather and Ben immediately slipped into the previous farmer’s spot at three different farmers markets and were immediately able to earn a weekly income. Their start-up costs were low, but they were paying rent on much of their equipment. Slowly, they began... Read More

Jeff Meier had a dream to transition from his Army career to open a family-focused grocery destination. Jeff, along with his former business partner Alvin Esh, founded Battlefield Country Store in Fredericksburg, Virginia in August 2016 to offer unique and high-quality food and gifts, with much of its merchandise supplied by friends in the local Amish and Mennonite communities. Battlefield Country Store is also known for its made-to-order, big, bold, and flavorful sandwiches and healthy school lunches. As a small business itself, the store supports other small businesses, marketing merchandise from artisans and bakers. 

For the first few years in operation Jeff functioned as the store’s manager while his wife Crystal handled housewares. Aiming to take over full ownership of the store, Jeff approached six different banks to get assistance with his acquisition, but all refused his application

Growing weary of rejection, Meier finally reached Rappahannock Economic... Read More

Alkalicious Juice Bar opened its doors in 2016, supplying the Chesapeake area with healthy smoothies, bowls and alkaline water. While stationed in Bahrain with the Navy, married couple and business partners, Lisa and Justin Bey, often found themselves serving healthy and vegan food to their community.  The idea of turning their labor of love into a business first entered their radar while serving dinner to their friends. The couple enrolled in the enrolled in the entrepreneurship module of the Navy's “Transitions GPS”, a course for separating/retiring service members and their families, where they came up with the name, branding and business plan for their juice bar. 

 As the Beys moved back to the US and pushed forward with their plans to open their juice bar, they were challenged with finding funding and the perfect location for their storefront. Seeking counsel, the pair approached the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Norfolk, Virginia and their local branch of... Read More