Reston, VA

A barbershop-bar concept is reportedly working on deals in Reston, Bisnow reports.

Scissors & Scotch is planning to expand in the area with several locations in Reston, Vienna and Loudoun County.

The Kansas City-based retailer was founded in 2015 and offers a cocktail bar with a men’s barbershop. It recently signed a deal to open a second new location in the District.

Here’s more from Bisnow on the company’s expansion:

Given the challenges the retail market is facing today, Koroma said launching an expansion across the region is allowing Scissors & Scotch to land tenant-favorable deals. He said he has gotten frequent calls from developers with available retail space asking if Scissors & Scotch would be interested. 

“The concessions have been tremendous, and the positive note on what’s happening is everyone is in deal mode,” Koroma said. “Everybody wants to make a deal, and it’s a win-win situation. Landlords are happy to do this because you get a concept that not only do you know will be successful, but you see it as a value-add and an amenity to the project.”

Photo via Scissors & Scotch/Facebook

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Spotify, the audio-streaming and media services provider, recently agreed to acquire Reston-based Megaphone, a podcast hosting company, for $235 Million earlier this week.

The company announced the acquisition on its website Tuesday (Nov. 10).

“The acquisition of Megaphone represents the next step in Spotify’s expanding the possibilities of this intimate and screen-less medium,” the company said.

Megaphone is currently headquartered in Reston Station.

CEO of Megaphone Brendan Monaghan and Spotify’s VP of Global Ad Business and Platform, Jay Richman, spoke about the acquisition and the future of the two companies.

Megaphone provides publishers with a suite of tools and technology to distribute, monetize and measure their shows wherever podcasts are listened,” Monaghan explained. “At the same time, we created a marketplace to aggregate unsold ad inventory from our publishing partners and sell that inventory to premium advertisers based on desired audience segments (demographics, psychographics and even geography).”

The acquisition will allow the company to continue to do this, in a new way.

“The acquisition will allow us to provide products and services to publishers and advertisers in more depth and at a faster pace than we have in the past,” Monoghan said. “We’ll be able to bring new products to our partners, like Spotify’s SAI technology to support even greater revenue generation for publishers and another way for advertisers to reach their desired audience.”

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Company Charges Up — “Reston, Virginia-based Electrify America said it has more than 500 electric vehicle charging stations now open across the U.S., with a total of more than 2,200 individual fast chargers. Electrify America began building its nationwide network of EV charging stations in 2018 to address the range anxiety many EV drivers experience when venturing too far from work or home.” [WTOP]

Northam Says Rising COVID-19 Cases Are ‘Concerning’ — “Northam said there were 1,435 new cases of the novel coronavirus detected Monday, continuing a daily trend upward that’s been going on for weeks. He added that the test positivity rate, which had been down below 5% a few weeks ago, was up to 6.2% — a key indicator of how reliable the other numbers are.” [WTOP]

Clearview ES Adds Winter Coat Drive to Giving Program — “Clearview Elementary and the Clearview PTA are teaming up once again to bring joy to the school’s community as part of its annual Joy of Giving Program. The school will distribute winter coats, hats, gloves, gift cards, and Thanksgiving food baskets to Clearview families in need.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Pet Valu, a retailer of pet food and supplies, is closing its operations, including its two Reston location,

Both locations along with the company’s 358 stores in the United States will close over the next several days, the company announced earlier this week.

Canada locations will remain open, which are run by separate service that simply licenses its names and contracts from Pet Valu. Pet Valu has locations at 1442 North Point Village Center and 11160 South Lakes Drive.

Jamie Gould, the company’s Chief Restructuring Officer, attributed the closure to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pet Valu U.S. team is proud to have met the needs of our devoted pet lover customers in the U.S. for more than 25 years. However, the Company’s stores have been significantly impacted by the protracted COVID-19-related restrictions. After a thorough review of all available alternatives, we made the difficult but necessary decision to commence this orderly wind down,” she said.

Customers can continue to shop at the stores, but orders can no longer be placed online.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Service Outages Planned for Silver Line — This weekend and in early December, service outages are planned between Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East Metro Stations. Free buses will offer transportation between the stations during outages. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Herndon Cruiser Rear-ended — A Town of Herndon police cruiser was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver. The police department is reminding residents to move over when emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. No injuries were reported. [Herndon Police Department]

Reston Company to Provide IT Services to USDA — “The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Reston-based Fortune 500 defense contractor Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) a position on the department’s potential five-year, $620 million Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) multiple-award blanket purchase agreement (BPA), SAIC announced Wednesday.” [Virginia Business Monthly]

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston Company Goes Public During ‘Tipping Point’ — “Reston’s SOC Telemed is the latest Greater Washington company to make its debut on the public markets, opening Monday at $10 per share on the Nasdaq stock exchange.” [Washington Business Journal]

How Fannie Mae Helped Boston Properties Land Volkswagen’s Headquarters —  Fannie Mae agreed to give back two floors in the town center’s next phase, previously known as Reston Gateway, to help Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP) seal the nearly 200,000-square-foot lease with Volkswagen Group of America.” [Washington Business Journal]

Return to School Information Available — The Fairfax County Public School system has published a number of guides to help students and parents navigate the return to school. [FCPS]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Monday Morning Notes

Northland Controls Expands into Reston — The company, which designs, installs and manages security systems around the world, has new offices in Reston on 12100 Sunset Hills Road. The new space allows the company to “hire additional talent and better accommodate our growing team,” according to CEO Pierre Trapanese. [Northland Controls]

Reston Bike Club Hands Out Bike Lights — The Reston Bike Club and the Dulles Area Transportation Association are making sure local essential workers have front and bike lights to get them through the winter safely. [Local DVM]

Winners Named in Carving Test — Reston Association has named three winners in its Great Pumpkin Carving Contest. Winners were named in the categories of classic, most creative and funniest looking. [RA]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston Firms Offers Insights on Buying Online — “Reston, Virginia-based digital tracking and audience measurement company comScore Inc. has released a report on the state of online retail spending and it notes total digital commerce now accounts or nearly 1 in 4 discretionary dollars spent by consumers. During the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, comScore reports the highest share ever of digital spending.” [WTOP]

Double Meals Offered to FCPS Students Later This Week — “FCPS will be distributing double breakfast and lunch meals on November 2 to cover both November 2 and 3, which are student holidays.” [FCPS]

School Staff to Discuss Status of Athletics — The director of the school system’s office of student activities and athletic programs will offer information about what to expect for athletics as the phased return to school begins. [FCPS]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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Businesses throughout the area have succumbed to the pressures and drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hunters Woods Cleaners has joined that list, as a member of management confirmed that the business will close its doors on Saturday, October 31. The store previously reduced its hours of operation from being open seven days a week to closing on Sundays this year.

The business, located at 2308 Hunters Woods Plaza in Reston, has been a staple in the Hunters Woods Village Center since the cleaners was established in 1990.

The cleaners joins a multitude of businesses that have announced closures during the pandemic, including Best Buy in The Spectrum at Reston Town Center and restaurants Big Bowl and Le Pain Quotidien in Reston Town Center.

The pandemic caused larger layoffs early in the summer. Over 450 layoffs were reported in notices filed by six businesses in Reston and Herndon through the Virginia Employment Commission.

Photo via Google Maps

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Thursday Morning Notes

Dense Fog Advisory In Effect — The National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory until 10 a.m. today. Drivers should slow use, use car headlights, and leave plenty of distance between vehicles. [NWS]

Solutions Proposed to Reduce Early Voting Wait Times — With less than two weeks until Election Day, Fairfax’s NAACP President Sean Perryman says that the county should improve wait times for early voting. He sent a letter to county officials calling on measures like extending voting hours. [WJLA]

Reston Contractor Wins $135M Task Order — “Reston-based AceInfo Solutions LLC  announced Tuesday it had been awarded a potential five-year, $135 million task order from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” [Virginia Business]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Satellite Voting Begins Today — Voters can cast their vote at one of 14 locations throughout the county beginning today (Wednesday). Local locations include the North County Government Center, Great Falls Library, and Herndon Fortnightly Library. [Fairfax County Government]

Northern Virginia Woman Starts Peanut Butter Business — “A new peanut butter store coming to Northern Virginia started when a mom from Reston built a booming business making peanut butter out of her house.” [NBC4]

Local Working Group to Meet Today — Reston Association’s Recreational Facilities Working Group will meet today (Wednesday) at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. [Reston Association]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Cellphone Pioneer Fades Into History — “Reston, Virginia-based NII Holdings, whose predecessor Nextel Communications pioneered the push-to-talk cellphone in the 1990s, has filed a petition for dissolution of its business. The Verified Petition for Dissolution was filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.” [WTOP]

Police Investigate Sunoco Gas Station Robbery — The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating a robbery at the station, which is located at 13470 Coppermine Road. A man assaulted an employee and demanded cash from the register at around 12:14 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8. He disappeared from the scene, police said. No injuries were reported. [Fairfax County Police Department]

At-Large Listening Session Set This Week — After a series of district-focused meeting, Reston Association is hosting an at-large listening session on Thursday. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. via Zoom. [Reston Association]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Friday Morning Notes

Be Wary of Deer Crashes — The Fairfax County Police Department is warning residents that fall is breeding season for deer. Deer crashes are a particular safety concern between October and December.  [FCPD]

At-Large Listening Session Set for Next Week — The last of Reston Association’s five listening sessions will take place on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. [RA]

Reston Contractor to buy Alexandria Tech Company — “Reston-based government IT contractor Xenith Solutions LLC announced Thursday it will acquire Alexandria-based tech company TRI-COR Industries (TCI). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.”  [Virginia Business]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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Friday Morning Notes

Reston-based Company Lands Huge Contract — “The U.S. Army awarded Reston-based Fortune 100 defense contractor General Dynamics Corp.’s land systems division a potential five-year, $1.22 million contract.” [Virginia Business Monthly]

Committee to Discuss Local Transportation — Reston Association’s Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committees opening the floor fr comment from residents about the state of transportation in Reston. The meeting is set for Oct. 8 via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Association]

Traditional Trick-or-Treating Not Recommended by County — “Fairfax County government and the health department will recommend against traditional trick-or-treating but will not cancel it altogether. The county’s guidance is in line with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for Halloween and other fall activities.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Fickr

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OmMade Peanut Butter is expanding from its original, home-based operation to a manufacturing operation over the next three years.

The company sells a wide-range of peanut butter options including flavors with chocolate, coconut, espresso and more, and a new flavor will be released in a couple weeks, according to Radhika Murari, founder and creator. Murari has lived in Reston since 1991.

Governor Northam announced the upcoming expansion in a press release yesterday.

Murari recently received a $25,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, a partnership between the Commonwealth, Fairfax County, and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

“It’s a real honor,” said Murari. “As the press release says, we’ve used Virginia peanuts since the beginning and so, it’s just really nice.”

The grant will secure the project for Virginia. Fairfax County will also match the grant with local funds, according to the press release, providing Murari with a total of $50,000 for the OmMade Peanut Butter manufacturing operation.

Murari sold her first jar of OmMade Peanut Butter in May of 2017. Customers can now buy jars at several Whole Food stores in Virginia, including locations in Arlington, Ashburn, Falls Church, Fairfax, McClean, Reston and Vienna. The peanut butter is also sold at the Carlyle House in Alexandra, Va.

Murari said expansion was inspired by an increase of production. She is “looking for a facility that allows for production and a storefront and we’re hoping to have other small businesses in the same space.”

The manufacturer will create five more jobs, according to the press release. Murari said these will be a range of jobs “anywhere from a production manager, to social media consultant, to people running the storefront.”

The location and address of the manufacturing operation is still to be determined.

Here’s more from Northam’s office:

RICHMOND–Governor Ralph Northam today announced that OmMade Peanut Butter, a Virginia’s Finest® company, will invest nearly $300,000 to establish an all-natural, gourmet peanut butter manufacturing operation in Fairfax County. Over the next three years, the woman- and minority-owned company will source 30,000 pounds of peanuts from Virginia farmers. The new facility will be located in one of the target redevelopment areas for the county and will feature a storefront to complement its production activities. The project will create five new jobs.

“Supporting innovative agribusinesses like OmMade Peanut Butter is key to spreading economic growth and opportunity to all parts of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “With bold and unique flavors, high-quality natural ingredients, and a commitment to locally-sourced peanuts, the company is a natural fit for Virginia. I also want to commend Fairfax County for its commitment to growing the next generation of Virginia’s business leaders.”

Radhika Murari began making peanut butter nearly eight years ago in an effort to create a preservative-free snack that was both delicious and healthy. After years of positive feedback, Murari started selling OmMade Peanut Butter at the Fairfax County Farmers’ Market. Success there led to new sales online and at area Whole Foods stores. With this project, Murari will move production from her home kitchen to a commercial facility and transition the home-based company into a job-creating business venture.

“Virginia has a long history of growing the world’s best peanuts, and thanks to companies like OmMade Peanut Butter, we are also home to some of the world’s best peanut butter,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am pleased that the Commonwealth has been able to support OmMade Peanut Butter, first through the Virginia’s Finest® program and now with this funding award. It is through partnerships like these that we keep our economy and our agricultural community growing.”

OmMade Peanut Butter has participated in the Virginia’s Finest® program since 2018. Created more than 30 years ago with more than 500 participating companies, the Virginia’s Finest® program identifies, differentiates and promotes top-quality Virginia-produced agriculture and specialty food and beverage products with a classic blue and red VA check mark logo.

“There is one simple reason for the success of OmMade Peanut Butter: Virginia peanuts,” said Radhika Murari, founder and creater of OmMade Peanut Butter. “Because of the unmatched flavor of Virginia peanuts, OmMade Peanut Butter is not only the best-tasting peanut butter on the market, it is also extremely healthy. I appreciate this support from Fairfax County and the Commonwealth, which will enable OmMade Peanut Butter to set up a commercial production facility and allow for nationwide sales expansion.”

The Commonwealth is partnering with Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Governor Northam approved a $25,000 grant from the AFID Fund to secure the project for Virginia, which Fairfax County will match with local funds.

Photos courtesy Radhika Murari 

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