Letter from the Publisher

Happy New Year!

It was November 2008 when we published our first VivaTysons Magazine.  Retired from a 35-year career in the food business and noticing the struggles many of my customers were having trying to compete with the well-capitalized public companies, I decided the persons who most needed a cheerleader and friend in the media were the small, independent brick and mortar community businesses. They are the ones who support the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, public school projects… and whose existence is dependent on a thriving small business community. 

The concept of the “3/50 Project” whose purpose was to retain locally owned businesses whose dollars provided a large portion of annual revenue critical for funding public resources and services caught our eyes and hearts.

The simple consumer-friendly message spoken in “dinner table language” asked consumers to think of three businesses they would miss if they disappeared—and to remember that their support is what keeps them open. The number 50 calls to our attention that if just half of the current population dedicated just $50 of their current monthly spending to 3 locally owned businesses more than $42.6 billion of revenue would be generated annually.  The project claimed that for every $100 spent in local businesses more than $68 returns to the local economy.  Spend that amount in a big box or chain store, the amount drops to only $43, and money spent online (except if you live in the e-tailers town) nothing comes home.  Nothing.  This was in 2009.

As I look at the retail landscape today, even tonight only 11 days from Christmas, I am amazed at how empty many of my favorite stores are—and saddened by the look in the eyes of many of the sales and service persons who have been hoping for a brighter holiday to bring them into the black. I know the convenience and competitive pricing available to us on the web.  But I can also see the effect it has brought to our local merchants.  (Ouch).  We promise to continue to support them any way we can; we hope you’ll do the same.  “Keep it Local” is still our rallying cry.

Our editors and writers have some great reading in store for you.  Linda Barrett brings us more about the exciting “Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant” and Emily Wines, the Master Sommelier—we love the place—as well as a piece on Rich Rosendale, one of America’s award-winning chefs. Thank you, Linda.  Michael Evans of Helga’s Caterers shares some thoughts on comfort food—and just in time.

Winter activities for the family?  You bet!  Summer camps are just around the corner; Analiese Kreutzer has some ideas and options.

If you’re looking for tips to make that perfect smoothie, Reneé Sklarew sends us to Blender Girl, Tess Master. Great reading and some super tips, too.

Julie Holland knows all about “Glamping” and she’s going to show you what you need to do it right.  Did you know even dogs get the flu?  I didn’t. See page 92.

Delegate Kenneth Plum heads south for the winter and Jan King will leave you in stitches  with her article, “Weekend with Grandma.”

In the coming year, we will do our best to bring our community closer—that’s a promise.  You can help.  Feel free to write us at info@vivareston.com.

Please accept our best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

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