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Business in brief


Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, has selected the Greater Richmond ARC’s Infant & Child Services (ICDS) program to receive a $396 grant for free book distributions and literacy activities benefitting Richmond area children and their families. The funds were raised during RIF’s 2011 Be Book Smart campaign in partnership with Macy’s. The grant money will allow ICDS to meet one of its program goals, which is to provide each child in the program one book per month to help build their home library.

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Henrico Doctors’ Hospital Labor and Delivery Unit is the first and only hospital in the United States to earn Joint Commission certification for its Induction of Labor Program. The Labor and Delivery Unit underwent a rigorous on-site survey and a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated the hospital for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and families, including leadership, quality of care and medication management. The hospital was recognized for putting into place processes and procedures for advanced safety standards, pain management related to induction of labor, and standardization of labor induction practices.

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Scents of Serenity Organic Spa, located in Glen Allen, is now offering Eminence, a new line of organic makeup. All products are made with fresh fruit pulps, plants and exotic spices from organic environments. Eminence has a product for every skin type, including sensitive and aged skin. The organic skincare aligns with owner Melanie Mueller’s vision of a health and wellness spa, providing free health workshops, all out of a historic farmhouse at 3016 Mountain Rd. Scents of Serenity Spa is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment. For details, call 277-4498 or visit http://www.scentsofserenityspa.com.

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A group of five Richmond-based entrepreneurs have founded a new social payment network called PaidThx. The founders are Thomas Eide (CEO), Rob Kirchner (COO), James Rhodes (CTO), Hugo Camacho (executive director of finance) and Ryan Ricigliano (executive director of user experience). With PaidThx, users will no longer have to carry around cash or a checkbook – just their smartphone. The new technology works similarly to online banking tools that are in the market today with one major difference: PaidThx users can send and receive money with all of their contacts, no matter where they bank. The network, set to launch to the public later this year, can be accessed from a smartphone, computer, or popular social media sites.

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The “Fiske Guide to Colleges,” a leading college guidebook, has selected the University of Richmond for its 2013 edition of the 320 “best and most interesting colleges in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.” Richmond made two special lists in this year's book for having strong programs in business and international studies. The guidebook selects colleges based primarily on academic quality. It includes information about each college’s academics, social life, student body, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food and extracurricular activities. Richmond has been chosen for the Fiske Guide in all 26 years the book has been published.

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Agents with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer recently handled the following lease negotiations: John Powell – leased 4,555 square feet at 6500 Dickens Pl.; Now and Then Treasures, LLC – leased 1,500 square feet at 211 W. Williamsburg Rd.; and Caton Business Corporation – leased 1,225 square feet in The Shoppes at Westgate at 11709 W. Broad St.

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Alpha Wealth Advisors, a comprehensive financial service firm founded by Troy L. Flinn, has opened its office in the New York Life Building at 4435 Waterfront Drive, Suite 203 in Innsbrook on July 1. Alpha Wealth Advisors provides wealth management services for individuals and small business owners, as well as a wide range of other services. Thomas Dozier, a 1980 graduate of the University of Richmond, joins Flinn as director of client development.

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Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer recently represented The Cellular Connection in the leasing of 3,573 square feet at Staples Mill Retail Center at 7320 Staples Mill Rd. Two additional locations will be opened in Chester and Amelia. The Cellular Connection is the largest Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer in the United States with more than 600 locations across 26 states.

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The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $290,000 grant to Carol Parish, professor of chemistry at the University of Richmond, for molecular research related to alternative fuels, anticancer antibiotics and graphene nanodevices. Parish is collaborating with Hans Lischka, of Texas Tech University, on the project, “Multireference Studies of Organic Polyradicals, Radical Reactions and Graphene Nanoribbons.” They expect results from their research to hold significant promise for advancing the fields of multireference theoretical chemistry, mechanistic organic chemistry, materials design and drug optimization. Parish has taught at Richmond since 2005.

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Zinga Frozen Yogurt at Willow Lawn will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jackson, Q94 radio personality, will host a live “instant beach” remote broadcast from noon to 2 p.m. Two free tickets to Justin Bieber’s “Believe” concert in November will be given away during that time. Zinga is located at 1700 Willow Lawn Dr., next to Jason’s Deli in the Shops at Willow Lawn. For details, call 288-0206 or visit http://www.facebook.com/zinga.willowlawn
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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