Retailer of the Year 2022

Since 2008, Retail Alliance has held the Retailer of the Year (ROTY) for Hampton Roads’ retailers, restaurants, and other small businesses. The ROTY awards is our signature event to recognize excellence in retail while honoring Retail Alliance members who demonstrate the very best in customer service, reputability, store aesthetics, and community involvement.

This year, we held the Retailer of the Year Awards in Hampton at the Virginia Air and Space Science Center. 

Retailer of the Year Awards

Thursday, September 22, 2022

6:00 p.m – 9:30 p.m

Since 2008, Retail Alliance has held the Retailer of the Year (ROTY) for Hampton Roads’ retailers, restaurants, and other small businesses. The ROTY awards is our signature event to recognize excellence in retail while honoring Retail Alliance members who demonstrate the very best in customer service, reputability, store aesthetics, and community involvement. 

As you know, we held our last two Retailer of the Year Awards virtually because of COVID. While it was a bummer we weren’t able to celebrate in person, it did allow us to add more categories and shift to peer voting, so only members could vote for other members.

Since we’re returning in person this year, we have decided to create a hybrid event, combining elements of the past two years and how it operated prior, which is explained further down if you’re newer to Retail Alliance.

For Phase 1, we will continue with the peer voting (the Peer Choice Awards) that we have done for the past two years (but with a more condensed list of 13 industries).

We will reintroduce our pre-COVID judging into Phase 2, called Excellence in Retail. This phase will bring back the Retail, Restaurant, Service awards for the Southside and Peninsula, along with Rising Star (previously Up & Comer) awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Overall Retailer of the Year trophy.

We are so excited to be able to celebrate in person this year and we can’t wait to honor our members!

Q: When will winners receive their awards?

A: Winners will receive their awards on September 22, the night of the awards. Peer Choice Award winners will be given certificates, and Excellence in Retail winners will receive trophies.

Q: How are awards judged?

A: For the Peer Choice Awards, voting will be done via a link emailed individually to every Retail Alliance member on August 3. Each member will be asked to select up to five choices in each category that they feel should be recognized. If a voter does not feel confident in voting for a particular category, they have the option to skip it. Voting is limited to once per member. Voting closes on August 17.

Voters should refer to the purpose of ROTY when making their decisions.

“The ROTY awards recognize excellence in retailing while honoring merchants across retail, restaurant, and other small business categories who demonstrate the very best in product quality, customer service & experience, and community involvement.”

We will reintroduce our pre-COVID judging into a second phase called Excellence in Retail. This phase will continue with Lifetime Achievement Award but will bring back the Retail, Restaurant, Service awards for the Southside and Peninsula, along with Rising Star (previously Up & Comer) awards and Overall Retailer of the Year trophy.

The top winners from the Peer Choice Awards will be recategorized into Peninsula and Southside for Retail, Restaurant, Service, and Rising Star (<3 years brick and mortar or online that may be looking to open b&m), with mystery shops conducted by independent judges. The Overall Retailer of the Year award winner will be the retailer with the highest score.

Q: Is there any cost associated with accepting the nomination?

A: No, the nomination process is free of charge.

Q: How are businesses nominated for the Peer Choice Awards?

A: All Retail Alliance members who fit the criteria are automatically nominated.

Q: Will there be Southside and Peninsula winners for the Peer Choice Awards?

A: Yes. There will be 26 Peer Choice Awards given in total. Each category will have a Southside and Peninsula Winner.

Southside: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Southampton
Peninsula: Isle of Wight, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Hampton, Newport News, Gloucester, James City, York, Poquoson

Q: How do I get in contact with someone about ROTY 2022?

A: Please reach out to Abby Schiano by email at

Congratulations to our winners!

P = Peninsula   S = Southside


Retailer of the Year

Nothing Bundt Cakes – Newport News – P

Lifetime Achievement Award

Village Bicycles – P

Food & Beverage

Alkalicious Cold Pressed Juice Bar – S
The Virginia Beer Company – P

Services & Entertainment

Norfolk Tides – S
Langley Federal Credit Union – P

Retail Stores

McDonald Garden Center – S
Ace Peninsula Hardware – P

Rising Star

COVA Brewing Company – S



Eggleston Automotive Center – S
Dodd RV of the Peninsula – P


The Virginia Beer Company – P
Alkalicious Cold Pressed Juice Bar – S
Cure Coffeehouse – S


Philip Michael Fashion for Men – S
Once Upon a Child Newport News – P


Norfolk Tides – S
Jersey’s Cards & Comics P
Village Bicycles – P

Financial Services

TowneBank – S
Langley Federal Credit Union – P

Gifts & Goods

Pawsnickety Pets – S
The Christmas Store – P

Health, Fitness, Personal Care

Lackey Clinic – P
Changes City Spa – S
Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios – S

Home & Garden

McDonald Garden Center – S
Ace Peninsula Hardware – P

Marketing & Media

Cheryl Tan Media – S
image360 Newport News – P

Non-Profit & Business Organizations

The King’s Daughters – S
Peninsula Women’s Network – P
York County Chamber of Commerce – P

Professional & Other Services

Eggleston Document Destruction and Conversion – S
Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home – P

Real Estate

Re/Max Alliance – S
Bell Tower Real Estate Team – P

Restaurants & Food

Nothing Bundt Cakes – Newport News – P
Taste – S

The Wright Brother’s Presenting Sponsor 


Amelia Eartheart Lifetime Achievement Award Sponsor


TowneBank is a relationship and friendship driven local bank focused on basic human values that serve to create a warm sense of belonging and financial well-being among our family of members. Learn more.

Howard Hughes Bar Sponsor 


The Capital SystemSM is designed to produce highly diverse portfolios that deliver consistent long-term results, a smoother ride and management continuity over a range of market conditions. Learn more.

Charles Lindbergh Sponsorship 

MacArthur Center

MacArthur Center, located on Monticello Avenue in downtown Norfolk, features one million square feet of retail offerings, including the region’s flagship Dillard’s Department Store. Entertainment and dining options occupy approximately 25 percent of the tenant mix. Learn More.

Potter & Co

Are you looking for prime real estate in the Virginia Beach area? At Potter and Company, we discover a fascinating mix of shops, boutiques, specialty stores, services, restaurants, and more than 120 in all.

Langley Federal Credit Union

Langley Federal Credit Union is one of the 100 largest credit unions in the United States. Based in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Langley has branches in Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach which offer some of the best rates on certificates, checking accounts, savings accounts, auto loans, personal loans, home equity loans, mortgages, IRAs, auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and investment services.  Lean more.

Bessie Coleman Sponsorship

Care-A-Lot Pet Supply

Care-A-Lot Pet Supply offers a huge selection of pet supplies. Find your pets favorite food, treats, toys and more! Learn more.

Eddie Rickenbacker Sponsorships

Southern Bank

Southern Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern BancShares (N.C.), Inc. With its Corporate Headquarters located in Mount Olive, the Bank has total assets over $3 billion and over 60 locations serving North Carolina and Virginia. Learn more.


Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food and non-food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers around the world. Learn more.

Cooper Hurley

Most people never think they’ll be hurt in a devastating accident. When it happens to you, the consequences can be overwhelming for you and your family. If someone else’s negligence caused your pain, let the experienced Norfolk and Virginia Beach area personal injury attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers guide you through every step of the case and provide you with dependable legal strategies so you can focus on recovering. Learn more.

Garden Gazebo

Garden Gazebo’s diverse inventory offers something for everyone looking to add that unique touch of you to indoor and outdoor living spaces. Do you need a flag for your house, garden, or car to express your favorite team or holiday? They’ve got you covered! Learn more.

Bob Harper Portraits

How will the ones we care the most about remember this time in their lives? One of our fine art Harper Legacy Portraits will give you the assurance that you have contributed mightily to your family and loved ones remembering this special time in your family history. Learn more.

Consociate Media 

Through a blend of marketing, media and management techniques, Consociate uses the rich traditions of storytelling and modern communications to help market businesses. Learn more.

Cavanaugh Nelson 

John Cavanaugh and Mark Nelson co-founded Cavanaugh Nelson PLC in January 2000 after a combined 30 plus years of “Big Four” experience, including many years in which they served as partner and senior manager in the Norfolk office of Price Waterhouse. Having developed their skills through decades of experience in providing high quality services to some of the most established companies in Hampton Roads, their intent upon forming Cavanaugh Nelson PLC was to develop a firm and team of professionals built around the same principles that had been so highly valued throughout their Price Waterhouse careers, but with the ability to deliver client services at a fee level associated with smaller firms. Learn more.

Elcan & Associates 

Elcan and Associates provide a complete range of services necessary for the development, brokerage, leasing and management of commercial and residential real estate. Learn more.

Once Upon a Child Newport News 

We strive to provide a fun and convenient way to sell your gently used kids’ items and an eco-friendly shopping experience. We offer payment on the spot for items we select that meet current style, safety, and condition standards. Learn more.

Philip Michael Fashion for Men

Philip Michael Fashion for Men is a leading men’s apparel retailer in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Our ultimate goal is to provide our patrons with the means to dress for success, while maintaining a balance among fashion, sophistication and affordability. We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell. Learn more.

Willis Furniture Company

At Willis Furniture & Mattress, we are devoted to helping you create your perfect home sanctuary. We promise that you will find only the most current trends with exceptional design and customization options! Learn more.

Willcox & Savage

From key transactions to high-stakes litigation, quality work is our hallmark and superior client service is our calling. We listen. We take ownership of problems, allowing clients to transfer to us the anxiety, uncertainty, and distraction inherent in complex legal matters. Learn more.

Jacqueline Cochran Sponsorships

Jersey’s Cards & Comics

Hobby retailer specializing in tabletop gaming, comics, sports cards, and related hobby supplies and accessories. Learn more.

Kathy Knack Interior Designs

Kathy Knack loves her profession and it shows. Her innate sensibilities, creativity and style come through in each and every project. With 28 years in the interior design industry in the Hampton Roads area, she has seen trends come and go…but the one that remains constant in her designs is the classic and timeless look. Learn more.

Taylor’s Do It Center

Taylor’s Do it Center (Taylor’s) is a family-owned and locally-operated independent hardware store, serving the Tidewater area since 1927. The company is a member of Do it Best Corp., the only US-based, member-owned comprehensive and fully integrated hardware, lumber and building materials buying cooperative in the home improvement industry. Learn more.

Crunchy Hydration

Our goal with Crunchy Hydration is to provide great-tasting water that hydrates on a deep cellular level while easing the mind and body of everyday stressors. With a deliberate combination of adaptogenic herbs and nootropics, our waters promote a relaxed mood while increasing the body’s resilience against physical, chemical, and biological pressures. Better yet – each has been formulated to meet different needs, so that, whatever you are facing, there is a Crunchy for that! Learn more. 

Graves Funeral Home

We at Graves Funeral Home Inc. specialize in giving our families the finest professional care throughout their time of need. Graves Funeral Home Inc. offers many types of services such as, traditional burial, memorial services, cremations, direct cremations, military burial, or any type of religious or ethnic services of your request. Learn more.

Oyster Cove Boatworks & Yacht Brokerage

Whether you are looking to sell your boat, buy a new/used boat or service your existing one, OCB is here to ensure a smooth, effortless and enjoyable experience. Conveniently located in Gloucester, Virginia,  with a new location in Virginia Beach, OCB’s position on a major thoroughfare is a significant advantage for buyers and sellers. Learn more.

RNR Tire Express

RNR offers services for all your tire and wheel needs. Everything from professional tire installation and balancing to alignments and
flat tire repair. Learn more.

Venture Kitchen

An eclectic menu of pizza and tapas along with some great salads and sandwiches. And don’t forget the cocktails! Our pizza dough is made in-house and baked in our brick-lined oven. Our cocktails get the same love and care… thyme simple syrup sound interesting? Chef’s specials weekly (starting Tuesday nights). Learn more.


When you’ve had a long day, need to relax or just want a cool drink and tasty meal, come see us! Taste the best smoked, slow-roasted, hand pulled barbecue with our house-made sauces! Small’s has something for everyone to enjoy including a full service bar, patio dining, music, full service & limited service catering and plenty of space for private parties! Learn more.

Prince Books

Prince Books, open since 1982 in downtown Norfolk, is located on the corner of Main Street and Martin’s Lane in the Towne Bank Building, one block from Town Point Park and the Elizabeth River, conveniently situated between Waterside and Nauticus. Learn more.

Photography Sponsorships

Debbie Leanne Portraits

We are Yorktown, Virginia’s luxury portrait studio specialising in all of life’s moments for pets and their people. Capturing your family and/or your fur baby’s personality in stunning wall art you will treasure for many years to come. Learn more.

Murawski Photography

I offer professional photography services across the East Coast. I travel wherever couples and families desire my creative eye and artistic expertise. Based out of the beach and countryside of Gloucester, VA, I am a portraiture and fine art photographer with a knack for capturing the precious moments that can only stand the test of time when immortalized through photography. Learn more.

Videography Sponsorship


Dessert Sponsors

The Royal Chocolate 

See all the royal treats from gourmet caramel and chocolate-dipped apples, to beautiful gift baskets filled with exquisite chocolates and more. We have your national favorites, your favorites from around the world and our own special collection of handmade Royal Chocolates made with real Belgian chocolate. Learn more. Learn more.

Pownd Cakes by Jen

What started as a love of baked goods turned into a passion and a way to relieve stress. In 2003, a shared recipe for an absolutely delicious cake, unlike anything anyone had tasted, started an idea that baking might be more than just a hobby for me. The original recipe for a cinnamon cake was re-worked, coconut and chocolate came next, and other flavors followed. Fast forward to 2018: recognizing the demand for our delicious cakes, I left the corporate world and launched Pownd Cakes by Jen. On May 31, 2019, we opened our first Pownd Cakes location in the Palace Shops in Norfolk. Learn more.

Nothing Bundt Cakes 

Let us sweeten your day! Choose from up to ten delicious Bundt flavors made from the finest ingredients and crowned with our signature cream cheese frosting. To elevate your occasion, select from more than sixty unique handcrafted cake designs themed around holidays and celebrations throughout the year. They can be customized for any occasion, including birthdays, showers, weddings and graduations. For that extra touch, we carry a variety of retail items to enhance your celebration. Next time you need a one-stop shop for your upcoming gathering, bring the joy with Nothing Bundt Cakes! Learn more.

Indulge Bakery & Bistro

Indulge is a European style bakery and bistro nestled in the heart of quaint Historic Hilton Village. We serve breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday and on Saturday we serve Tapas from 6pm to 9pm. We specialize in unique, delicious custom cakes for all occasions – weddings, birthdays, showers, baby showers and all things worth celebrating! All of our cakes, cupcakes and cookies are made from scratch with the highest quality ingredients. Our handcrafted chocolate truffles are made with the finest Belgian chocolate, fresh cream, fruit, and spices. No preservatives or artificial flavorings. We offer an extensive catering menu, ranging from a ballroom bash to a backyard barbeque! We will create a custom menu for your culinary needs. Learn more.

La Brioche

In 2019, Yvan and Jacqueline started La Brioche to bring memories of authentic French artisan bakeries to their new home. From the baguette and the croissants, to the quiches and sandwiches, you will find baked goods that make you feel as if you were at a street cafe in Paris.  The bakery’s second floor loft allows you to savor your breakfast or lunch with a touch of sunlit intimacy. Learn more. 

Check out photos from ROTY 2022!