The winner of a regional “Shark Tank”-type competition for her bakery shop idea will hold the grand opening of JB Cakes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 25 in Rhoadesville.
Jennifer Bryington used her $4,750 grand prize from the first Quad Tank Pitch Competition, which was held during the annual Quad City Business Summit in Orange last October, to help her open the bakery and bistro at 26322 Constitution Highway.
“The prize money has definitely been put to good use,” she said in a news release. “The opportunity to grow and expand business in the community is priceless. I look forward to serving our community for many years to come!”
Bryington, an Orange County native, had opened a bakery business out of a state-inspected kitchen in her home, but quickly outgrew the space in three years. She said she realized there was a need for a place in her end of the county where people could gather for a sandwich, sweet treat or to share a cup of coffee and access high-speed internet.
JB Cakes serves breakfast and lunch, and also sells a variety of sweet treats and wedding cakes. Bryington said that business has been “good but crazy—crazy good!” since she opened last month.
She started work on JB Cakes prior to entering the competition, which was open to people in Orange, Louisa, Greene and Fluvanna counties. Modeled partly after the popular “Shark Tank” TV show, it gave budding entrepreneurs a chance to submit a business plan. Central Virginia Small Business Development Center Director Betty Hoge coached them on the pitch they’d deliver to a panel of judges.
Bryington beat three competitors, including a team from Southern Revere Cellars, who made a pitch for their proposed farm brewery and event-based business in Louisa. She told judges she would use the money to purchase commercial baking equipment.
“We are incredibly proud that Orange County’s own JB Cakes won the first ever Quad Tank Pitch Competition and has put the prize money to good use,” Phil Geer, Orange County’s economic development director, said in a news release.